Friday, September 10, 2010

Psalm 21: Failure and Success

As I sat in the back of the chapel, prior to our Christmas Eve service, I had the pleasure to listen to the beautiful vocalist that would sing that night (Abby Crane, she is awesome!). She was practicing and warming up her vocal chords with, uh, unusual sounds that singers make before singing. And I thought of Psalm 21:

"The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!"

Which of course led me to start sketching out my idea for the image to use. After a few trials and errors, this is the final image:

Now I was off to the races! Next was to use the really cool graphics I had designed for the decorative initial and illumination. But I just wasn't "feeling" it. You can be the judge this time! I am posting my FAIL, and then what I consider, my SUCCESS (well God's actually, it is all His). Here is the first attempt at the decorative initial:

and the first illumination attempt:

And of course, the complete image:

But, as I said, I just wasn't feeling it, something was not right. Or better yet, I didn't like it. I did not feel like it was up to the standards I had set prior to starting this project. I did not want to create anything I was not proud of and was to the full extent of what I could do. And I knew I could do better.

So, following is round 2, starting off with the revised decorative initial:

And the illumination:

And of course the final image:

Feel free to leave your comments!

Now I need to get back to printing and illuminating, Psalm 22 and Psalm 23 are waiting to be printed and Psalm 24 needs to be carved yet.


  1. Hello Dan :)
    I do like going more into commenting than a regular like/omg/dislike/oh no, so in this case i think i will add some notes.
    The Lino image is a bit cluttered in the center/low center. Not enough greys to help define depth visually. The piano keys look amazing but not helpful enough with the projection of levels.
    Maybe and being bold enough i would have gone more into a "silver" range of colors with the illumination part.
    Overall it looks like something new from you and i like the new composition format.

  2. Thank-you Dan!! What a beautiful job! I'm amazed. It looks beautiful in my office, and my students are amazed that you carved all that detail. Truly amazing.

    Sometime, could you tell me about the significance of the different details? I would love to be able to explain it more to them. What a great testimony!



  3. The composition looks fine to me - my only question would be why the black spot under the piano key on the right? Is it a broken key? Your choice of the more simple capital was a wise decision!

  4. Thank you folks! Anonymous..I have thought of using more "silver", but can't find any manuscripts that used it, seems like they all used mainly gold. Abby...Thank you and some day when I understand all the details I promise to explain. Sharri...the black "square" in the piano key is more like a shadow in a hollow key I suppose, or I meant it to look like the key was hollow.