Monk Scroll


Sources & Creatorship – Seventh Lesson

For this lesson, I have been RESEARCHING and EXPERIMENTING with an interesting way to present the information I gathered about the stupas.


The first idea I got, was an animation of a young buddhist (kind of inspired by Aang the Avatar) talking about the Stupas while climbing one. The information included would be of the 8 pages in my book (lesson 5 & 6). I have never made an animation before, so this plan was a bit too ambitious in such a short time frame.

I could however turn this idea into a series of drawings and make it an informative brochure. But then it would be for children quicker, since that is the only way I could make it a story and not just purely informative. I want to adress a more mature group or people that are already familiar with either Stupas or Buddhism.

But then I got a third idea. What if the information self isn’t a story, but the way I present it. Buddhist and Monks used to write on old thick parchment rolled up, sometimes on 2 round wooden stick: a scroll.


If I can make a scroll, draw only with black ink, pencils and mild watercolour paints, and write in a cursive & old handwriting, I can make it look as if the scroll is from an old age. The story would be that it is an old Buddhistic scroll about the Stupas.

old paper


First Method:
I used Tea and Coffee to darken the paper and give it an old look. In the first picture, the left half is Tea, the right side is coffee and in the middle is the normal paper colour. I tore the paper on the lower side, to give it more of a old look. 
The second picture is a combination of Tea, Coffee and tearing of the sides, on an A3 piece of paper.

Second Method:
I first crumpled a piece of paper and then straightened it. I poured instant coffee on the paper and let that sit for about 10 minutes. Then I used a paper towel to get rid of the excess coffee. I put it in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius and checked every 1 minute to see if it is dry yet. The last step was to put it in a heavy book to straighten the paper more. 
In my first attempt I used both a lot of resolved and unresolved coffee. I liked the outcome, but the paper would be too dark for the information to be readable.
In my second attempt I used a lot of resolved coffee and only a little of the unresolved coffee. I let this one sit for about an hour. This resulted in a much more readable piece of paper, but I personally wanted it to be a little bit darker. 
For my last attempt I used a lot of unresolved coffee and only a little of resolved coffee. I let this one sit for almost 2 hours. It turned out as darker than my second attempt, but more readable than my first attempt.
On the last picture is from left to right : 2nd attempt, 3th attempt, 1st attempt.

From all my tests, I liked the 3th attempt of my second method the most. It looks in my opinion the most like old paper and teh information on it would still be readable.
This method however, I can only use on A4 paper, the rest begin to big to fit in the oven. So this method will not be suitable for this project (to contain all te information, the paper has to be a lot bitgger than an A4). So I will be using the first method for this project.


I first tested what handwriting style would be more ‘old looking’. For this I first had to learn how to write in cursive. Comparing my normal handwriting with the cursive handwriting, I find the cursive one to be more old looking.
Then I tested, in the cursive handwriting, if a ballpoint pen with black ink, or a fineliner with black ink, would look more old. I decided on the fineliner.
After I made these decisions, I tested the cursive handwriting in the fineliner, on th old paper.

colour medium

For the colours for the chakras I tried out 2 different mediums. On the first picture the left line is coloured pencil and the middle line is watcolour paint. From these 2 I liked the watercolour the most, because it looks somewhat like ink. The colours were too bright, so I added some gray to every colour and created the last row. 
I repeated this entire process on my old paper to see if it looks different. On this one I also like the last row the best.


I made a few sketches with all the information I want to put on this scroll.

test piece

To see how all of these elements would be together, I decided to try it out on a piece of A3 paper. I used the paper I had already made old and glued 2 round wooden sticks at the end of the paper. I drew the Stupa with Buddha on the paper. Then I painted the chakra’s with the watercolours I had mixed. I wrote the information about the chakras next to the chakras, in cursive and fineliner. 

The different elements work great together for making an old looking scroll.


I decided that I now had all the information and had done all the experiments I needed to do, to make this scroll. 

I started by taking a big piece of paper (about the size of an A0) fold it in half and glued it together. This way the paper would be thick like a piece of parchment. I tore the side of the paper and used the first method (tea and coffee) to make the paper look old.
I unfortunately haven’t gotten any further yet.

my reflection

The second method for making your paper look old is my favorite, but for paper bigger than A4 I have to use the first method.
Cursive handwriting with black fineliners looks the oldest.
Watercolour paint with a bit of gray is the best for the colours.
All together this gives me my desired outcome.


You found a lot of information and experimented wit how you can present this information. This way you stayed really close to the information instead of pulling it more towards yourself.
Your work with a lot of interest and curiosity towards your subjects.
Points of attention: work more out of an open perspective. You can link your work to current events.


I focused on finding a way to present information to the public. I conducted experiments to find out how I can make paper and the drawings on it look old.

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