May 24, 2013 by phicks2012
I love Heraldry. As a result, and because very few people really know a lot about it, I’ve decided to include in my blog some basic information about how heraldic “coat of arms” were put together back in the early days.
Last time I told you about the heraldic tinctures. This time I’m going to talk about the “Field”. The field is the background, or first layer of the design if you think in terms of paint. The field might be of a single solid tincture, or it might be divided in some way, but it’s still the first layer.
You can divide the field “per pale” right down the middle vertically, “per fess” right across the field horizontally, or “per bend” or “Per bend sinister” across the field diagonally. You can divide it “per chevron”, “per saltire”, “per pall”, or “quarterly” (see examples below), and you can even make it “checky” or “lozengy”, or “bendy”, or “paly” or “barry”.
A field divided 50/50 into two parts, or a field divided equally into four parts can use any tincture. A field divided into three parts needs to have two colors and a metal or two metals and a color. A field divided into more than four parts (like checky) must have the parts alternating between a color and a metal for reasons of contrast, because otherwise at a distance the design runs together and blurs.
The lines of division can be simple straight lines, or can be more complex (though, personally, I think something like checky wavy would make me nauseous , but we’ll get to that later.