Thursday, January 12, 2012

An On-Line Heraldry Drawing Program

I ran across a website the other day that I thought was worth sharing with you.  It contains the Drawshield suite of programs by Karl L. Wilcox.  The suite includes: some Heraldry Flashcards; a Heraldry Quiz (it shows you a shield, and then you have to choose the correct blazon (from three choices); a Heraldry Image of the Day; a page that lets you build a design from elements in the program; a page that will draw a shield from a blazon; and a Showcase of arms drawn with the program.

Like most such software, it has its quirks.  For example, the Heraldry Quiz not only uses stains and such tinctures as carnation for major elements (as opposed to, say, the face and hands of a person), but the grammar of the blazon is non-standard.  As one example, a shield with a carnation field strewn with green stars was blazoned as mullety carnation and vert.  Another shield blazoned bleu celeste as "celestial."

Also, again, like most such software, it also has its limitations.  I typed in the blazon of my own coat of arms, Argent two chevronels azure between three apples gules slipped and leaved vert (which should look something like this),

and it drew the following:

The "Error Reported" link gave me the following:

Internal Errors:
No placement for charge.
Blazon Problems:
Nothing to go between
Not understood: three apples gules slipped and leaved proper.

I got the same emblazon when simply going with "between three apples gules."  I have to assume that the charges database does not have apples, since changing "apples gules" to "lions gules" put three red lions rampant around the chevronels.

Still, for all its shortcomings, it's a website that's worth knowing about.  You can find The Drawshield Suite on-line at

1 comment:

  1. Correct term for "red apples" is "pommes gules"

    Robbins Mitchell