I'm having trouble with this project because I naturally make things more complicated and what I really want is to make something simple and fairly quick.
As I haven't done one of these books I started by making a little mock-up of the different sections that would go into it. The size is basically determined by the large paper with the calilgraphy on it, because I want it in one long, uninterrupted strip. After I made this I realized there will be much less visible of the middle and back layers, so I'm going to make the details, well, less detail, and instead simple and broad so that they can be seen with ease.
This is how I'm working on the calligraphy. I don't want to put too many pencil marks on the paper, so I made a background with a whole bunch of angled lines to follow instead. The line I'm copying is just above. I spaced everything out with Photoshop (yup, took the easy way out on that one) so it would fit right.
And here's the first line. It's really hard to photograph this, and it doesn't really scan. There is much detail showing up on the photo, in the background, then is really there. But still, I think you get the idea. I like how it turned out. I didn't follow my layout very well and had to smoosh in the 'o's and last 's', but other than that it looks ok. I also looked at my little sketches after I started, and realized I didn't actually want all the lines unbroken, because some of them would have been cool with the the swirls on the actual line, rather than just around them. I guess we'll save that for the next lines.