Ni Raighne – O Riain Coat of Arms

“Ni Raighne – O Riain Coat of Arms”
Pen and Ink on Illustration Board
11″ x 14″ (artwork) 16″ x 20″ (matted)

I received this Coat of Arms commission from a good friend in Ireland. It is a gift to his sister for her wedding. She is the Ni Raighne side and her husband is the O Riain side. This is one of the many combination Coat of Arms drawings I’ve made over the years. It always presents a unique challenge for me. I must figure out how to combine each family’s symbols along with the personal elements into one cohesive composition. It is a task I am always excited to tackle. She is from outside Galway so you find the county Coat of Arms to the left of the tree while on the other side is the Dublin coat of arms, representing his home town. The Raighne Coat of Arms features a large green tree, most likely an Irish Oak, below a set of wings on a red and white background. The O Riain coat of arms is a red background with 3 griffin heads triangulated around the composition. I combined these elements by rendering the tree as more realistic and over looking Galway Bay. The wings can be found above the tree and two of the three griffin heads. The third is represented by the small hole in the tree. She plays guitar and he is a hurler, both of these instruments can be found leaning against the tree. To many of her friends, she goes by “Rose” so I included a bush of the flowers at the base of their tree. For the red and white background, I combined them into a clouded sky and a banner of sorts at the very top with colors representative of the flag of Spain, where they were married. This piece was a lot of fun to create, there are many elements at work here and I posit that they all work in balance with each other. It was a grand accomplishment for myself and the couple was very happy with this unexpected gift.

• January 22, 2013

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