Friday, August 26, 2016

Vigil Planning for Matthias - Part 4

On this post, I'll be focusing on the vigil book.  This was a tag team effort with the ever talented Anastasia our embroidery ninja, Thyra who did the calligraphy on the book, and myself.

If you haven't checked out Anastasia's blog entry on the book, it can be found here.

It was requested by Duke Edward (Matthias's knight) that the knightly lineage of his line be included in the vigil book.  Whomever did Edward's book, did a lovely job of illuminating and calligraphing the names and arms of the lineage (who were all Eastern Kings as well) and created a daunting piece of work to live up to.

With that looming, I began to sketch and layout the design...

First thing on this was Gryffith had a second reign.  That was one of the first things that would need to be updated in the new lineage layout. Secondly, Edward's arms would be added and the greyhound would need to be drawn with a ducal crown as a collar.

I do like that all of the animals are wearing their coronets (Gryff's coronet is like a super hat over both stags) and it was suggested that the unicorn on Matthias's arms could be drawn with a baronial coronet to match.  I decided against this from an aesthetic point of view , as well as I hadn't seen this done on other devices or if it was done it's not wide spread and I wanted to put the focus on the knightly chain and mantling of arms.  This was actually the first page I did, but the second in terms of location in the book. 

The first page was going to be more detailed since I was modeling it after Edward.  In his book, his arms were presented with a helm and mantling all encircled by a god knightly chain.  Take a cue from this, I set Matthias's up in a similar fashion.  I sketched out the general look (minus the device) and decided to change the helm from a front facing helm to a side facing one.  I would like to fool myself into thinking this was purely aesthetics, but I have a hard time with symmetry for audience facing pieces and will endlessly fiddle with it to look right (and I already was fiddling enough with the acanthus leaves).  I didn't have that kind of time and I really do like the profile styled helm.  I also decided to do the knightly chain as a necklace instead of encircling the entire device.  Side note, I had to repaint the chain.  I started doing it in silver because it looked better and then confirmed it needed to be gold.  Ah well. The progress pic below doesn't really show the screw up.

Looking pretty evil as is fitting for "the Evil Squire".

The rest was all unicorns and rainbows...I mean...comets.  Funny thing about comets.  Heraldic comets kinda look like a star-topped Christmas tree that fell over.  See below:

The Christmas tree is toppling over! And now you can't unsee it either.

There were many jokes and stories about cats climbing decorated trees that escalated into fits of giggles while I was working on this.  That led me to try to find something, anything, that wouldn't invoke giggle fits when I looked at the book.  I ended up finding a period or at least traceable art worthy selection that wasn't going to scream "Christmas is ruined!!!"

With the comet and unicorn drawn, they just needed paint. The acanthus leaves and helm got some paint as well.

Black outlining was added to make the chain pop and you can't even tell I started painting with the wrong metallic.  Highlighting was added to the acanthus leaves and a little bit to the helm. 

The final picture of the ancestry (with Thyra's calligraphy) is below.

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