2. Carolingian I

Background and History

This award blank was designed by Lord Owen Lloyd Hywel (formerly Nigyll y Baed Gwyllt, now Nicholas Bawcock). The calligraphy was done in the carolingian miniscule hand - a style of writing that is found in use from the 8th to 12th centuries, and common thoughout the Continent and England. Its popularity is commonly attributed to its widespread use in the court of Emperor Charlemagne, from whon the hand derives its name (after his Roman name Carolus).


Each character is simple, rounded and clear. Ascenders and descenders rise and fall a minum stroke's height above the minum. In addition, every word should be separate and distinguishable from its neighbours. The basic pen angle should be around 45 degrees, and the letters themselves should maintain alignment with the vertical.

An Osmiriod "Italic Broad" dip pen nib works well, but any similar pen width should be suitable. Test the pen out on a scrap of paper first if you are unsure. In this particular piece, the letters are penned within 4mm wide lines, spaced 4mm apart. Follow these dimensions precisely.


There is a limited amount of illumination in this particular blank. However, it does provide the scribe a good opportunity to experiment with the drape of fabric (on the figures). The painting here should be shaded light and dark to give the material depth and form. Your choice of colours is fairly extensive, but some restraint should be executed. I would recommend that you use predominantly red, green, blue and yellow. Some form of brown would also be helpful for the thrones, while metallic gold is also suitable for parts of the capital and the crown on the left figure.