Another Silhou…rillion! I am planning to do a few more of this sort, and of course they’ll be in my shop after my holiday. Right now, I’m still working off the last old orders and am packing, framing and signing stuff for Birmingham!
Aredhel the White. Watercolour on Stonehenge Legion cold-pressed paper, A5 size.
I doodled a very nice Fingon and Aredhel into my sketchbook yesterday – with coloured pencil, which yielded some really charming results. I decided to try watercolour on top of those – only to realise that my coloured pencils were water soluble.
So I printed the sketches out on watercolour paper again, and got to work, spraying the entire paper with water and then laying down a Quinachridone Gold wash.
A bit of flesh-tint with Burnt Sienna and Madder Red.
Some Ultramarine for the shadows.
More reddish and bluish tints. I really like this effect. Maybe next time I try this technique, I won’t do it on a character with dark hair.
Painting the hair with Ultramarine, Madder, and rather a lot of Shadow Violet.
Some final touches with paint, and later some more with Polychromos and white gel pen.
I sat down yesterday for a reality check. Am I deluded? These all look different to me, even without their characteristic hair. So yes, they are all related (fathers and brothers and sons and daughters and cousins), so they are all immortal and ageless, and they are all beautiful in the same ethereal Elven way, and yes, there are some that are less characteristic than others. But to me, they look exactly as they should. Maybe I’ve become too much of a shepherd. Or, alternatively, it’s just that I don’t see Tolkien’s characters as wildly individual (bordering on cartoonish) as, for example, G. R. R. Martin’s.
‘What!’ cried Bilbo. ‘You can’t tell which parts were mine, and which were the Dúnadan’s?’
‘It is not easy for us to tell the difference between two mortals’ said the Elf.
‘Nonsense, Lindir,’ snorted Bilbo. ‘If you can’t distinguish between a Man and a Hobbit, your judgement is poorer than I imagined. They’re as different as peas and apples.’
‘Maybe. To sheep other sheep no doubt appear different,’ laughed Lindir. ‘Or to shepherds. But Mortals have not been our study. We have other business.'” — The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien
Or, in the words of the immortal Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi: “They all look the same to me.” – “That’s racist!”
I broke in my new sketchbook over the past week, with, of course, loads and loads of Silmarillion sketches.
As always, click to enlarge!
Fingon the Valiant plunged in for a start. I think I was still warming up there.
A doodled Maglor followed on the upper right; mainly because I’d been looking at pretty photographs of pretty cloaks and wanted to do folds. Maglor always begs for flowy fabric.
Then I doodled some Maedhros-being-captured scenes. I’d really like to revisit one of them. I especially like the one in the centre. The right mix of wrath and fear. I might be getting morbid and do some more captured sketches…
Pencil and gouache on coloured paper just begged for Aredhel the White. I really like how she turned out here, though it seems I couldn’t quite decide which Aredhel she was – the one trying to escape Eöl, or the only who had not yet met him but walked through Nan Elmoth unafraid. Maybe there’s a bit of both in her.