After “All the others, gone” sparked heaps of discussions on the rebirth, re-embodiment and return of Elves who died…

… this absolutely needed to be done.

Entering the realm of wild speculation here rather than “missing scenes.”

No doubt Maedhros spent a long time in the Halls of Mandos, while his mother remained alone in Valinor – her husband and her seven sons, gone. Eventually, Maedhros might have been the first of all her family to leave Mandos again.

Their first meeting… so many things left unsaid, too painful to put into words.

I’m liking this more and more.

… and even more after completely redoing Maedhros. I’m glad I did. The last pose could have been anything. Now it’s a son begging for forgiveness.

For the colours, I went for a minimalist approach. Some coffee in subtle shades, with some of it taken off with a moist brush (by re-wetting it)  in order to get a streaming sunlight effect; coffee mixed with some watercolour paint for both their hair as the only non-coffee coloured item in the piece, and white gouache for the falling petals.

Stand up to the blow that fate has struck upon you
Make the most of all you still have coming to you
Lay down on the ground and let the tears run from you
Crying to the grass and trees and heaven finally on your knees

Let me live again, let life come find me wanting
Spring must strike again against the shield of winter
Let me feel once more the arms of love surround me
Telling me the danger’s past, I need not fear the icy blast again

(Genesis, Undertow)

Detail shots of Maedhros and Nerdanel:

I’ve also changed the title from “Thy son has returned” to “Forgiveness” – also because I realised that Tolkien Elves do not use the familiar “thou” for their elders…

Unspoken Resentment

I seem to be one of the few people who always assumed that, when Fingon had rescued Maedhros from Thangorodrim, he took him with him to the people of Fingolfin. It’s always made sense for me. He would have wanted to keep him close, and he wouldn’t have been welcome to stay in the Fëanoreans’ camp, quite apart from the fact that he’s just not brazen enough to just outstay his welcome there – neither could I ever imagine him just dumping Maedhros at his brothers’ doorstep, saying “There ya go! I dared what you didn’t!” and take the next eagle home. XD

So, the question is: How did Fingon’s family react? I imagine it was a mix of anger at his sudden disappearance, admiration for his daring deed, and resentment at helping one of the hated Fëanoreans. The latter would have been strongest in Turgon, just having lost his wife and nearly his daughter, and holding Maedhros squarely responsible, as Fëanor was no longer around to be held responsible.

Hope to finish this with coffee. Hmmmm. Coffee.

First sketch in my sketchbook. I ran out of extra lead in ALL my mechanical pencils and then even the only black Biro I had died on me. O_o Hence the “Och nee!” (German for: Oh noes!) in the corner.

Photoshop sketch done at home.

The lineart. With the help of a ref photo shot of myself with a couple of kitchen towels and a thermos flask. Dear Lord, I need to de-age that hand. You know, I’ll be forty in three years, but you’d never guess it unless you saw my hands. I swear I have the Hands of Dorian Gray. They age in my stead. XD

I decided to change Fingon’s expression as opposed to the lineart – merely concern for Maedhros, not even acknowledging his brother’s resentment, in spite of being perfectly aware of it. He wouldn’t hold a grudge. His aim was to heal a feud, not create new ones. He probably even allowed Turgon for his enmity – mostly because he still didn’t know Maedhros was blameless for the burning of the ships.

If he wasn’t so pure-hearted, I’d have fallen for Fingon instead of Maedhros. He just lacks a dark side.

Finished with coffee. :)

All the others, gone

A missing moment that I hadn’t even seen until now – we all know that Finarfin came briefly to Beleriand to lead the Noldor of Valinor into battle against Morgoth in the War of Wrath.

Has it ever occurred to anyone how painful it must have been to finally be reunited with his daughter – and learn that his four sons, his granddaughter, his brothers, all his nephews and niece were dead, dead in that land for which they had set out six hundred years before, full of hope of glory and freedom…


Galadriel looks rather younger and more vulnerable here than I usually see her – even in the rebellion of the Noldor six hundred years previously – but then, this whole concept of parents in their mid-thousands and their children in their early thousands is hard to grasp for us mortals…



And I went ahead and made a coffee painting tutorial. Mostly because I really haven’t found any online that went past “Make coffee. Paint picture”. There are so many interesting things going on with coffee that it was really worth it explaining them.

Coffee texture from: Coffee beans are a free stock image.

One Maglor, please. Milk, two sugars.

So, decided to look into coffee painting today.

Really handles a lot like watercolour, only stains more and does very interesting things at the edges. Forms harder edges too. Background painted in leftover of hubby’s morning coffee (Onko, der Milde), figure in Jacobs Instant Espresso.

I’ll definitely be doing more with this.