All hail the Queen

Junior commissioned to paint Ren Fest royalty


photo or infographic by Summer Rains

VIBRANT COLORS. Putting the finishing touches on the crown, Hathaway is almost done with her artwork.

7:30 a.m: A blank canvas sits on a large wooden easel with paints and brushes laid out on the table, ready for the artist to begin. 

9:04 a.m: The canvas is now covered in bright blue and green colors but the picture is not clear yet. 

11:17 a.m: The artist takes a break from hours of painting and plans what she will do next.

1:28 p.m: The details in that background are starting to appear and the ruffles and creases from the dress are visible. 

3:05 p.m: There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the artist has made good progress on her commission of the Queen of the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Several weeks ago, Wildkat alumni Diane Sheldon commissioned a painting from the Willis High School Art Department of the Queen to celebrate her many years at the Texas Renaissance Festival.

HUZZAH. Junior Nicole Hathaway show off her picture of the Queen of RenFest. She was commissioned to paint the portrait. (photo or infographic by Summer Rains )

“The commission specifically came from Diane Sheldon,” art teacher Amber Brumlow said. “Diane has worked at the Renaissance Festival for a long time and she got this commission as a gift to the Queen as this is her 45th year. The plan is to have Diane pick it up when it’s done and then present it to the Queen at a big formal party they are going to have for her.”

Sheldon emailed Brumlow about having one of the Willis High School art students do a painting of the Ren Fest Queen. After reading the email, Brumlow knew exactly who to pick. 

“Mrs. Brumlow asked me to do the commission, and at first I didn’t even know what she was talking about,” junior Nicole Hathaway said. “She told me about the email she got and that it was going to be a surprise for the Ren Fest queen. I agreed to do it because I enjoy stuff like that, and Mrs. Sheldon said she would pay me $150 for it.”

With a painting as large as it is and as special as it is, Hathaway wanted to spend as much time on it as she could. 

“I’m in two art classes this year, 5th period with Mrs. Brumlow and 3rd period with Mrs. Coldwell,” Hathaway said. “I spent a solid six hours working on the painting one day. I started in Brumlow’s class. Then the next day, I spent about four hours and after that I spent about two hours a day on it until I was done.”


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