Royal Mint Engravers capture ‘watercolour’ coin portraits
18 Aug 2016
Two Royal Mint Engravers have teamed up to capture watercolour-style portraits of some of Britain’s best loved natural landmarks on a commemorative collection of sterling silver £5 coins.
Glyn Davies and Laura Clancy started by painting the scenes in watercolour, before going through the painstaking process of engraving every last detail onto the tools needed to strike these collectable coins. A ‘trichromatic’ colour printing process rarely used by The Royal Mint was then used to re-create the subtle colouring of the designers’ original artwork.
The scenes depict the Giant’s Causeway, the Lake District, Snowdonia and the White Cliffs of Dover, and – said to be amongst the most visited natural attractions in the British Isles, enticing thousands of visitors each year. The coins form part of an ongoing series highlighting the best known natural and architectural landmarks from across the British Isles.
When creating the coins careful consideration was given to how colour could be used to enhance the images. The designers wanted to capture a real sense of place, representing the changing qualities of the British weather and to create a colour effect similar to that of an impressionist painting.
Royal Mint Chief Engraver, Gordon Summers said “Instead of a solid layer of colour we used the trichromatic process to create subtle tints. In effect, it’s the difference between painting with oils or with watercolours - it’s a softer effect that allows the metal beneath to show through.”
“The process gives the designs an almost ‘impressionist’ feel – reflecting the shifting light and colour of the landscapes.”
About the Designers The reverse designs for the Portrait of Britain Collection were created by Royal Mint coin designers Glyn Davies and Laura Clancy.
Laura Clancy studied three-dimensional crafts at the University of Brighton and previously taught art and metalwork. Her projects for The Royal Mint include works to commemorate the Royal Air Force and the 90th anniversary of the First World War and the fine silver face-value UK £100 coin for £100, featuring Buckingham Palace.
Glyn Davies worked as an animator before gaining a Master’s Degree in Post Production at Bournemouth University. He subsequently worked as a set designer, video editor and motion graphic designer before joining The Royal Mint, where his projects have included a medal for the Zoological Society and The Remembrance Day 2015 Alderney £5 Coin.