Wednesday, 18 January 2012


It's a year of anniversaries. One that has passed is the 600th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc. inspired by the recent examples by Donato Giancola and by Michael C Hayes, I thought I'd attempt a painting of la Pucelle, and have made a start. Already it promises to be more successful than my earlier take on the subject, at least in terms of dynamism...

I started off thinking, in this instance, about taking liberties, and giving her feminized armour, but decided against that in the end, given the likelihood that she wouldn't have had armour shaped to her form. This is how it started off...

I shall probably give her a halo, not that I generally tend to rate the saintly credentials of people who fight wars against my compatriots, but I think it might work with the design. Everything is in black and white oil paint so far, as it enables me to sort out the values without worrying about colour. I haven't entirely decided on colour, truth to tell, being still undecided between a vivid red and a muted bluish grey background. I was going to add soldiers, too, but I may limit it to shadowy suggestions in order not to take attention away from the main fighure, which I wish to be iconic.

Other anniversaries this year, by the way, include the centenary of the death of Bram Stoker (April 20), so something based on Dracula may be in order, and of the sinking of the Titanic (15 April), which might also merit a commemorative painting, given that I'd planned a nautical series anyway.

It is also 200 years since the birth of Pugin (1 March), so some architectural gothic revival revival might be in order.

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