Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

Viscountess Ascelin Meere of Ravenslocke, OL, OP -- full size picture125 viewsWhen Obadiah the Obstreperous won the October Crown Tournament, I immediately approached him and asked if he needed someone to do his ducal scroll. Shoot, yeah! Did he think his lady would like me to do her county scroll as well? She was very much into period practice and perhaps my style of work wouldn't suit her? Nope, she had no objections. The finished piece took 71 hours over 11 days and measures 20x14 inches.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Idea In Search Of Recipient81 viewsI'd had an idea for ages about doing a Master of Mary of Burgundy-style scroll where the border would be "embroidered" -- this would be fun for somebody who's a needleworker. I didn't know Ascelin very well but knew she was a needleworker. When trotting this past Obadiah, he saw the Office for the Dead and mentioned that she liked that sort of "danse macabre" skull stuff and another friend said she liked Athena, ravens, and Italian Renaissance. Plenty there to work with.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Changing the Idea88 viewsProblem -- two scrolls, one deadline (May 4) and not much time. What have I gotten myself into? Once the next set of royalty was determined (at the end of March), there'd be 6 weeks to get both done. Obadiah wanted Maciejowski Bible style for his scroll, which meant a lot of work. I had to simplify Ascelin's so decided to go with a simple border, illuminated starting letter, and a full-on heraldic achievement instead.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Ascelin's Layout144 views2013-03-20. I worked up a layout, using a Greek key pattern for the border from Raphael, placed a bust of Athena into the starting capital letter of the text, and put the achievement opposite the block of text. Ascelin told me she liked griffins, so griffins were used as supporters (nicer looking than ravens!). Her colors were black and gold. Black and gold...and it so happened I had one last piece of black illustration board. Did I really want to go there again? But it would look so elegant...Tatiana Nikolaevna
Transferring the design77 views2013-03-21. The border was drawn up using a ruler and a lot of patience, then the rest of the design transferred from the tracing paper by scribbling on the back with colored pencil, then going over all the lines from the front with a sharp HB pencil. The border is lightly colored in with a yellow ochre pencil because my eyes kept getting confused by the geometric pattern and blocking it in kept things straight. It really helped later when painting it in, too.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Practicing Rotunda 73 views2013-03-24. The moment I found out who won the March Crown tournament, it was time to get started. Both Obadiah and Ascelin's scrolls were done in the late Italian Rotunda hand. Obadiah's was an earlier form but I cheated and used the same on both, as practice for one would mean practice for the other and there just wasn't much time to get fancy with the calligraphy. Which I hate doing anyway. A lot.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Testing The Paint For The Text68 views2013-03-24. After 5 days lettering & inking Obadiah's duchy, got out black paper and experimented with white paint. Anything colored on the black illustration board had to be under-painted white, for gold text it would have to be done twice. Tried a brush but discarded that after two words and went with watered-down paint in a dip pen. Permanent White pretty much covered up the black with one coat and if it was a little uneven, well -- that just added charm to it, right?Tatiana Nikolaevna
White, White, White is the Color Of Our Calligraphy67 views2013-04-10. Doing practice runs (ink on black) of the text and then lettering up the real McCoy took three days. This worked but the paint seemed to clog the pen more than ink so every 10 minutes or so had to thoroughly wash & clean the nib and begin again. Typically, made a spelling error in the blazon but not bad enough to ruin it so didn't try to fix it. The white text did look nice against the black but prior experience told me that the headache was just starting.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Overpainting the Text78 views2013-04-13. It was a 3-day headache, too. Had meant to use Brilliant Yellow as it's a close match to patent gold leaf (in case there was a lot of gilding, didn't want it to clash) but it was too transparent and anemic. Switched to Cadmium Yellow and it did the trick! Using a pen for the 2nd run didn't work, the nib scratched up the white paint and clogged even more, so had to use a brush to paint over the text; doing each full-length line took about 12-15 minutes. My hand hurt.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Starting the Border67 views2013-04-13. More white paint for the Greek key border. The contrast with the black background was hard on the eyes and I took pains to try to keep the edges neat and (mostly) true. But couldn't take too many pains over it as there was still the yellow topcoat to do and time was a-wasting. At least I didn't drop a big splotch of white paint onto it like I did while lettering out the text (into the unlettered portion where it was quickly washed off and disguised with text over it).Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Yellow Greek Road94 views2013-04-13. The yellow went down nicely on the border although it sure had a strong bumblebee look. I was glad I'd done Ascelin's name in red as it helped, even though I knew the look of the thing was going to change once the majescule in the text was done and the heraldic achievement completed -- one hoped. Original plan was to apply black paint to the border but decided to skip it in the interests of saving time.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Athena Makes A Cameo Appearance105 views2013-04-14. After looking at a lot of ancient cameos, painted in the bust of Athena. While the painting was done from a statuary bust, I checked cameos to see how the highlighting ought to look -- they were hard white highlights so the bust had to be done in brownish off-whites. The lighter areas of the onyx background were done with Payne's Gray; some actual Lamp Black was applied to the background in those areas which would be shadowed; the rest left unpainted.Tatiana Nikolaevna
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