Thursday, 27 August 2009

Ecranche shield



As a gift for a client I have decorated an ecranche shield in theory for parading around, however there is the possibility that he may well try to use it, his call I guess.

Specification:

Plywood shield, client supplied
Linen canvas covering - client supplied
Gesso - whiting and gelatine size.
Silver leaf
Synthetic vermillion
Synthetic lead tin yellow

The client's emblem is a a crescent argent on a red (gules) background.

His motto "los en Croissant" I do not know what that means yet, but will find out soon I expect.

The crescent is raised gesso, ie layers of gesso applied in the rough shape then scraped back to the requisite profile. I will try another method where I lay on a thicker paste like gesso then sculpt it to see if there is any difference in strength, I will also use gesso grosso - plaster of paris with size, this gives a much stronger gesso, but has a short shelf life when wet as it sets, normal gesso (sottile in cenninni's world) can be kept wet using a bain marie.

I then laid bole upon the crescent, this is a red clay foundation often used under metal leaf, this allows for breaks in the leaf, faults, to be less visible, ie less contrast between the gold and the uncoloured ground, the red is more sympathetic with gold, but it does work with silver.

The area was burnished then I had to plan the layout for his motto.

As a burnished metal is quite smooth it needs a medium that will not run off the surface and Cenninni recommends using egg yolk as the binder, this not only lays on well, but is very tough when eventually chemically dry. I have tried gum arabic in the past but even if thick enough it will crack off, I have some egg laid in modelling on some gold from many years back and it is as tough as old boots.

After the text I added the figuring over the red, this was done a lot, I suspect it made a flat painted surface a bit more interesting closer up and at a distance did not interfere with the overall background colour.

First image is the silver and red background, the second is the figuring.




4 comments:

Gina-B said...

beautiful work!

StrawberryKaren said...

According to this page the motto is "translated as 'Praise to Increase' or more loosely 'Hail to Progress.'"

medievalpaint said...

Thanks Karen, so a play on words it seems ;-)

Jenn said...

The motto is actually that of the historical (translate ORIGINAL) Order of the Crescent founded by René d'Anjou.