Monday, 9 May 2011

Theo's Shield

"Come back with it, or on it" was what a Spartan women would say to her husband as he carried off his large Apsis (or shield) to war. She, of course, meant that if he returned without it, he would be accused of having dropped his prize shield in order to run away, which was the height of dishonor.

My reenactment pal Theo (or Theo of Koronta, to give him his full title), wanted his new shield painting and I stepped up to the task. He asked for a depiction of the river god Achelous, a native of his homeland, to feature in the design. We spent a while refining the scheme, which evolved from a stark monochrome graphic to a more polychrome illustration. Once Theo was happy, I set to work and used a projector to transfer the image to the piece. I then used acrylics to paint the scheme, which worked admirably (although some of the tones had rather poor coverage). I was worried about the border, fearing that the real-life un-evenness of the shield's shape might lead to the spacing of the wave patterns going awry. Thankfully putting in the compass points as key markers allowed me to space the elements pretty well.

I am quite pleased with the outcome and it was nice to see the shield "in the wild" last weekend (the topic of a forthcoming blog post). Let's just hope Theo does not drop it!

The progression of the designs, done in Illustrator 
The various stages of painting. It was tricky to build up the depth of colour with the blue.

The final shield, which I think resembles the chosen sketch very closely.

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