I would like to dedicate my PhD thesis for the dear ones who unconditionally supported to see me through to the other side.

I intend to do the honours through the ancient keralite tradition of scribing on a Thaliyola with a Narayam. This practice is roughly equivalent to the western tradition of messengers in olden-day courts delivering announcements/invitations in a vellum parchment with the content scribed with a feather quill.

The only image I could find was from Wikimedia commons,thaliyola

by Musafir, Sreejithk2000, 8 Jan 2008. Licensed CC-BY-SA.

I would like to typeset something using Tikz or native latex for the parchment background (and obviously the text that will be scribed on) using xetex or luatex since overlaying text on this image seems suboptimal.

As a first thought, it sounds like the I could use a Tikz node with jagged edges (given in the tutorial sections of the tikz manual), some shadowing and use a wooden texture filling, but there could be some better alternatives out there for this naive thinking. For the Narayam, I might simply have to drop it, since it is a real-world solid rather than some typographically amenable shape.

May I seek help from the community towards achieving this? I am looking for some creative suggestions something along the lines of the answers to the Cthulhu worshipping mad-man question.

What I specifically need help with

  1. One could borrow and adapt the parchment idea (though I am not clear how) from the Cthulhu question. What I want to know is how to obtain the randomness associated with the jagged orientation due to the uneven cuts/burrs (projections). The jagged shape given in Tikz manual's tutorial section titled tutorial 5:Diagrams as simple graphs (page 66) seems like a good starting point, but the randomness seems rather methodic, rather than something that could be passed of as cut & dried palm leaves. Also notice the dent in the bottom leaf. In this context, as a distant connection, one is reminded of David Carlisle's typewriter package wherein the grayness, angles and everything are pseudo-randomly assigned to monospaced characters and is a work of beauty. I wonder if some ideas can be extended to this case, maybe programmed through a lua backend.
  2. The bruises and scratches in the wood grain, especially the dark wood of the upper leaf. The tikz manual's patterns section (page 666) does not have a wooden texture options (and mostly consists of regular stuff like checkerboard, stripes etc.).
  3. How to punch a jagged hole and connect the two leaves with a white thread?

The Chulthu question provides only a basic parchment background (with uniform edges) and does not provide clues to these specific questions.

  • You should ask this on graphics design SE and if they answer, ask here how to draw it. I don't expect a lot of people here to be familiar with such concepts. Also the linked question is a typography question. You are asking for a complete design which is unfortunately off topic here.
    – percusse
    Jul 17, 2018 at 11:30
  • @percusse I am not convinced that it is off-topic. We know pretty much what we need to draw. I cannot see how this question is different. The coffee-stains thing invoked a lot of excitement and the Cthulhu thing was also enthusiastically accepted (though it didn't provide a description of the final product). There was even a question on enulating ink blots from a fountain pen. I am a bit disappointed with the discouragement. If you could critically comment on why this question should be treated differently, we could evaluate your reasons and consider moving the question to a sister site. Jul 17, 2018 at 11:35
  • Previous questions don't grant a pass for offtopic questions. Some questions have traction some don't. There is no objectivity or quantitative metric about what constitutes as valid or acceptable. If it doesn't fly off then it gets closed otherwise becomes a popular one. But that doesn't change the fact that they are all off topic. Again, what I am saying is that you have an exceedingly specific request that requires a design. You are not asking how to draw funny apples etc.
    – percusse
    Jul 17, 2018 at 11:42
  • The parchment part is already covered by Ctulhu. What else do you need for this ?
    – percusse
    Jul 17, 2018 at 11:44
  • @percusse the last comment is a valid point. I shall update the question on what I think will be difficult. I really didn't want to invest time (because thesis content obviously can use more polish) before gauging the opinion of experts here (if this is even possible). Jul 17, 2018 at 11:46


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