A bit of work on the latest Roman project. I have completed the cape, leather, sword and scabbard and begun the Labarum design and further details of the tunic. The hem and sleeve bands and details started as Dioxazine Purple with some highlighting. The purple is drying glossy so a touch of clear flat will no doubt be required. I will wait until I finish further highlights and shadows to see how it looks. Further highlights of light Cad Red were applied to the tunic to get it closer to the color it should be. The cape is Cad Red Deep and Medium with Light Cad Red highlights. Once the figure is completed I will add some weathering around the hem. All of the gold bits on the standard were started using the usual mix of gold inks and Burnt Umber.
Choosing how to paint the Labarum has required some research as well as conjecture on my part. I have included a picture of coinage from the period following the battle to show how the Labarum was depicted at the time. Descriptions of the Labarum clearly state that Constantine's image was depicted on the cloth but the coins show three round shapes. This has been explained by experts as a period requirement not allowing the actual image to be depicted on the coin reverse. I don't know whether to believe that or not. Some have said that the three discs represent three images of Constantine or the trinity. The box art from Soldier's depicts a face on image of Constantine but I have been unable to find any reference to support that choice. My belief is that this is again, conjecture on the part of the artist.
In the end I chose to use the image style used on coins of the period, side-on. This is due to a desire to not copy others unnecessarily when no independent reference exists. The only thing that is known for sure is the wording in Latin "In Hoc Signo Vinces" or "In This Sign You Will Conquer" supporting the story of Constantine's supposed vision and subsequent purported conversion to Christianity. What you see in the photos is my first basic color layer of gold on the standard. More work will go into the image, edging and fringe.