Illumination

(Revised May 2004)

This category is for text pages and full-page miniatures adorned with gilded or colored illustrations, including SCA scrolls. Book illustrations (for example, pages from herbals or medical illustrations) may also be entered in the Drawing category. Calligraphy need not be completed and will not be judged, but judges will consider the compatibility of style chosen and layout of the text area, in relation to the illumination. Entrant must note source of the text, but need not discuss the content except as it directly relates to the illumination. For full-page miniatures with no text, the entrant must specify what text or subject matter the page would accompany. For purposes of competition, SCA awards or documents will be considered period texts.

Illumination; Novice

Documentation

0-8 points Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. For Novice level, a 3x5 card is the minimum required, but more is encouraged. Any discussion beyond listing of the criteria below, on period practice, any conscious compromises or research is encouraged and should receive higher points than simply listing the information. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description of the entry, including the following: time period and place of origin; style attempted and the style’s characteristics.
  • Lists materials, tools, and techniques used.
  • Lists colors and layout; rationale for entry’s design.
  • Research and reference: cites at least one source and one visual or descriptive reference, or two of either.

Authenticity

0-8 points Judge this at the Novice level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—composition, color, shading, and blending follow period examples.
  • Materials used—pigments, gilding, inks, brushes, media (paper, parchment, wood, etc.).
  • Design/style— motifs and style of rendering follow period examples.

Complexity

1-5 points Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—size, amount of detail (remember that all sizes are difficult—large scale exaggerates minor flaws and small scale makes detail work more difficult).
  • Difficulty/variety of materials used (type of paint, tools, gilding, etc.).
  • Difficulty and variety of techniques used (gilding or gold leaf, color mixing, shading, etc.), appropriate to style.
  • Complexity of composition (layout, proportion, balance); difficulty and variety of design elements and motifs.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, based on the following:

  • Draftsmanship and quality of rendering are appropriate to period aesthetics and style; shows surety of line.
  • Control of media; brush and pen handling; quality of special techniques; execution and finishing.
  • Design, composition, color, and style follow period examples.
  • Form/Function—does it look as it should look and would it work for its intended purpose?
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Illumination; Intermediate

Documentation

0-8 points Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Intermediate level documentation should have at least minimal discussion of the components involved. More in-depth discussion or period practices or conscious compromises is encouraged and should receive higher points. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and some discussion of the entry, including the following: time period and place of origin; style attempted and the style’s characteristics.
  • Some discussion of materials, tools, and techniques.
  • Some discussion of color and layout; rationale for entry’s design, including personal interpretation of period style.
  • Research and reference: cites more than one source and one visual or descriptive reference, includes a reference sheet (bibliography) or cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points Judge this at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare). Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—composition, color, shading, and blending follow period examples.
  • Materials used—pigments, gilding, inks, brushes, media (paper, parchment, wood, etc.).
  • Design/style— motifs and style of rendering follow period examples.

Complexity

1-5 points Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—size, amount of detail (remember that all sizes are difficult—large scale exaggerates minor flaws and small scale makes detail work more difficult).
  • Difficulty/variety of materials used (type of paint, tools, gilding, etc.).
  • Difficulty and variety of techniques used (gilding or gold leaf, color mixing, shading, etc.), appropriate to style.
  • Complexity of composition (layout, proportion, balance); difficulty and variety of design elements and motifs.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, based on the following:

  • Draftsmanship and quality of rendering are appropriate to period aesthetics and style; shows surety of line.
  • Control of media; brush and pen handling; quality of special techniques; execution and finishing.
  • Design, composition, color, and style follow period examples.
  • Form/Function—does it look as it should look and would it work for its intended purpose?
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Illumination; Advanced

Documentation

0-8 points Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Advanced level documentation should have a thorough discussion of the components of the item, explains the rationale behind methods, materials, skills and tools, provides illustrations (if available), references and notes, as well as any original research or experimentation. Any conscious compromises should be explained. A summary page is helpful if the documentation is exceptionally in-depth, and more detailed work can also be put in appendices. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and discussion of the entry, including the following: time period and place of origin; style attempted and the style’s characteristics.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of materials, tools, and techniques.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of color and layout; rationale for entry’s design, including personal interpretation of period style.
  • Research and reference: very complete sources and visual or descriptive references, includes a bibliography and cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points Judge this at the Advanced level, keeping in mind any deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents (reasonable substitutions for elements that are too toxic, too expensive or too rare) must be plausible and explained. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item (except those items that are unsafe) will score best.

  • Form/function—is it a period item and does it work in a period way (apparent knowledge or application of period practice).
  • Methods of creation—composition, color, shading, and blending follow period examples.
  • Materials used—pigments, gilding, inks, brushes, media (paper, parchment, wood, etc.).
  • Design/style— motifs and style of rendering follow period examples.

Complexity

1-5 points Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—size, amount of detail (remember that all sizes are difficult—large scale exaggerates minor flaws and small scale makes detail work more difficult).
  • Difficulty/variety of materials used (type of paint, tools, gilding, etc.).
  • Difficulty and variety of techniques used (gilding or gold leaf, color mixing, shading, etc.), appropriate to style.
  • Complexity of composition (layout, proportion, balance); difficulty and variety of design elements and motifs.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, based on the following:

  • Draftsmanship and quality of rendering are appropriate to period aesthetics and style; shows surety of line.
  • Control of media; brush and pen handling; quality of special techniques; execution and finishing.
  • Design, composition, color, and style follow period examples.
  • Form/Function—does it look as it should look and would it work for its intended purpose?
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.