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Edward II and Piers Gaveston by suburbanbeatnik Edward II and Piers Gaveston by suburbanbeatnik
So, after a few weeks I managed to finish my painting of Edward II and Piers Gaveston (the original study I did is here [link] ). It's inspired in part by Christopher Marlowe's play, and in part by the roles the wonderful Peter Hanly and Stephen Billington played in the less-than-wonderful "Braveheart." Edward, the ill-fated king, is the moody blond on the left, and the black-haired man in the red tunic on the right is his lover, the upstart Gascon knight Piers Gaveston. The woman in the background is Edward's wife Isabella, who eventually deposed her husband and arranged his murder.

I tried to put a number of symbols in the piece, including the oak to the far left, which represents kingship, and the unicorns on the goblet (in the middle ages, unicorns symbolized lust as well as chastity, interestingly enough).
I'm so pleased it's done- the fabrics and jewels and swords, among other things, took forever! But I think it turned out rather well.

(For further reading about Edward II, Alianore's blog [link] has lots of great information, and plenty of juicy 700 year old gossip too!)
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:iconprimulatook:
primulatook Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is super!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconmrsgrimawormtongue:
MrsGrimaWormtongue Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007
Oh I love this painting! I disagree with the comments about the texture and depth of the faces and clothing however. How can you say they look flat with all the detail and shadowing? Seriously, it looks like if you touched the paint you'd feel cloth instead.

I really enjoy the personalities of the colors used too, Piers is much more "experienced" and mature in his reds and deep blues, while fair-haired Ned is boyish but strong in lighter tones. I think if I were male, I'd jump the fence for a guy like Piers, he just oozes "GRR!"

By the way, not to draw attention from the joyousness of the boylove, but Izzie is so terribly hot I want to blow up her part of the painting and use her for Wallpaper. GIRL LOVE!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you darling! :D *hugs*
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007
*sigh* someday I will have your patience and precision...I promise this to myself nearly everytime I look at your work. I always thought Braveheart was a bit of a travesty because once people see it they suddenly become Edward I/II experts (reminds me of this time I was watching Errol Flynn's Robin Hood at my gran's house and she turns to me "you can really learn a lot about history from these movies!" - I kid not). I love looking at your work because it pulls in so many different references and always makes me want to pick up a history book, and in this case get around to reading some Marlow (# 256 on my 'to do' list). I admire anyone who still uses symbolism in their work, especially if they make it era-appropriate.

Piers' expression is perfect...I think I read that a monk of the era wrote about him something along the lines of "he accounted no one is equal, save the king alone" (it sticks in my mind although I have no reference for it....hmmmm) ...and with his calculating and arrogant look and jewel-encrusted belt I really get that from this piece. I'd love to see a companion piece with Iasbella and her lover (was it Roger Mortimer?...where is that English history book I had around here?) plotting together.

Thumbs way up as usuall! :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
What a lovely comment! You really do know this period, don't you? Apparently a lot of people left "Braveheart" thinking Wallace was actually the father of Edward III... even though the guy died years before Edward was even born. Such is the power of Hollywood, unfortunately. But I did think Peter Hanly and Stephen Billington did the best with the material they were given. Hanly is a classically trained theater actor from Ireland, and for years after the movie the only bits I could remember where the ones with him in it.

Yes, Piers was an incredibly arrogant guy, even though he apparently had reason to be- not only was he handsome and smart and could beat anyone in battle or on the tournament field, but he owned more jewels and fancy gewgaws than Elizabeth Taylor. I guess that would explain his being a wiseass who couldn't keep his mouth shut, which partially explains his unfortunate demise.

I really like the idea of a companion piece with Isabella and Mortimer! They'd be in front of a unicorn tapestry (one of those grisly ones where a knight is spearing a unicorn resting in a maiden's lap), and in the background- through an open door, perhaps- you'd see Edward (perhaps with with his latest lover, Hugh le Despenser). What a great idea- thanks!

Could you fav this, pretty please? I'm afraid my boys aren't getting enough love. *looks sad*
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:iconjaney-jane:
janey-jane Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2007
*rolls eyes at hollywood* history is dramatic enough without those hollywood people getting in there and mucking about.

y'know...gewgaw is a much neglected word I think I'll add it to my list (the list of neglected words I try to use more often that is).

I would be happy to fav this! I'm actually really bad about faving because I'll see something I like and then like a big goob I merrily go on my way and I totally forget (the reason I only have like two pages of favs).

:heart: :+fav: :heart:
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, thanks for the fav! Evidently "gewgaw" is a surprisingly old word- the OED dates it in its present sense from 1529. :D I should use it more often too.

