Wednesday, February 09, 2011


8 x 8 inches
India ink and watercolor on 90lb hot press paper

So this week's theme was "Reverse", and I thought, "Why not do an illustrated text in reverse, like Leonardo da Vinci?" Very clever, right?  Well, I overlooked something rather important. Leonardo was left-handed, and I, alas, am not.  Now I know WHY he wrote backwards: not to keep his information secret, as some have presumed, but simply to keep the ink from smudging. He used a dip pen, you see, not a modern ballpoint. It took several awkward attempts to get the technique down, and the end result wasn't pretty.  No wonder Leo gave up on writing his personal notes left-to-right like everyone else.  He wasn't being odd; just practical.

I read in a scientific study that only one in 6,000 people can easily read and write in reverse from the lettering system they grew up with, which made me feel somewhat special -- but this still doesn't change the fact that I now have ink all over the place...


art is jokken said...

I like it. Not only your Quercus leaf but also your text. I did not know this explanation why he wrote backwards. Indeed, it sounds very likely. BTW, your pencil drawings are very nice!

Cinzia said...

nice illustration y beautiful way to write!!

Jose Giammarino said...

Looks great and I'm sure this will come in handy if you're ever captured by pirates and forced to write left handed with a dip pen for them :D

Romina said...

This is beautiful!!

I actually write reverse too on my sketchbook!Except your hand writting is much nicer :D
The only reason i do it is because sometimes I write personal Thoughts and don't like for people to read it when they are flipping trough my sketchbook :p

By the way love your blog :)