*Now* it ends in flame.

When before, let’s face it, it ended in coffee.

So, since painting “It ends in flame”, I’ve been wanting to do a more fiery version that your average coffee allows. Thanks to liquid watercolours, this now works much better.

22 thoughts on “*Now* it ends in flame.

  1. That’s amazing. I really like the shades of red and the way you’ve managed to still maintain a strong sense of light.

  2. Wow! I literally had to just sit there staring at that for the best part of five minutes. Absolutely captivating. I love the way the flames almost frame Maedhros and the light of the Silmaril. I really like Maedhros’ posture as well – it almost looks like he is just kneeling in acknowledgement of defeat, like he has completely given himself to the Oath.
    I can almost imagine Feanor standing before him and Maedhros just saying, ‘I am sorry, Atar. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it.” What “it” is, I can’t really be sure – most likely the fulfillment of the Oath.

    A truly tragic end for a truly tragic character.

    • Thank you! I’m not sure Maedhros would feel apologetic towards his father there in the end. I’d rather imagine him to be accusatory if anything. After all, *he* did what his father did not manage – regain at least two Silmarils. And carry on for centuries even though he had known for a very long time what madness it was.

  3. Absolutely stunning. So much red! Yet you differentiated the shades well, so that it doesn’t all run together in the eye. Is that blood on the Silmaril? What a great detail. Err… well, not for Maedhros, but you know what I mean. And the tattery cloak looks like it’s already burning/disintegrating, suggesting that Maedhros has only moments before he is no more, too. Yes, this version definitely conveys a greater sense of pain and impending horrible demise. I almost feel guilty for liking it as much as I do. Poor Maedhros!

    • I agree — excellent job with the red colorings. The previous version, in coffee, was beautiful, but much softer and more dreamlike. This one is positively striking in its intensity. You get a better sense of Maedhros’ pain and anguish. And he grasps the Silmaril to the very end! Such a tragic death, for perhaps the strongest (morally) of Feanor’s sons. Yet, doubtless, his sins weighed too heavy on his soul. I remember being so very sad when I read of him drawing his remaining brothers into the final assault on Doriath and the regicide of Dior, Beren and Luthien’s son. Jenny, this is also why I love your other painting, Forgiveness — there must be hope for him! Hope that he might have his own (to borrow Tolkien’s word) eucatastrophe.

      • Well, to be fair, according to the published Silmarillion, it was Celegorm who stirred up the brothers to attack Doriath. Not that Maedhros isn’t guilty: he participated, as well. Celegorm was also responsible for the abandonment of Dior’s sons. Interestingly, Maedhros is the only one named as trying to rectify that horrible deed. I say “interesting,” because one might suppose Maglor would be the one to repent of the boys’ abandonment, since he is the one who later takes pity on Elrond and Elros. Is there anybody here more familiar with the Histories of Middle Earth who can tell me if there are any variant details on these events?

        • Celegorm stirred them up, but they wouldn’t have done it without Maedhros’ consent.

          It *could* be that Maedhros looking for Eluréd and Elurín is an oversight in the final draft. It seems that, all during the earlier drafts, Maedhros had very much the role that Maglor later took – in the first drafts, it’s Maedhros who raises Elrond (Elros hadn’t been “conceived” yet), and there are a few other instances where Maglor’s and Maedhros’ roles are reversed (Maedhros casting himself into the sea, and I think the final conversation before the theft of the Silmarils as well).

          If it’s not an oversight, it’s still always made sense to me. Maedhros always struck me of a man – or elf – of utmost honour. Whenever the Oath was not involved, honour seems to have dictated all his actions. When the Oath was involved, he almost seems to have twisted his own sense of honour into something he could *almost* believe in, that allowed him to commit the deeds he did. Honour, and duty towards their father, from whom Maedhros had inherited nothing but a heap of responsibility that he can never have wanted… :(

          Yes, I think about him far too much.

          • No, you don’t think too much. ;) I enjoy your work because you’re not just *drawing* the characters, but reading them (and reading well, I might add). As a literature student, and I appreciate and approve.

            Thanks for the explanation. I’ve read parts of the HoMEs, but it’s hard to keep it all straight!

    • Yes – that would be his very last moment or two. :(

      Well spotted – blood on the Silmaril. Whether it’s his from the burning, or the metaphorical blood of those he killed to gain it, I’ll leave up to you…

  4. Reblogged this on The Warden's Walk and commented:
    Very rarely do I reblog other people’s posts. This is one of those times. I simply couldn’t refrain from sharing this latest masterpiece by one of my favorite Tolkien artists, Jenny Dolfen. Please do enjoy. And if you do enjoy the picture, go to her page, “Like” her post, subscribe to her blog, and leave a comment telling her how wonderful her artwork is.

  5. This is amazing! The warm colors really just pop out in a way I never knew watercolors could. Did you use the coffee version as a base? Or did you start anew and repaint the whole thing?

    Gosh… I really can’t get over this piece. It’s so vibrant. O.O I can’t stop looking at it!

    • It’s liquid watercolours, which come ready-to-paint and heavily concentrated. :) That makes them really vibrant. (On the right sort of paper.)

      I completely repainted this, even went back as far as the lineart, redrawing the flames/lava/whatever you think it is. I wasn’t happy with how it looked as if he was casting himself in a coffee chasm. ;)

  6. I really can’t choose which one I like better. Both are wonderful.
    ‘The oath fulfilled’ was about futility and impending death, ‘It ends in flames’ IS that death. (I feel -> I think -> I express myself in foreign tongue, imperfectly…)

    I started reading Silmarillion. Slowly. I feel like I have to stop and ponder every few paragraphs, it’s just so filled with meaning! :)

    Then I start thinking ‘Faster, faster! Let’s reach the part where/when the paintings are’ and the thought that follows is ‘Nooo, read slowly, there is nothing after this (and few more books)*, prolong the pleasure.’ :(

    *Yes, my thoughts really do have interpunction in them, why do you ask :)

    • I know the feeling! I got myself the audiobook version of the Silmarillion a while ago, but I just can’t listen to it. (First, the narrator pronounces Maedhros wrong. Unforgivable.) And then, it’s just too *fast*. I want to stop the recording every few seconds to give the words time to sink in, the way I always do while reading.

  7. Sehr schön, gefällt mir ausnehmend gut! Das Ganze wirkt nun deutlich lebendiger und dramatischer – wie es der Szene auch angemessen ist :D

  8. Well… Even more impressing than the previous version. I never could imagine how this scene would look like, but now… I must admit this is the best variant… And one more: I still cannot understand how you do all these amazing things with water-colour… I could never get such colour.

  9. Pingback: On the Edge of Fire « loriangrace

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