Our game box painting

We have bought a painting from the artist Philip Armstrong, a painting specially made just for this game.

Philip’s own words :

The painting:
The picture I painted for Triturus Games was to be a totally conjectural Irish Monastic scene set around 11th – 12th c. To describe the scenario – our scene is about 11-12th c as round towers were later additions to the earlier Irish monasteries. I think by this time Viking reputation would have spread throughout Ireland that they were to be feared and it is known that many round towers were used to store the religious valuables as well as raising the alarm when the raiders were seen. In our painting the monks and their lay people would have been initially fearful but, being Christian and non-confrontational, the monks may have attempted to reason with the visitors. I have shown a few of the hierarchy on the beach as they would have clearly seen them approaching and perhaps thought they could delay them until valuable sacred objects, animals (and perhaps women!) were safely hidden. Some people may be running for shelter but by now they are simply apprehensive about the visitors and want to stand by and witness the reaction with the leaders. A tense time for the occupants so most of them have remained where they were after the first sighting.The monks within the enclosure are running towards the round tower with their valuables as this is where they would have secured them. It was also a bell tower to raise the alarm if danger was spotted. The Vikings were known to set fire to the towers – which had several timber floors accessed by ladders. Most of the other folk are curious, nervous or in panic so you could represent this in the animation!

The process:
As to the actual process I begin by providing a pencil sketch to show the suggested content and context. Sometimes a number of sketches are needed but often enough my first one is sufficient and the Triturus team appeared to be happy with my suggestions.
I then made a pencil drawing on watercolour paper to the size the painting was to be. This was simply to allow me to follow the proportions of the features and eventually this drawing would be almost invisible once painted.
I then updated Triturus each time I reached a significant painting stage. As watercolours are difficult to remove I emphasised that each stage be studied closely and commented on before I added more paint. The Triturus team was very well behaved during these stages and both commented and raised any concerns! As a result little, if any, modifications had to be made. This was followed by some detail emphasis in black ink. The final painting was then scanned and some digital processing was undertaken to clean up the scene and help define small details.

My Details:
Philip Armstrong, Age 69, Retired. Live with wife Karen at Drains Bay, Larne, Co Antrim, N. Ireland. Son and Daughter and 4 grandchildren also live in Larne.
First job on leaving school was as a draughtsman in an Architect’s office in Belfast in 1972, then was appointed as an Illustrator with the Archaeological Survey of Northern Ireland. During this time my interest in Irish history began and, although pursuing a public service career from 1980 until 1999, I continued providing work for the Archaeological Survey.
After my public service retirement in 1999, I worked in IT until 2009 but again continued working part time illustrating for various clients in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Unfortunately the company I worked for had to close as a result of the financial crisis in 2008 so I decided to establish my own business as Paint the Past Ltd and continue full time as a Historical Illustrator.
In 2009 I applied for and was accepted membership of the Association of Archaeological Illustrators and Surveyors. Recently, this organisation was absorbed into the Chartered Institute for Archaeology and, until my official retirement in 2018, was a full member of the CIfA.
After my retirement I continued to keep my web site active and many of my contacts asked me from time to time to complete new work, which I found difficult to refuse. I also receive requests from some more unlikely sources such as ‘Triturus Games’ but such work keeps me active!

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