Today I finished a big half-sleeve that started 3 years ago with an illuminated letter E from the Book of Kells. He got back in touch, and wanted to make the whole upper arm into one solid piece. So last month we added the crescent above and the band below. Finally today I added a knotwork to fill all the sides and under the arm, and shaded them all with dots to make it all into one cohesive presentation. It takes a lot of time to design such work, most especially because it is one thing to draw them on paper but quite another level of difficulty to then adapt the pattern to make it fit the body. I especially appreciate the level of trust the client puts in me, as I slowly transform their skin dot by dot. They can see the pattern on the page, and agree that they like it, but I know it is a big act of faith for them to get the hours of work done hoping for the best! So I give it my best every time to live up to their expectations!
The illuminated text pages in the Book of Kells frequently featured one magnificently complex letter beginning a Bible passage. This is the letter E at the start of one such page. It features the head of a lion and three snakes, as well as a full body of a lioness, Celtic knot work, and Pictish key patterns. The central letter in this sleeve is available for purchase and download HERE.