Heraldic Fine Art

Old Master Crests


Those who know me, follow or have commissioned my work or read the posts on this web site will also know that I am constantly trying to find new ways for armigers to display their coats of arms or elements thereof.  The idea for these paintings came about because I was thinking about my love of heraldry and fine art painting.  I suppose it was inevitable that I would paint some aspect of heraldry on canvas.  The crest is perhaps the obvious choice because originally a crest was three dimensional and made our of leather or carved lime wood and decorated before being placed atop of a helmet.


From the outset I wanted these paintings to look like the studies and still life’s that one sees in paintings of the 17th century and so I decided to use a limited palette that would have been familiar to Rembrandt. That is to say, Venetian red, Prussian blue, Naples yellow, Yellow ochre, white and black with some Lemon yellow. Every tone or shade therefore is found by mixing elements of these colours together apart from the Lemon yellow which was only used for the eyes. By using these tones also ensures that the colours will be more harmonious.


This crest belongs to Christopher Chambers, Lord of the Manor of Skighaugh in Essex. The crowned owl stands on a Sandalwood and pearled coronet peculiar to a Temukung of Kupang  which is the equivalent of a Baron.  I decided to place the corner of a vellum document in the painting  with some text showing the word Skighaugh. Trying to give the whole painting that feel of antiquity one gets when stepping into an old library of fine leather bound tomes. The atmosphere seemed appropriate for the Lord of an ancient manor once owned by Kings.


Andrew Stewart Jamieson




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