The making of Lagertha – Shield Maiden

I thought I’d talk a little about the central figure in this painting, mainly because it took 120 hours to paint her and a mere 8 for the rest of the artwork.

‘Digital’ doesn’t mean ‘shortcuts’!

The character in this painting is ‘Lagertha’, portrayed in the History TV series, ‘Vikings’ by the very talented actress, Katheryn Winnick. Fans of the smash-hit show will hopefully recognise her and if you haven’t seen the production, I thoroughly recommend it – it’s also showing on Amazon Prime. 

The tableau is completely imaginary, however. 

Lagertha - Shield Maiden painting of Viking

In total the whole painting took 128 hours and the simple reason for this is because of the production values of the writers and crew. The outfit Ms Winnick is wearing is hand-made from scratch, with much authentic looking detail. The scabbard for example is made of what looks like deer hide, and the leather jerkin is stitched together from panels, with intricate tooling hammered into it. Chainmail is no easy task to paint either.

I recorded a time-lapse, collapsing the whole process into just over a minute of video, so you can see the stages of painting. The original costumiers are to be applauded.

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Finally, it’s worth saying that the actress who plays this character is the real deal.

She owns three Tae-Kwon Do schools and has a third degree black-belt in Tae-Kwon Do and a second degree black-belt in Karate, as well as being a licensed bodyguard: In the series she is utterly convincing because she is every bit a latter day Shield-Maiden. 

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