The Lady of the Golden Wood

A smallish watercolour commission I finished last month, with gold leaf. Prints are back in my shop!

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A Light in Dark Places (and good riddance to 2018)

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
Watercolour on Stonehenge Legion cold-pressed paper, 22×36 cm.

Prints available on Etsy!

Walkthrough with a lot of art tips on Patreon.

It has taken me a while, but I finally begin to feel that I’ve got the ground back under my feet. Just knowing that, in another day or so, this year will be over is surprisingly liberating. There is a lot that 2018 left me and that I will continue to deal with, but it feels immensely gratifying to say, sod off, 2018, you’re history. I’ll deal with stuff, but those horrible months are never, ever coming back.

I finally feel up to saying how grateful I am for my friends, online and offline, who have helped me through these dark months, and whose faith in me has wavered far, far less than my own. I finally feel that maybe it may have been appropriate. All of you who have continued to support me in 2018, in word and deed, THANK YOU! Have a wonderful 2019. We’ve all earned it.

A sorrowful meeting

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Sorrowful was their meeting in Tasarinan; for Finrod was lost and Angrod too, and never more would Aegnor walk beside Andreth Saelind beneath the green leaves of spring.  ~(Paul Leone, the commissioner of this piece)

You’ll remember this one of Finarfin being reunited with his daughter Galadriel around the War of Wrath. I redid it as a commission – as you know, the old version was coffee, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to hang it on a wall! :)

On my latest workshop, so many people were doing terrific things with masking fluid, so that I decided to give that another go as well. I used it for a layered look of negative space throughout; here you can see how:

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One little, two little, fifteen little Noldor

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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!”

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…

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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…

Lineart:

Finished:

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: http://fav.me/d3edyhg Coffee beans are a free stock image.