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

Master Duncan Saxthorpe and Baroness Camilla von Cuxhaven's 25th Wedding Anniversary60 viewsIn 2008 my husband and I received an invitation from our friends, Duncan and Camilla, to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. I thought it would be nice to give them a commemoration of the occasion, and was itching to do a heraldic presentation for them. I also had a pristine 5.5 x 7.5 inch piece of wonderfully prepared vellum purchased in London 3 months earlier that was just crying out for some paint. How fortunate for them!Tatiana Nikolaevna
Quartered Arms Layout57 views2008-06-06. I'd always wanted to do something involving the marshalling of Arms; that is, combining two distinct coats of arms into a single heraldic composition. This can be done by dimidiation (showing half of each set of arms), by impalement (showing the entire arms, side-by-side), or quartering. Neither dimidiation nor impalement would work well with Duncan & Camilla's Arms, so the layout would be quartering.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Crests and Shiny Bits57 views2008-07-07. I found a beautiful example of quartered Arms with two crests in Boutelle's Heraldry. Both of my friends were Pelicans; Duncan was also a Laurel and Camilla was a court Baroness. So a laurel wreath instead of a torse for Duncan, a baronial coronet for Camilla, and each had a pelican in her piety for the crest. Instead of a motto, the scrolling below would feature their names and the occasion -- names in gold, the years (appropriately) in silver (actually aluminum leaf, as it won't tarnish).Tatiana Nikolaevna
Where's The Blood?58 views2008-07-07. When cutting up loose gold leaf with a surgical scalpel, do not run your thumb along the edge of it. Not even lightly. The pelicans weren't the only thing that was bleeding! Luckily the blood didn't fall on the vellum, as it probably would have stained it. Wow, blood certainly does look eerily like Alizarin Crimson. After a short pause to apply a bandage, the loose gold was brushed away and everything was burnished.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Color Composition And The Blues57 views2008-07-25. There was a problem with handling the Arms when both of them were using the same colors -- argent and azure. That was gonna be a teensy bit boring, especially when intertwining identical mantling from the two helms. To better differentiate things, decided to go with a lighter blue (Ultramarine Blue with some Permanent White added) for Camilla's Arms and use straight Ultramarine on Duncan's. Here the white areas have been painted and the blue on Camilla's Arms is drying.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Helms Underway56 views2008-08-03. Here Duncan's Arms have been finished with the darker shade of blue, and the base coat is down on the helms. This was Permanent White with some Payne's Gray. Payne's is a wonderful color for mixing cool grays; the touch of blue in it keeps the gray from going dead, which is what you get if you mix white+black alone together. Note that there is aluminum leaf on the "pearls" in the baronial coronet as well as on the years below.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Nearly There57 views2008-08-16. The darker areas on the helms have been painted in and white highlights added.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Half-way Done53 views2008-09-11. The left helm is completed. The very darkest shadows and reflections have been added, the darkest color being made by adding more Payne's Gray along with just a hint of Lamp Black and a smidge of Alizarin Crimson to the base gray. Alizarin Crimson is a cool red and having a little in there made things darker without having to add more black.Tatiana Nikolaevna
Something's Not Quite Right70 views2008-11-26. Here the crests and mantling have been done. The piece was looking good but the mantling just seemed too dull, even with the contrasting blue tones. It was all that light gray shading on the white parts of the mantling that was sucking the life out it. I backed off to think about it some more.Tatiana Nikolaevna
The Original Inspiration59 views2008-11-26. I went back and looked at the original inspiration in Boutell's and noted that there, not only had the lucky dog gotten to work with three primary colors, the artist had brightened up the white parts of the mantling with some strokes here and there of yellow. Aha!Tatiana Nikolaevna
Completed!72 views2008-11-26. I tried adding touches of Cadmium Yellow but found those to be too jarring and painted them over. Something a little more subdued seemed called for, and Yellow Ochre did the trick. Perfect! It had taken a total of 8 hours of work. The completed piece was carefully packaged up and mailed off to Duncan and Camilla (they had moved to another kingdom), who were so kind as to send me back a photograph of the piece, beautifully framed and hanging in their house. I love a happy ending!Tatiana Nikolaevna
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