There will be BLOOD. (sketch)

Maedhros told me, in that very subtle and persuasive way of his, that he wanted a powerful painting. Not fluffy. No get well swords. No kick ass ivy. And by all means no barbed chains. He was okay with stump, though. demanded it, in fact.

I imagine that this is after he has just been notified of Morgoth’s assault in what is to become the Dagor Aglareb. And he feels the reckoning has finally come.

Talking of the Dagor Aglareb, and Maglor’s Gap being overrun – again – in the process, does anyone else feel Maglor is something like the weak link in a game of Red, Red Rover? In Germany, we used to play this (as “Der Kaiser schickt Soldaten aus”), and they’d always try to break through where I was standing, because I was small and thin and wore glasses. Morgoth must have picked Maglor as the same sort of kid.

I did better at the game than Maglor though; everybody was always surprised at how firm my grip was.

New Silmarillion picture ideas

I can’t seem to stop. O_o

Maglor and Maedhros after the latter’s rescue.

And one that I’ve been wanting to (re)do for years – the Prophecy of the North.

“Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and the Valar will fence Valinor against you, and shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, and ever snatch away the very treasures that they have sworn to pursue. To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass. The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.”

Spark – a Silmarillion fanfic

 

I’ve done it. Written my first Silmarillion fanfic in seventeen years. O_o

Maedhros upon Thangorodrim. Warning: Disturbing themes. Injury, torture, madness.

This probably won’t be easy to understand unless you’ve read the Silmarillion.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the character, though I promise to return him in good condition. As far as text-faithfulness is concerned. Maedhros was already in bad condition when I got him, so that’s not my fault.

Language is more reminiscent of DeLillo than Tolkien, but that was on purpose. Very suited to disturbing descents into despair.

Read the whole story here.

Maedhros in Angband – finished

Sorry, no progress shots for this one. I painted it in a sort of delirium. I used to do this all the time when I was younger – sitting down with a bottle of coke and my paints, and emerging four to eight hours later with a finished painting that I couldn’t remember even thinking about.

Yesterday; I sat down with a bottle of coke and my paints and just painted… got myself a new bottle around midnight – came back to my desk with it and actually flinched at what I found there somehow, and couldn’t quite explain how it had got there.

I should do this more often.

The light-through-bars lighting got lost in the process. I debated putting it in, and tried around with what it would look like digitally, but there were two reasons to get rid of it: Firstly, it somehow looked like a ray of hope – which I did not want there, and secondly, the paper wouldn’t have taken another layer of paint across the entire pic. It would have destroyed much of the detail work. So, one interesting lighting situation lost to painting delirium.

Maedhros in Angband – lineart

Poor love. Yes, I feel bad already.

I went back and forth with the chain fettering him to the wall; in the end, I left it there – I don’t think they’d trust him to stay put without it, and the chain makes it clear he still has hands (and arms) back there somewhere. O_o Wouldn’t want anyone to assume he was quite that maimed yet.

Going to colour it today.

Ossiriand – painting

I finally found the time to paint “Ossiriand”.

The result surprised me, quite frankly. I chose Dr Martin’s Liquid Watercolours and Canson paper to work on, as I wanted this pic bright – turns out that the result was almost too bright. Hence, I turned down the saturation a little in the final painting (as well as adding a slight yellow overall tint); that’s why the in-progress shots don’t fit colour-wise. (It’s also because my camera was completely overtaxed with so many colours; especially towards the end, I haven’t been able to fix them in the wip shots completely. The original is not as far away from the above version as most of the photos below.)

I can’t believe I’ve been struggling with brighter colours for years. The combination of the good ol’ Dockers with Canson is certainly an assault on the rod cells!

The first stage was to put a yellow wash over the entire pic, to achieve a golden sunlight glow in the end. I made it less pronounced where the sky would later go, so as not to end up with a green sky.

After this layer had dried, I put down the blue for sky and rivers…

… and mixed some rather pale green for the greenery in the back.

You see my putting down quite a lot of wet-into-wet paint there, for vegetation look that’s not too detailed.

Background greens added:

Now for the leaves in the foreground, I used a somewhat more detailed approach. I’ve often tried, over the years, to achieve mind-blowingly detailed greenery by wishy-washy-wet-over-wet stuff. Needless to say, I never found the magic formula. The only way to do detailed greenery is with small brushes and painted details. I already laid some of that down in the lineart.

Now I start painting the foreground leaves – detailing a few select leaves by highlighting the veins (painting around them), using a rather yellow green tone so they’d really catch the sunlight later.

Then I painted the rest of the leaves in the same green tone.

Then I go in with a second, more bluish green tone, painting over some of the blocked in light green leaves, again leaving out the veins. Some others I completely paint dark, others I leave light green.

So with these two tones, I paint four kinds of leaves: the light ones with “white” veins you saw above, dark green with light green veins, light green without veins, dark green without veins. This makes for a lot of very lively variation with pretty little effort.

For some more realistic lighting, I paint in some darks with a touch of red – now the leaves really pop.

I then begin to fear that the reddish foreground will completely upset the colour unity, and lay down a stronger yellow foundation.

The first layer of horse coat (and Maedhros’ hair). I should add that what Doc Martin calls Burnt Sienna isn’t Burnt Sienna at all. I had to do quite a lot of mixing before I got the tone right.

For the second layer of horse coat, I added some more reddish-brown hues, but rather close to the first.

At which point my camera just quits and picks up all sorts of hues.Note how, in the pic above, the horse looks rather out of place. This will be remedied in the shadows.

For the shadows, I mix in lots of blue, to reflect the colour of the grass in the shadowy areas. This ties the horse to the surroundings.

Then I go and paint Maedhros’ clothes and all the little details – not much to say here that I haven’t said several times before when outlining how I shade. :)

Except this one – his boots. I relay liked the details here.

As always, hope it was helpful – enjoy the final result! ^___^