Feb 212017
Pointillism Pen and Ink Coat of Arms

One of the first things I noticed about this project is that it has a brilliant background story behind it, this design was to be a gift from one friend to another, every element has its own unique meaning.

“So, I wanted this to be a coat of arms for a conqueror; for one who has been through the battles but has received new armour. The sword’s facing down represent victory, that the battle is over.”

This Pointillism Coat of Arms features three animals, two of which are known as supporters, the Stag and Lion these stand either side of the shield. The third is the Eagle, placed just above the helm, giving the design a great balance…

Custom illustration concept Stag and Lion Coat of Arms

With having more than the usual number of elements, the only concern I had was the size of the design we should go with. This was the most detailed Coat of Arms design I was about to make, so whilst working on the sketch, I thought I’d have a discussion with Alasdair about the design’s size and the overall look I should go for…

Pointillism Lion Coat of Arms

After much sharing I eventually decided to go with more of a traditional look for the design and chose not to have the elements in layers, understandably I would have saved more space on the design if I went with a layered structure but since I planned to make everything immensely detailed using the best pens for pointillism (ink fine liners), space would be the key! One of the things I like most about this option is that every element is fully visible.

Pointillism Style Eagle Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms Symbols

“There is an authority and confidence he carries that I hoped to be displayed with this piece. We are both Christians and our relationships with God are foremost.  When considering what imagery should be included, naturally, I went to the Bible. Isaiah 11 was a huge influence on this piece. He exercises wisdom and knowledge and seeks to understand. He loves justice and righteousness. He loves America and he walks in freedom and confidence hence the eagle. The key represents authority, knowing who you are is like a key that unlocks freedom.”

What I found really interesting bout this design was the Shield, instead of having the standard elements that you often see in traditional Coat of Arms, in its place is a beautiful background starry sky together with a blazing sunrise and mountains.

“I like to give gifts that are personal, thoughtful. What better than a Custom Coat of Arms? I thought it would be fun to make one completely specific to him with a lot of symbolism. For example, the name means “bringer of light or morning” so I thought it would be neat to have the sun chasing away the stars.”

Pointillism Stag Coat of Arms

What made the mantling in this design so special, besides the interesting line work… My customer decided as an alternative to the regular leafy stuff, she wanted me to add a mantling that would represent fire, another element with deep meaning.

“He is a baseball player, so I thought it only fitting to include his number. It was chosen because Biblically it represents redemption. He’s a very detail-oriented person and I wanted to create a piece the viewer would have to spend some time with.”

Pointillism Style Lion Coat of Arms

Pointillism Art

The style I used for this custom coat of arms design is known as pointillism or sometimes better known as stippling. This pen pointillism technique is visible in the feathers and furs of the animals also seen on the fiery mantling. The helm, however, is made of parallel lines. To make everything as detailed as possible, pointillism was used when approaching the lion and stag, the microscopic dots in some places almost look like dust and not something made with a tip of an ink fine liner.

Pointillism Style Eagle Full Colour Coat of Arms

Pen Pointillism Technique

Every section is crafted to be as detailed as possible. This is done by adding several layers of stippling pen and ink dots, starting with 0.3 ink fine liners for the base layer and continuing with 0.1, 0.05 and 0.03 tips size ink fine liners for the shadings and details. It’s difficult to decide which element is my favourite, in terms of details, I would have to go with the Stag, Lion, and Eagle, but then again, the helm and shield, I Just can’t seem to make my mind up.

“The shield is my favourite! His name means “bringer of light” or “morning” so I thought it would be neat to portray that by the sun radiating its light overtaking the night. His middle name means beacon hill and there is a scripture that says “You are the light of the world.” I thought a lighthouse would symbolise this well… 

Pointillism Style Full Colour Custom Coat of Arms

“In addition, lighthouses are often beaten by wind and waves yet stand tall through the storms and shine through the darkest night. They help others navigate and sometimes that means offering hope of coming into port after a rough time at sea. I thought this would best represent him. No matter what he’s been through or is going through, he is always quick to aid anyone in need.”

“I loved that he treated the design as if it were his own. It’s evident he cares about his work and the client’s desires.”

Pointillism Style Custom Coat of Arms

This was my first pointillism Coat of Arms made completely in ink and later coloured with colour pencils. I can only say great things about my customer, the conversations we had for that period of around a month were great, we openly discussed all the details, I was regularly sending updates consisting of work in progress photos or close-ups of the details. She had a complete understanding of how time-consuming pointillism can be and didn’t rush the process at any time. We are both thrilled with the results.

Pointillism Full Colour Custom Coat of Arms

“It was absolutely wonderful working with Bojan!! I had an initial idea that was detailed but very rough and he was able to polish it off perfectly.”

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