Completed in July 2013.
Tempera painting and ink on wooden panel. Based on 15th century panel paintings by Ghirlandaio.
- Painting inspiration: St. Barbara Crushing her Infidel Father, with a Kneeling Donor by Ghirlandaio, 1473
- Calligraphy inspiration: St. Catherine of Siena and St. Lawrence by Ghirlandaio, 1490-1498
Now we elevate Rowan of Hawkridge to our order of the opal/
Because she has done great acts and she has endured long hours of labor for Atlantia/
This is done by the will of Bryan and Brianna this twenty-second Septembrian day, AS 47.
This award is a backlog for the lady who 1) helped me build the giant triptych of doom and 2) singlehandedly wrangled the Windmaster’s Hill baronial encampment at Pennsic for several years. She was given this award last Pennsic (2012) for doing such a spiffing job of running the camp – there was much talk of her crushing the forest of weeds that came forth from the ditch, etc – so I sort of wanted to incorporate that into the painting. I started by looking for a panel painting where one of the main figures was holding a building – lots of religious church donors are seen offering up small miniature church buildings, etc. to various saints in a lot of period paintings – and ended up finding this one of St. Barbara holding the tower her father had trapped her in. I especially enjoyed the nonchalance of her pose as she crushes her dad underfoot, and I was amused at the concept of Rowan similarly vanquishing the shrubberies that plague the Windmaster’s encampment – and thus this design was born. I looked at other Ghiralandaio paintings until I found one with an inscription that would play well with the layout I wanted.
Process: I used the same process to paint this panel as I did with the giant triptych project of doom, which I detailed to the point of exhaustion. If you’re interested in how this panel was built, prepared, and painted, please have a gander at the triptych project documentation, which has lots of pretty pictures and a step-by-step summary of how both of these projects were completed.
Things I would Change:
Zombificiation! Shifty-eyes! Pin-up girl! Contrast and shadowing on the figure of Rowan herself is probably the number one thing I would like to improve on. The shading on her face and hands shifted into way too gray of a spectrum, and I would like them to be both warmer and deeper shadows so that she doesn’t look like an undead creeper. I have realized that I am far too timid when it comes to deep shadows on flesh. I really have trouble painting faces. Probably what I’ll end up doing will be to go back over the shadows on her face and hands with a darker flesh tone and try to deepen and de-corpsify the shading. But that has to wait until after Pennsic.
I also wish I could have less blatant brush strokes and more subtle color shifts, but I was working from a really grainy source picture and I am only now starting to get comfortable with cross hatching. So, working on that too.
Favorite part is the color of her cloak and her cute little tents. SO CUTE.