Sunday, 15 March 2015

Lincoln College Benefactors book

This was the first of three heraldic projects completed in Autumn 2014 which I worked on simultaneously, trying to work the colours and gold in parallel on each piece. This was for a book and had to finished, on the same paper, before the book was bound. This led to several problems to find solutions to....

Firstly the paper was fairly thin, as it needs to be for a book, but not heavy enough to avoid cockling when using wet media such as gouache - as you can see in the photo below of the first practice design where the paper is bruised.

I wasn't sure whether it was heraldically correct to use the above shape - I wanted to make the central panel wider at the bottom to line up with the division between the curves along the bottom edge of the shield. 

In the end I opted for a more straightforward heater shaped shield.

To avoid the cockling of the paper I stretched a larger sheet, making sure the grain was going the correct way i.e. parallel with the spine. But after working on it, I found on removing it from the wooden board it was stretched on, that the back was stained by the wood. This wouldn't normally matter on work that is framed but in a book it would show.

I sought advice from around the world via Facebook and decided to pack out the stretched paper with extra sheets to stop the stain coming through. This proved successful in the end and I was very grateful to the binder for sending me yet more blank sheets of paper!

Finally it was time to start work on the actual design...Firstly the lettering, protected with a piece of layout paper, then shell gold applied (above) before burnishing

then the colours....

and lastly modelling and burnishing and outlining - sounds quick when you say it but those lions took ages and the harts had to be 'dansant'...

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