A Roman Legionary Painting

There was a Roman re-enactment at Dover Castle in the first week of August – Clash of the Romans – with two teams taking part in a show of strength and skill.

What better to paint for Illustration Friday’s History than a first century AD Roman Legionary?

First Stage of Roman Legionary Painting
Early Stage of Roman Legionary Painting

I decided to paint in casein, a milk protein based paint. Above you can see an early stage with just a very rough sketch and some Burnt Sienna tones.

The painting is A4 size, in my ‘Turner & The Sea‘ Cold Press Watercolour Pad.

Roman Legionaries casein painting first few layers of paint
Later Stage of Roman Legionaries Painting

At this later stage I’ve filled in the green for the grass (cadmium yellow and pthalo blue); the sky (phtalo blue and titanium white); the greys of their uniforms (ultramarine blue, burnt umber, titanium white); the reds of their skirts and shields (cadmium red scarlet); the spears (burnt sienna, burnt umber, ultramarine blue).

The first stages were painted with fairly thin washes. Once I had everything established I went in with thicker creamier paint of the same colours. I then tidied up some of the edges with coloured pencils, the dark design edgings on the main shield have also been done in coloured pencil.

Roman Legionary

One thought on “History

  1. So interesting to see how you developed this! So using the color pencils works well w/casein, they sit w/each other well? I’ve never used either one, but nice it’s so versatile (washes & creamy, hard lines over soft) 😊

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