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

Christian, son of Maelgwyn de Lyonesse73 viewsMy friend Mistress Aldith Angharad St. George and I had once talked about doing some miniatures in the full Elizabethan style. I happened to repeat this to our fellow Laurel, Viscount Sir Maelgwyn de Lyonesse, and he pounced -- he'd always wanted to have a miniature portrait of his son Christian, done like the Hans Holbein painting of Edward VI as a child, which he could then frame using his jeweler's art. This portrait is gouache, aluminum and 22-karat gold leaf on vellum, glued to 3-ply Bristol paper.Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Inspiration and the Subject55 viewsMaelgwyn sent me several photos of his boy, asking that Christian be shown with a bit of a smile like Edward in the painting, but not grinning. Also use a cool dark red instead of scarlet red, as he prefers dark red. That seemed pretty straightforward.
Tatiana Nikolaevna
The First Preliminary Sketch57 views2013-05-13. The body was easy enough, that was directly traced from a downloaded copy of the original painting. All I really needed to freehand was the face. After studying Christian's photos, combined several views of his face for the proper expression, and sketched it out on tracing paper in the appropriate size. This was scanned and sent off to Maelgwyn for commentary.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Second Layout Sketch54 views2013-05-22. Maelgwyn decided he didn't like the hat in the Holbein, and asked for something more like the contemporaneous one of Francois II. Also add a pendant necklace with a sapphire, and put his Arms (Maelgwyn's) in the upper corner. And lose the rattle! Okay, I can do that. Did he want the script box to appear at the bottom, and what would he like in it? He didn't want it, so that was dropped and the entire picture reduced by half an inch. He liked the new sketch, so it was time to get to work.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Working On The Face66 views2013-07-09. Traced the sketch onto a nice thin piece of vellum, which in turn was glued to 3-ply Bristol paper. Used an extremely useful book, Color Mixing Recipes For Portraits, by William F. Powell to mix up the skin and hair colors. Painting blond people is a real pain but the book took the guesswork out of it. Although the recipes in the book are meant for oil paints, they worked just as well for gouache. Tatiana Nikolaevna
Starting the Brocade57 views2013-08-01. After a bit more work on the eyes, decided I had to figure out what to put on the hat. After some study, dropped the idea of duplicating Henry VIII's hat and went with a simple single ouch, or brooch. Applied size and laid down the aluminum & gold leaf on the heraldic achievement, hat brooch, and necklace, then started on the brocade. The base coat was Yellow Ochre with a bit of Permanent White to lighten it. Tatiana Nikolaevna
Helms and Sleeves61 views2013-08-02. Painted the helm and viscountal coronet (see Brocc's Viscounty for details, it's the same helm) and got all the white areas laid down. The white linen was shaded with the addition of Payne's Grey. Additional white was added to the Yellow Ochre and highlighted areas were painted onto the sleeve, piping, and collar gold braid. To give the brocade texture, it had to be painted in thin lines approximating the weave of the fabric. Yargh -- it was Obadiah's chain mail all over again!Tatiana Nikolaevna
Close-up of Brocade Sleeve61 views2013-08-02. A close-up of the sleeve underway, next to the Holbein original. Here the lighter areas are roughed in and I'm just starting to work in the shadowed areas. This was done free-hand. Maelgwyn had asked that a darker red be used in his Arms and in the doublet as he didn't like the lighter scarlet red, so a little test area was painted in on the left, just to see what it would do next to the yellow ochre. The cooler color dulled it down, but I intended to paint warmer gold highlights in later.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Looking Better55 views2013-08-03. The darkest tones have been applied to the right sleeve, the piping, and the collar braid. Things were starting to look a little better. Amazing how the depth and shape of the piping was already making the doublet look three-dimensional.
Tatiana Nikolaevna
Contrast Check68 views2013-08-03. Time to check against the original again to see how the contrast it shaping up. Are the highlights light enough, and the shadows dark enough? It was looking very good, although perhaps it might need to go darker in the most shadowed areas. Wait on that until the surrounding color is painted in, though. The darkest color was Yellow Ochre mixed with Brilliant Violet (yellow and purple are complimentary colors -- to darken a color, add its compliment).Tatiana Nikolaevna
Sleeve Everything To Me!64 views2013-08-03. The left sleeve has been done, the same way as the right sleeve. Another check of the Holbein and I took some of the flesh tone from the palette and brushed it onto the linen coif and onto the chemise in places. Skin tone was being reflected onto the white and this livened it up. Eventually there'd be a bit of red reflected on the coif from the hat, as well.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Tarting Up The Fabric69 views2013-08-04. Holbein used shell gold to put highlights onto the gold brocade and fabrics in his miniatures, so I did the same. Except I used powdered gold mica, which is a) much cheaper, and b) a lot easier to work with. It gives beautiful reflective highlights although it's hard to see in this photo. And it did "warm" up the brocade a little, but not as much as I'd hoped.Tatiana Nikolaevna
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