Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unlucky General: No War Artist

'Trooper 4th Light Dragoons 1854' by GCB (aka Unlucky General)
Well, what can I say? My good mate and long time wargaming comrade Matt Williamson of the Goulburn Wargames Group is having his 40th birthday celebrated on Saturday and I will be in attendance. Not wishing to come empty handed (naturally) I decided to attempt something a bit different by way of a gift. I admit to being a fan of gifts which I might get something out of (selfishness) and on this occasion it was the chance to exercise a daemon in having a stab at depicting the 4th Light Dragoons in some form of artistic attempt.

A few faults leap out straight away. The colour of the jacket and to a lesser extent the overalls is not what it should be. I worked with what I had to hand - a set of 12 INTENSE water soluble pencils by Derwent. If I had given myself more time I might have worked a little harder on getting the shades right but as you can see, it's a shade (or two) too bright. Second is my lack of perspective or it may have been me changing my mind about what I was trying to depict to the lower front of my subject but the result is a withered forearm and small left hand. Sure, some people have smaller hands than others but it's nevertheless turned out differently than I'd have preferred. The third obvious irritation for me is the smudging under the sole of the foot where my 'watercolouring' bled through.

The subject is a private trooper of the 4th light dragoons. He is wearing a waterproof shako cover and the only other thing of note is his overalls which are regulation with the double yellow stripe running the full length of the leg. His double breasted jacket has eight pairs of brass regimental buttons (almost all of the left side can be made out. I used one of Fenton's photographs of a mounted officer as my model and then worked on what I wanted to show. I included the haversack which in this case hides the sword hilt.

This was the first time I'd used water colours or these fabulous pencils. They are a delight to work with and I think I'm going to get more of them. I may also attempt similar sketching in the near future. Whilst I await being united with the rest of my Crimean miniatures orders and continue to work away from home (overseas) this may be my only means of expression other than blogging.

Anyway, here's hoping Matt likes it. He gets the original and I get the scanned copy.


  1. A gift to cherish! Given that you were using water soluble pencil crayons I think you done a wonderful job.

  2. Thanks mate it was much appreciated and is hanging next to my painting table!