Considering the colour scheme I think I’ll keep it quite simple. I want to reference the colours in the original manuscripts so I’ll use a blue, red, yellow and probably a green but I’ll try to keep to the same one of each of these throughout the book. I’ll also use white and the earth colours as these have been in common usage for centuries. But although we often think of manuscripts books as having dark mottled crinkled pages I want to avoid the look of deliberately aged ‘tea stained’ papers.
The scale needs to be handleable. Referencing handheld devices means the book itself needs to have small scale dimensions. The mock up was 7 x 7 cm simply because I could get 3 pages out of each page of hardback book. But it did mean that in practical terms it was stable with three lines of stitching and I could do the centre line without the need for a curved needle.I’m going to keep these dimensions. They feel right in the hand
I’ve been trying out torn edges verses cut edges. The problem with torn edges is each small page has to be painted separately to avoid white tear marks and the paint can get underneath and mark the reverse side. Whereas if I cut the edges I can paint 3 pages at a time on taped down sheets of paper and cut them out when both sides are finished. It just takes a bit of planning. Fortunately when I put several torn pages together I decided that rather than giving a tactile element to the book it just looked messy in comparison to the cleaner cut edges of the other papers which means foe once the easier route is the better one.
Having decided to use acrylic paint I have been exploring different types of paper. Partly because the art shop in town has closed down and I haven’t enough of any one type to do all the pages. Before I go down the mail order route I want to be sure I’m getting the right stuff. I’ve been vacillating between cartridge paper and 300 gsm watercolour paper and I’ve made sample after sample.
The cartridge stays folded better but I like the more tactile paint effects I can get with the slightly textured watercolour paper. Having finally put a set of each of them together with samples of the cover boards I have made two decisions. The first is that the book needs the heavier feel of the watercolour paper to balance the thickness of the covers, and the second is that I need about 50 % more pages to each section. I’m now looking at producing 120 pages (120 double spreads and 240 singles).