Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.Marcus Annaeus Seneca
Winter marches alongside the barbarians, step by step in rhythm with their drums. This last frontier is what separates civilization from anarchy. This bloody earth that has seen so many sons of Rome meet their end.
He is tired. 10 years service has worn him down. He hopes to see the sun-drenched vineyards of home again, but this day must be lived, here and now. The sway of the trees beyond the fort sway in the wind. He hopes that is all.
This piece was painted alongside a student during the online tuition sessions. When starting a bust you must understand the story you wish to tell. In this case, we have a solider, staring out in the abyss of Germany (no offense Germans, or Goths, or Visigoths, it’s how the Romans saw you). His long tour of service is coming to an end, but beyond the horizon, he can see a tribe gather. Will this be his last stand?
With this narrative in mind, we can work details in. The odd grey hair streaking his beard. The blue tinge to the metallics and skin tone. The tasteful dusting of snow over the surface of the miniature all add to the illusion of a narrative.
But where did this interest lead from? Well, as a miniature painter I spend a lot of time alone, and I need constant entertainment.
“I’m bored” thought I, about to paint another thing.
“What should I listen to?”
A podcast about Rome? Why not?
And that’s how my interest in Ancient Rome planted itself in my noggin’: The History of Rome Podcast. If you haven’t already, please do yourself a favour and download a couple of episodes. The founding myth of Rome and it’s subsequent rise and decline is narrated masterfully, in a clear, easily understood manner.
A step by step tutorial for this piece has been made and can be found via the patreon. If you like this please leave a comment below. I’d love to work on more historical busts but they are comically unpopular on social media. But you’re a connoisseur, so we can be friends.