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Painting Heraldry

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by Jonthan mcmeekin, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Jonthan mcmeekin Active Member

    Good morning from snowy Cumbria.
    I am hoping to do a bit of heraldry on this bust. I will admit to having no luck at all with this process in the past. Any help for a total beginner would be greatly appreciated. Nothing to difficult by the way, just something to give the impression I'm not totally shyte ;)
    Cheers and keep painting.
  2. Blind Pew A Fixture

    One thing that is for sure - there is no quick route or shortcut.

    I may have, somewhere an old SBS on the subject. One thing, practice first on something that is not the piece itself , but as close as you can get. Make your mistakes (because you will make 'em!) on that.

    Mark out your design with lots of care and diligence. Extra time spent on this phase will repay you in the next.

    Look upon as being time consuming as opposed to being difficult. Keep mistakes to a minimum by all means, but let yourself off the hook and accept you will make them; it will help you realx it bit more. This is what holds most people back. You can correct 19/20 mistakes anyway.

    Enjoy and do let us know how you get on.
    patmaquette and DaddyO like this.
  3. Warren SMITH PlanetFigure Supporter

    Good luck... but Andrea do a set of transfers of Heraldry.. depending on what you want to put on him.. They may help.

  4. Jonthan mcmeekin Active Member

    Cheers both! Transfers uh? Since I rarely do heraldry that may be the best option. Any reference on them and where to get them?
    Many thanks fellas.
  5. arj A Fixture

  6. Jonthan mcmeekin Active Member

  7. Warren SMITH PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hi, Ive just had a look of the Historex agents web site, they have them under the Andrea range for 5.25 ( Pounds ) if thats any help..

  8. Jonthan mcmeekin Active Member

  9. Nap Forum Moderator


    I believe that there is also photo etch available as well on Historex site

  10. Alex Well-Known Member

    Are you using oil or acrylic paint ?
    the technique is a little bit different.
    Faster to do with acrylic paint imho.
    Nap likes this.
  11. Nap Forum Moderator


    As far as I know Jonathan uses oils ..if I was using Acrylics I would draw out using paint plus blending medium to allow working then block in and detail

    patmaquette likes this.
  12. DaddyO A Fixture

    Hi Johnathon from snowy Dorset

    I've got a couple of knights in progress at the moment and I'm using the same technique that I use for shields I've painted in the past (I love ancients) I draw the design on thin paper first to get the size and proportion correct. Then I rub some pastel chalk on the back of the paper and holding it in position transfer it to the surface without worrying about the details. The thin paper means you can follow the folds of the clothes and keep the proportions correct. Blow off the excess pastel and you should have enough left in position to give you a guide. Paint in very thin paint (I like grey white or burnt umber depending on the surface colour) Once this is dry you can wipe any remaining pastel off with a damp cotton pad. Next flesh out to give the overall shape and leave it alone for a while. When you look at it again you may see something obvious that needs correcting which is much easier at this stage. If you don't spot anything turn it upside down or look at it reflected in a mirror - bet you spot something then ;)
    Once you're sure it is in the correct position and the right shape it just takes patience as BP says. You'll always need a bit of correction once the device is painted so don't sweat it too much. One signwriting trick (from my day job) is to make sure the corners are nice and sharp which gives an impression of crispness to the whole design.
    I use acrylics these days and they are ideal for this kind of work. I've had a rummage through the photos I've got and cropped a couple to give you the idea of what I mean (These are 54 mm)

    Take your time and have fun. Post your photo's as you go along and I'm sure folks will chip in to help, Really it's just a question of taking a deep breath and diving in (y)
    Shield.jpg Shield 2.jpg
    patmaquette, John Bowery and Nap like this.
  13. Jonthan mcmeekin Active Member

    Cracking advise Paula and all others. That should get me sorted for the first try or two.
    Many thanks to all and have a great weekend... stay warm if you're dealing with the white shyte!

    Nap likes this.
  14. pkessling Member

    Good advice from Paul. Find the heraldry symbol you are going to use, size using a copier or printer. Rub the back with a pencil. Tape into position and lightly trace the pattern on. I paintedin oils because it was easier to clean up and refine the edges for me. Paint the base color and go from there.
    The other option is to paint over a transfer, if you can find one that is the right scale.
    My suggestion is to start with a relatively simple coat of arms: i.e. a lion.
    I did an old MM article on a large scale bust of Sir Roger ? Red and blue surcoat with a white lion.
    John Bowery, arj and Nap like this.
  15. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    For geometric heraldic shapes, like stars or circles, I've used Letraset rub-down transfers to create the design using reverse masking. Worked well but don't know if you can still get Letraset anymore. Computer graphics may have done for them. The best article on the subject that I've seen is a section in Danilo Cartacci's book "Figure Painting": good demo of his free-hand techniques.

    PS: it looks like Letraset does still exist, it's part of the Winsor and Newton group.
    Nap likes this.
  16. arj A Fixture

    You can find this article on the Timelines website:-

    Paul Kernan likes this.
  17. Paulo Well-Known Member


    Hello, not the same period but I believe you can learn something about "how to do" free hand drawing - This article was made by miself.
    Don´t be afraid learn with your mistakes .


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