Thursday, June 7, 2018

Three Byzantine Figures 1973

These characters are from the era at the end of my college years when I was illustrating my own fiction. This is the one set in late imperial Rome, about the aristocratic runaway teen girl and the mysterious eunuch courtier. This little painting is a practice piece depicting the costumes and armor of that time. To the left is a warrior, in the center is a court functionary or messenger in livery, and at right is a high-ranking courtier of noble rank. Much of Byzantine attire was inspired by Persian garb rather than the drapery of earlier days. The court's lavish silks and brocades were imported from Central Asia or India via the "Silk Road."

I used gouache, or opaque watercolor, for this piece. Gouache was used in manuscript illuminations and other super-detailed work. I was experimenting to see whether my own illustrations should use this medium. I decided against it as being too painstaking and did the rest of my illustrations in ink and watercolor.

Gouache on illustration board, 4 1/2" x 6", 1973.

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