By the way, that's kind of scary about your gran and Robin Hood...
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:iconelenatria:
ElenaTria Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
WON-DER-FUL.
There's nothing more I can add I'm afraid...
What medium do you use?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I used acrylics (I always use acrylics). And I hope you don't mind that I did these two instead of Joan and Gilles...
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:iconelenatria:
ElenaTria Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
What? Oh no, how could you say that? :O (besides, I'm a huuuge slasher myself, so any historical gay pairing is good enough for me... especially when it's beautifully drawn... :) )
Acrylics?!!! Why does it look like coloured pencils combined with watercolour? >amazed<
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I paint with glazes of acrylics, watered down so I can build up tons of layers. I also use the smallest brushes I can find, for maximum amount of detail.

Hey, have you thought about doing a Gilles/Joan pic yourself? I love your other medieval-era pics... I think you could do a great job! :)
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:iconelenatria:
ElenaTria Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
So your acrylics are kinda watercolour-like, only they come straight out of the tube and after they've been dried they don't mix, whereas watercolour is very inconvenient for that.
Gee, your detail, your small brushes, I know it takes you ages to finish your works!...
(that's why they look like coloured pencils)
I had done a Gilles/Joan pic back when I was 15, just a small and rough pencil sketch, and back then I didn't even know a character like Gilles de Rais ever existed! My pic showed young and innocent Joan, sitting on the floor, her breast exposed, her wounded ribs bandaged. And a robust well-built warrior sitting by her side, semi-naked and bandaged too, touching her cheek tenderly and looking deep into her eyes.
I wanted to believe that Joan would have a comrade in battle, someone who would fall in love with her, just like in all Hollywood movies.
Maybe I should do that Gilles/Joan pic as you suggest - it's on my list, like your other suggestion, Richelieu/Anne of Austria (I've done a couple of sketches for that one - very suggestive and sexy). But let's see what's gonna happen this summer, if I have free time I certainly will do it! (and - uh, I don't have that many medieval-era pics, just my white queen-black knight and my Vincent Cassel... )
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Whether medieval or baroque, you should do more period pics! I know, I know, I keep nagging you...

Re: my painting technique, I paint on a thick layer of wet paper towels in a ceramic palette to keep the paints moist. With water, I can water down acrylics so I can paint in a successive layer of washes, building up the color so it's as intense as I need it to be. My brushes have gotten smaller because the commercial work I've been doing for the past few years requires more rendering and greater attention to detail.

I don't know if any of this is that interesting, but I'm amused at how my work continues to baffle people. Over and over again, people ask me: "Do you use colored pencils?" And over and over again, I've said, "No, it's acrylic washes." Eh, well... :shrug:
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:iconelenatria:
ElenaTria Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, gee, thanks for encouraging and 'nagging' me, I really really mean it. So many people give up on me, and I know if I was treated like a little child more often ('Do this, do that!';) I would do more as far as art is concerned.
(didn't know my work had baroque elements - how do you spot them?)
I don't quite understand the "thick layer of wet paper towels in a ceramic palette" part, what is that exactly?
The work you're asked to do... it's so amazing, I mean, in Greece publishing houses don't pay much attention to illustration. They want easy, quick, cheap solutions. They either translate foreign children's books (which is cheaper than hiring a Greek illustrator) or want you to do the most childish/simple illustration possible. And they give you no time to work on the illustrations, their work is sloppy. Of course, if you're the best there is, you're bound to get a commission for a book sooner or later. But I have a long way to go (and they keep asking for digital images -very cheap-, not hand-made ones). Your work is the blockbuster of illustrations, and in Greece they rarely finance "blockbusters".
The good thing is you went to an art school that actually *taught* you your techniques (or part of them anyway). My school had no department like that, it was ';painting in general'. And the professors hated anything that wasn't "pure art".
(yeah, "pure art" - if you want to be "purely" starving... )

When your work and your techniques baffle people, you're on the right track... ;)
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, I'm glad you don't mind my nagging you. I would like to see more from you than Harry Potter fanart. And, re: baroque elements, a lot of your characters seem very grandiose, dramatic and emotional, like Bernini's sculpture of Teresa of Avila.

I don't quite understand the "thick layer of wet paper towels in a ceramic palette" part, what is that exactly?

I mean that I take a ceramic butcher tray palette [link] and layer wet paper towels in 'em to hold the paint... When I was taught this technique at Art Center, we were supposed to put vellum over the wet towels, but after a while I took off the vellum because I could get the paints wetter by putting it directly on the towels, if that makes sense.

The work you're asked to do... it's so amazing, I mean, in Greece publishing houses don't pay much attention to illustration.

Blah, that sucks. I guess that's why I've never heard of famous illustrators from Greece. France, England, Germany, Austria... but never Greece... It's unfortunate. I'd recommend getting a portfolio together (if you don't have one already) and finding an agent in another country.

