Looking through the latest National Geographic, I came across the story of a drawing that is purported to be a lost Leonardo da Vinci portrait of the illegitimate daughter of a patron in Milan (why can’t I have a patron???). This kind of story excites me to no end. Discovery, art, intrigue…turns out this undiscovered masterpiece was done for a book! You can read all about it or better yet go watch the episode on Nova. As of writing this, it was airing online.
I was inspired to make a copy of it with easily gathered materials I could use on the couch while watching television. No sheep or goat-skin parchment around this studio and a pen nib and ink might have been messy between me and two cats, so I used paper (my sketchbook) and pencils, then I added some nu-pastels. It was a fun exercise and I am rather pleased with my result.
The image is about 5×7.
I have been fascinated by book binding since I was a kid, sitting on a pew in church on Sunday, studying the hymnbook’s construction. That was the first book I took note of a book being sewn together. (Captive that I was and nothing else to do!!!) I wondered how that was done. Now I know and find it satisfying to do. Not so, my 88 year old friend, Pam Windham, who became a book-binder after her stint in the Coast Guard during WWII. She was called into the office one day by her boss who told her she was wasting her life binding books (no way!!!) and that she needed to go back to school to do something worthwhile. Like binding books isn’t worthwhile, but she did and became a worthwhile teacher.