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

Duke Sir Obadiah the Obstreperous, O.L., O.P.151 viewsWhen Earl Obadiah won October Crown, I turned to my friend Mistress Aldith Angharad St. George and said, "Dibs on his ducal scroll!" So here's the completed scroll, executed with gouache, ink, 22-karat patent gold leaf on 3-ply Bristol vellum paper measuring 18x24 inches, and which took 112 hours over 17 days.
Tatiana Nikolaevna
Obadiah Goes On Crusade89 viewsThere was a great photo of Ob wearing a Crusader helm and that inspired me to show him on crusade. I'd put him standing in front of some scene in the Holy Land, maybe with his Fellowship of the Argent Angel buddies. I was thinking a horizontal layout: scenes on the left and right, heraldry in the middle, or maybe a big panel running across the top with text and heraldic achievement below. Started looking at images for crusader knights and castles.Tatiana Nikolaevna
All Set!100 viewsAfter scavenging all through the History of the Kingdom of the West's web site for photos of Ob and the Angels, I came up with the base sketch for the scene. Obadiah came over to my place for an "art day" and I showed the sketch to him. He loved it! Except...he wanted another guy added so all of his squires who'd become knights were in there, and he really, really liked the Maciejowski Bible with big battle scenes that featured lots of cleaving and slaying.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Not So Fast...91 viewsWell, crap. The Maj. Bible has been done to death by people in the SCA and the cartoony flat style had no artistic appeal at all. But he's my friend and it's his scroll, not mine, so the man should get what he wants. Let's start with changing the scene to add another Argent Angel, then maybe I'll think of something. I hope...Tatiana Nikolaevna
Cleaving And Slaying There Shall Be71 viewsAfter two weeks of kicking around notions of telling Ob's SCA story in Maj. Bible style, this was discarded because I can't draw people out of my head. Copy photos and draw from life, sure, but I can't make up people very well so that wouldn't work. Ob proudly loaned me his huge reproduction book of the entire Maciejowski Bible and from that I traced and spliced together four scenes.
Tatiana Nikolaevna
Change To Vertical Format and Unifying The Themes80 views2013-03-30. Lots more research looking at photos, models, and paintings of Jerusalem, as well as guys wearing actual chain mail because Crusaders of that period seemed to be predominately in mail -- not much plate armor. The Maj. Bible scene would be at the bottom and the natural-style portrait scene at the top with the heraldic achievement and text in the middle, all framed in a Maj-style red/blue bar border. Tatiana Nikolaevna
Let's Learn A New Hand And Write a New Text89 views2013-04-01. The calligraphic hand in the Maj. Bible is Italian Rotunda (the text was added long after the pictures were done), which I would have to learn but it was in Paul Shaw's The Black Letter Primer, so no problem. Noticed that all of the text blocks started with the letter Q so to preserve the "look" came up with a text where every paragraph break began with Q -- except the adjuration at the end, where my ingenuity failed.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Rotunda All 'Round105 views2013-04-02. Rotunda practice went well; my hand loves black letter scripts. The text took three walk-throughs as I'd never done a text layout with a central gutter so it took some planning. This was made easier by just splitting words whenever one had to, rather than at syllable breaks. Also by varying word choices to take up more space or use less space in a line, which was a bit trickier. I'm not good enough nor care to practice hard enough to have an even right-hand side. It looked good to me!Tatiana Nikolaevna
Why Inking Is Done First74 views2013-04-03. While the ink was still out and before starting Ascelin's County (if I ran short of time I knew Ob would want her scroll finished first), the border needed to be inked. This went fast with a ruling pen, except I didn't put the steel ruler to the outside edge in one place and so naturally that's where the ruling pen slipped and now there was a lovely inky line I'd have to get rid of, and that's why I work on 3-ply paper. You can cut mistakes off by whittling away the top layer.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Ink Away84 views2013-04-04. After more studying of the Maciejowski Bible, I came to the reluctant conclusion that the entire battle scene would also have to be inked. That was going to be time-consuming, and so it was. Here's what it looked like four hours into the job.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Ink Some More81 views2013-04-04. And here's what it looked like after another three hours. My hand was tired after 7 hours of inking so I stopped for the day.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Enough Ink, Already!117 views2013-04-05. It took one more hour to finish the lower panel. Decided against inking the heraldic achievement -- I'd paint it first and then if it needed more oomph, it could be outlined with black paint. Brought out the surgical scalpel and carefully cut away the errant line and removed another big inky blob with judicious slicing and scraping, followed by light sanding, then burnishing. Gold leaf and paint would cover the other errors.Tatiana Nikolaevna
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