And as for my stuff being "the blockbuster of illustration," I appreciate the compliment, but I don't know if I'd go that far. Everything on my deviantart page is promotional or work I've done for my own druthers. My professional work can be seen at my site, here: [link] I'd like to get paid for doing stuff that's more "epic," but it's slow going...
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(1 Reply)
:icondaughter-mestizo:
Daughter-Mestizo Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007
Oh, excellent! I jumped right on this one as soon as I saw it on my DevWatch list. I'm so glad your study turned into something this beautiful! You mix the colours wonderfully well, and you've added so many things into the picture without making it look crowded, which is not easy!

However, if I may be so bold, there are a few areas that lack dimension, literally. Edward's face, as well as the fronts of his and Piers' tunics look rather flat. It's more pronounced in the bottom halves of their shirts. If it's intentional, please forgive me. Call it critiquing practice.

D-M
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you like it, though I think you're wrong about the areas lacking dimension. There are other things wrong with this painting, like the iffy anatomy and skewed perspective, which I'm surprised nobody picked up on...
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:iconkyria:
kyria Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Professional General Artist
ahhhh great shading! i want to shade like you. ;_;
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Rendering just takes practice. The only reason I'm any good at it is because I've been working on it for years, and years and years...
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:iconhabitualflippancy:
HabitualFlippancy Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Man, I really do love your work, it reminds me of the kind of stuff I looked at as a child that made me want to become an artist.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! That's such a lovely compliment. :hug:
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:iconseitou:
Seitou Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing. I actually had to read Marlowe's play Edward II during the fall semester for my English Drama course^^ It's so good... but then everything we read in that course was good. Marlowe's Dr. Faustus was another of my favorites.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, I definitely think we don't get enough Marlowe here in the States- the only playwright from the 1500s and 1600s you ever see performed here is Shakespeare, and honestly, I'm rather tired of him. The poetry in "Edward II" is so gorgeous and passionate! It's so cool you've read it. :D
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:iconseitou:
Seitou Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So true. I was lucky I had a great professor teaching that class. We actually got into a huge discussion about Shakespeare and we all agreed that we were tired of him XDD Webster's Duchess of Malfi was probably the best thing we read though. If you haven't read it, then it's definitely worth checking out.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I haven't, but I'd like to. That's one of those wonderfully bloodthirsty Jacobean revenge dramas, isn't it?

I'm personally a fan of James Shirley, who wrote a lot of plays during Charles I's time, that were sort of proto Restoration comedies. (For some reason, he's considered "the last Elizabethan playwright" because he was a whopping eight years old when the old queen died. Gee, isn't that like calling Hemingway "the last Victorian" because he was born in 1899? Where on earth do people come up with these labels?) Anyway, finding Shirley is like pulling teeth, which is too bad because he's a lot of fun. You should try to find a copy of "The Lady of Pleasure"- it's hilarious!
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:iconseitou:
Seitou Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, it's a revenge drama. And bloodthirsty is definitely the word for it. Webster comes up with some of the strangest ways to kill off his characters.

I'll have to check out Shirley... if I can find him^^; Most of this stuff is online *goes to search* Found him! You can download his work from this site: [link]
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh yay, they provide links to his plays now! (Luminarium used to only provide links to his poetry.) Thank you, Google Books!
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:iconsirnelson:
Sirnelson Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007
Very good. Have you seen the Cursed Kings?
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
No... a friend of mine wrote a review of one of the books in the series ([link] ), and I've seen a few pics online from the movies, but that's the closest I've ever come to it. Is it any good?
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:iconsirnelson:
Sirnelson Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007
Not bad actually but you should see that because it's very interesting especially the script. But the costumes are too special for me^^
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Sounds like fun, but I don't know if an English subtitled DVD will become available here in the States... you're talking about the 2005 version, right?
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:iconsirnelson:
Sirnelson Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2007
yes I haven't seen seen the first version nor read the books. You should go on amazon.fr maybe there are english subtitles...
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
I've checked... there aren't, unfortunately. Bah!
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:iconsirnelson:
Sirnelson Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2007
Ah bad luck because it's worthy to be seen
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:iconkingandrewi:
KingAndrewI Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Student Artisan Crafter
Th colors are breathtaking.
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'm so glad you like it.
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:iconsparticus42:
sparticus42 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007
BEAUTIFUL DRAWING!! :+fav: automatically!
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :D
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:iconsparticus42:
sparticus42 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007
no problem :hug:
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:iconscott-kane:
Scott-Kane Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Professional Interface Designer
omg gay nice drawing tho
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:iconsuburbanbeatnik:
suburbanbeatnik Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
The fact that they're gay is the point.

I'm glad you like the painting, though.
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