Inktober 2019: Curls and Elves in Brocade

I never follow any Inktober lists. My overall theme usually manifests itself on day three or so. It’s “Elves in Brocade”. Obviously.

I’m really happy with my output this month. My one goal was to do more pieces than last year (which was easy) and to stick with ink (which was easier than I thought).

All of these are fineliner/brush pen with watercolour, most A5, some A4 size. And yes, haha, I made myself a new signature in between…

Maedhros
Lúthien
Fingon
Thranduil
Finarfin
Glorfindel
Arwen
Aredhel
Fingolfin
Finarfin (I)

Elrond
Melian
Finrod
Feanor
Maglor
Maedhros
Fingolfin
Éowyn

Busy and hodgepodge times

I’ve done a lot of little things here and there, none of which really warranted a blog post. Those of you who follow me on Patreon or on my mailing list already know that the artbooks are delayed due to the poor quality the printing company put out for the (large) batch I ordered. I still hope that they’ll be well in time for the holiday season. :)

I’ve also ordered a large badge of T-shirts with the Birmingham design. They’re in my Etsy shop and going fast! Please note that it’s unlikely that any of them will come back in stock – I’m a one-woman business, and can’t store large quantities of anything. :)

If you order a shirt, please make sure to read the item description with the into on sizes!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/717467506/the-professor-t-shirt

I have a few commissions on my plate, as well as a heap of things I want to draw… and just not time to do it. September is always a tough month because school occupies so much of my time, and fighting with printing companies and wrapping up five T-shirts a day doesn’t make it any better. Here’s hoping for October! I have no plans for Inktober this year – I just hope to get some art done at all.

Artist pins on the way!

I’ve finally done what I’ve been wanting to do for ages and designed my first artist pin!

pin-design3a

I’ll be celebrating my four-year anniversary on Patreon next month, and decided to do something special. Can’t wait to see what they look like! I was sure the manufacturer would whistle me back on the design, but they said it was fine like this. =O

Want to know more? Click here!

Testing KWARTSCreations watercolours

I recently got an extremely sweet collection of handmade watercolours from Katie of KWARTSCreations, and I really love how vibrant the colours are! They’re also nicely transparent. Katie also does paints with minerals and pearlescent pigments; I’m not too wild about those and asked for transparent earth tones and blues – but she included a very cool tone called Vivanite, which is the granulating earthy blue you see in the paintings below. Thank you so much, Katie!

I got wild with these in my sketchbook and they’re such fun! The little tin is also great to take along and paint with a water brush.

sons-of-nerdanel

“Sons of Nerdanel”, following a line of thought that evolved in a thread on my Patreon. I used many of the paints here; they harmonise wonderfully in their earthiness, with that brilliant Prussian Blue thrown in.

 

fingolfin

Next up, a little portrait of Fingolfin. More Prussian Blue, and Vivanite in the background. Plus a bit of white gel pen.

 

eye

The Vivanite felt perfect for Elven grey eyes, and I decided to do my first ever watercolour eye painting.

A better, scanned version:

eye2

These watercolours are really, really fun, and very well made. Sure, they don’t look as polished/perfect as the ones you buy in a store, but that is their charm, and the translucency and handling is excellent! Something that confused me at first but that is quickly growing on me is that they are ever so slightly clove-scented, as they’re made with clove oil.

Katie has a huge array of colours in her shop, and the pearlescent ones look really cool as well – she included a little gold pan as an extra, and its opacity is excellent, close to the Mica paints that I usually use for gold bits.

Tears Unnumbered

tears-unnumbered_collg

“Thus ended Nirnaeth Arnoediad, as the sun went down beyond the sea. Night fell in Hithlum, and there came a great storm of wind out of the West.”

Maedhros realises that everything is lost – the realms of the Noldor, their armies, their hopes, and his best friend.

Watercolour on Bockingford cold-pressed paper, 18×29 cm.

You can get it as a print in my Etsy shop! The original is available too.

I’ve come across quite a few renditions of Maedhros with a dead Fingon in his arms after the Nirnaeth; and while I appreciate the drama, I feel sure Maedhros didn’t learn of his friend’s death until days after the battle, and that he was too far away from Fingon while he and his brothers made their escape after Uldor’s treachery.

A little Silmarillion spree

Those always feel like coming home!

betrayal_col

Betrayal

Watercolour on Legion Stonehenge cold-pressed paper, 29×39 cm.

“So Fëanor has sealed his betrayal with fire. He will not return and has abandoned us here, as we all secretly feared he would. And Maitimo – where do you stand now? Did you bow to his will, do you stand by him, as you did when he broke the peace, as you did when he swore that terrible oath? Have Morgoth’s lies stamped out the love that once bound us, or do you still remember our friendship? Or was it Fëanor that stamped it out? I never had any part in any quarrel. The estrangement of our fathers never concerned me. When we meet again, will you remember our friendship? Will I?”

“How blind have I been, to think my father would ever turn back to bring hither the ones he left behind! How did I ever believe he considered them more than needless baggage? How can we hope to prevail without aid in this strange land, and how will we ever forgive ourselves for all that has passed? To the blood of the Teleri on our hands we now add that of our brothers and cousins, for surely they will now perish either by the vengefulness of the Valar, or in their attempt to cross the ice. Findekáno… I will never even be able to beg your forgiveness for this betrayal. You will meet your death hating me, and I will always know I deserve it for my inaction.”

(Writing is mine.)

Prints available, as is the original! Drop me a line if you’re interested!

sketchbook_mae

Maedhros sketches. Quick ones in my watercolour sketchbook. I’ve done quite a few recently – you can see more on Patreon!

 

they-prepared-to-die_col

“And they disguised themselves, and came in the night to the camp of Eönwë, and crept into the place where the Silmarils were guarded; and they slew the guards, and laid hands on the jewels. Then all the camp was raised against them, and they prepared to die, defending themselves until the last.”

Watercolour (Payne’s Grey and Golden Barok Red) on Hahnemühle Expression paper, cold pressed. 18×25 cm.

Limited prints available!

The Last Alliance

Gil-galad was an Elven-king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing;
the last whose realm was fair and free
between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen.
His shining helm afar was seen;
the countless stars of heaven’s field
were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
and where he dwelleth none can say;
for into darkness fell his star
in Mordor where the shadows are.

The Last Alliance. Watercolour on Clairefontaine Etival cold-pressed paper, just under A3 size.

Ever since painting my last “Gil-galad”, I felt I’d given him short shrift. standing there all alone in a blue field and not doing anything but looking mournful. I’ve been wanting to do exactly this piece for two years, with the low angle looking up, but I was afraid to tackle it. I’m so glad I finally had the nerve!

Prints available! Original for sale – contact me if you’re interested!

If you’re puzzled, or sad, or furious about his hair colour, please read this. http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Gil-galad

I’m a little tired of hair colour debates.