Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Heraldry Extras: Lions

Another group of iconic extras to fill out my heraldry library! Sorry for the lack of post on friday, the last part of the week was an absolute whirlwind for me. So, these are lions. The poses shown here are sejant (far left), statant (center), and salient (right side). Lions were an incredibly popular charge in heraldry because they represented so many positive aspects of a person; who wouldn't want to be brave, royal, wise, and mighty in battle? Most often lions are shown in gold, though the ones I've put together for the time being are "proper," or shown in their natural color. The open mouth with visible teeth and tongue is a common feature in heraldry, but one that I rarely use because it smacks too much of the original image and it's just an easy route to take in drawing off the classic form. In this case? It just seemed incredibly appropriate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Creature Feature: Lubolf

The lubolf is, in my opinion, one of the funniest muddled descriptions of all the animals I worked with. It's described as a creature like a hippopotamus, but with long sharp teeth and a mane like a horse. It's said that its teeth were "so sharp they threw forth sparks" and that, in addition to the mane, it would whinny like a horse. What's funny about the description is that a hippo does, in fact, have both sharp teeth and a crease in the back of its neck that could look like a mane. The pictures of a lubolf could easily have been slightly awkward drawings of a real hippo.

Of course, to me, the best part of the lubolf descriptions is the part where it would walk backward to annoy--not evade, annoy--hunters.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Heraldry Extras: Eagles

My initial project was all about made up animals from heraldry, but it takes more than imagination to build a coat of arms! These are some newly-created images for future use in elaborate deigns, and of course, I had to start with eagles. Eagles are very common in heraldry, as well they should be--they represent bravery, strength, integrity, and so on. All sounds like good stuff, right? A lot of people wanted to tell the world via their shields and crests that they were like eagles.

Because the eagle is used so much, there are even special terms to describe its different poses. On the bottom right is the most common pose for any animal, and it's called "Rampant." A rampant animal has one foot on the ground, one up, and either its forelegs or its wings splayed out so you can see them all. On the bottom left is what's called "Displayed." A displayed bird has its chest forward, head in profile, and wings, legs, and tail spread out. In the displayed pose, you can see all of the bird's features clearly, though no animal would ever be seen that way in the wild. On top is a bird that's displayed, but shown with two heads. It's more commonly used than you might think! After all, a double-headed eagle has twice the bravery and brains of a regular one, and it can look both ways at once!