I made a thing

A buddy of mine is really into that Skyrim game. So, for his birthday (half, a full, two month passed), I thought to make him a wall hanging of Whiterun's Shield. I debated on an actual, usable shield, but wall art seems more suitable in this day and age. Also, larping has passed us both.

Music used: Krauka - stiklur

The steps:

1. Buy the board. I used this thing from Lowes. I ain't got no time for cutting things right now.

2. Apply stain. Used a pre-stain and dark walnut for this. This was my first time using stain and, I won't lie, it got out of hand. Stain is not paint. A pile of oil soaked rags later, though, I managed to rein it in.

Looks good. 
3. Add the field. For this I used some gold paint that just sort of came with the house when we bought it. Nothing in the house itself uses this paint, so I can only suspect sinister purposes. I probably should have used some sort of template or guide to get a perfect circle, but I did it by hand instead.

Like a maverick.

4. Next came the stencil making. Took me forever to find a decent picture and jam it into a photoworking program. Switch it all to black and white, crop the sides, and add some bridging sections. You'll figure it out. Or just use this:

Print it to 11x17 paper and you're good to go. Just got to cut it out.

It was about this time I started to rethink the friendship.

5. Now, after suffering through that, I took it to the piece and aligned it so the boards are running vertical, and the stencil sat relatively centered in the field. I, personally, would have preferred the boards running horizontal, but the source material has them vertical. This seems less efficient against an ax. Though, as this ain't meant for actual defense, I didn't worry about it too much.

After getting it centered, just taped it down and painted. Used a sponge brush to sop the acrylic paint down rather quick.

Not too horrible! Just gotta fill in the bridge areas. The slightest mistake here will destroy the whole thing! No pressure!
Naw, it worked out.

I'm actually surprised at how well it turned out. Now I just gotta get it to the big dummy. Or, maybe I just keep it.