Now that I have pretty well established all the elements of the painting and and am happy with the colours and tones, I am now at the very satisfying stage of working up the level of detail. As I progress over the canvas the painting will start to look finished in places, although there is still a lot to do..

Click image to enlarge

I begin the week by working some more on the yellow pavilion. Adding some shadow in the door opening really helps make it look solid - I had toyed with the idea of keeping the inside light, as if the sun was shining through the fabric, but am pleased I have discarded this thought. De la Marche describes it as being decorated with golden pine trees - the symbol of this tournament - and although gold on yellow would seem like an odd combination, the trees do show up and help break up the expanse of yellow. Apparently, on the opening day of the tournament, the pavilion was brought into the lists and paraded to the far end - appearing to be carried by only six 'small' squires, dressed in gold (I assume there were other, hidden, men or mechanisms to help them). When it came to a halt the front was opened and the 'Grand Bastard' rode out, fully armoured - quite an entrance!

Click image to enlarge

Moving on from the pavilion, I then concentrate on the building behind and indicate the brickwork with various shades of ochre and red. You will see I have started to add some figures looking out of the windows - these would have been great vantage points, much prized by those with access to them. I have found a manuscript illustration showing some people watching a tournament from the roof tops and I am tempted to show a couple of young men balancing precariously on the ridge, but I have yet to decide if this will add interest or be distracting. Also, knowing how high and steep the roof is - and the fact that I would never contemplate doing such a thing - makes me wonder if anyone really would have risked life and limb for a bird's eye view like this! But then I have the contemporary illustration..... I will contemplate this dilemma as I continue working on the painting.

Click image to enlarge

As I want to keep the sense of movement around the 'Grand Bastard's' helm and flowing mantling, it makes sense to work on this area next, while the paint around it is still wet. His crest is an owl, probably carved from wood covered with moulded leather, and I refer to photos of real owls to get this looking right.

Progress now follows a right left direction; the distant church tower, other buildings, lance, heraldic shield on the horse's shaffron, mounted squire, etc. The third image shows the area I have mostly concentrated my efforts on this week - when I return from Tewkesbury after the weekend's exhibition I will move on to the other half of the painting and also try to get some more of the cloth-of-gold caparison painted. I now anticipate that two more weeks should see the painting completely finished - time will tell if this is realistic!

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Graham Turner's jousting career has progressed a long way from the start he made whilst writing this Painting Diary in 2004, and he has now jousted at venues such as the Tower of London, the Royal Armouries Museum, and the Historisches Museum in Bern. The incredible experiences he has gained riding and competing in full plate armour at this high level have had a profound influence on his life and work, and you can find out more about Graham's jousting and his armour by CLICKING HERE

A large range of prints and cards reproduced from Graham Turner's medieval paintings are available from Studio 88, and full details of these, plus all Graham Turner's currently available originals, can be found on our website.

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