The Drawing of the Sword – Evolution
(Drawing the Drawing of the sword always results in semantic weirdness.)
It was in early 1994 that I realised this scene was one tough cookie. Two Elves, one at an arm’s and a sword’s length from the other? That means a bit of Elf at the margins of a picture and rather a lot of nothing in the middle. I realised that this was an iconic scene from the Silmarillion, but I abandoned the project after this quick sketch.
(Yes, I was under the impression that Fingolfin was blond.)
One and a half years later, I was doing my first ever watercolours, and I had found out that Fingolfin was dark-haired. I also found that a wider shot would solve part of the problem. I probably realised, theoretically, that foreshortening was called for, but this is 1995 we’re talking. No foreshortening in 1995, no, sir.
So, this year, I took on a commission of this precise scene and knew I would have to deal with foreshortening and some clever positioning.
In the first sketch, I still had to resort to a carefully draped cloak in order to cover up my foreshortcomings. Then I got some terrific help from the guys at comicforum.de, and managed to pull the pose off sufficiently for me to go with.
A progress shot from the lineart proper: Underneath, you see the sketch printed out in pale yellow, so I can filter it out later.
Second progress shot.
Final version of the lineart (plus some parchment texture):
Left to right: Finwë, Fingolfin, Fingon, Turgon, Argon, Fëanor, Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin.
Stand by for the coloured version, plus a tutorial to make a busy picture appear busy but not cluttered! ;)