Beastly Banners

A friend and patron Travis Smith commissioned this work and as it was a slightly larger piece than normal I thought I would do it today as a contrast to a week of very fine detailed painting. The display of heraldic beasts as badges holding banners of arms is nothing new and there are many fine examples dating from the late medieval and Tudor periods.


I have painted this stag many times but in this version I wanted to create some attitude and make him strong and dynamic. This is achieved by expression and stance. Anthony Wood my tutor at art school always said that heraldic beasts should always look a little disagreeable and I tend to agree with him but it is a purely personal point of view.  I made this chap somewhat disagreeable, proud looking and not a little mischievous. The strength of line helps and the antlers are slightly exaggerated in the best heraldic tradition.  This beast is powdered with blue snowflakes and rather than just uniformly blanket cover the animal with perfectly spaced flakes I decided to vary their size and positions so that some adopt the contours of the stag.  He stands on a snowy compartment which seemed appropriate as the patron lives in Minnesota.

These beastly banners are available from my studio.

Andrew Stewart Jamieson


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