Tuesday, 26 December 2017

CLAS Heraldic Arts course

I recently completed the CLAS certificate in skills course on Heraldry for Calligraphers. Our tutor was Tim Noad one of the heraldic artists who work at the College of Arms in London who also happens to be a member of Oxford Scribes and a fellow of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society in England.

two studies of crowns

and of mantling...

One of the requirements of the course is to produce a major piece of finished work. I decided to do something based on one of the Queen's Beasts from her coronation - that of the Beaufort Yale. I was delighted that the US publication Bound and Lettered asked to publish an article based on this work. This is the wording used in my final piece:

The Beaufort Yale

one of the Queen’s Beasts

The Yale had many medieval forms but all agreed on its ability to swivel its horns as an effective means of defence.

It first appeared in heraldry as a supporter of the arms of John, Duke of Bedford, son of Henry IV who died in 1435. His Yale was black with long straight horns and the grace of a gazelle.

The earldom was revived a few years later and conferred on Sir John Beaufort a grandson of John of Gaunt and was passed to Margaret, Henry VII’s mother. The Beaufort Yale is of heavier appearance, more like a goat but with horns, tusks and the tail of a lion. It is white with gold spots known as bezants.

He carries the arms of Lady Margaret Beaufort and holds the shield with portcullis and arched royal crown, used by Henry VII and now by Somerset Herald.

as usual the first stage is the lettering - here I have ruled up and traced down my design on stretched vellum. This is an old piece of vellum bought at SSI Lay Members Day and it is nicely aged and a natural colour.

stage two - add the coloured lettering...

next apply gesso and gold leaf

my work station! using quite detailed roughs for reference

the shell gold has been added but not burnished yet...

adding the areas of blue,

and red,

and the greens for the mound.

masking the around the area I was painting.

the finished work as submittted for assessment.

After feedback from Tim I changed the tassels on the ropes to make them bigger and worked a bit more on the shading on the Yale.

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