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WIP:Lords of Noldor: Feanor

By aautio
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WORK IN PROGRESS: Kurufinwë Fëanáro, Son of Finwë

”Fëanor grew swiftly, as if a secret fire were kindled in him. He was tall, and fair of face, and masterful, his eyes piercingly bright and his hair raven-dark; in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast. Few ever changed his courses by counsel, none by force. He became of all the Noldor, then or after, the most subtle in mind and the most skilled in hand.”

-- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, Chapter 6: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

Character Background

Finwë's eldest son and only child by Míriel, Fëanor was the greatest of the Ñoldor in skill of hand and power of the mind. He created the Silmarili and the Tengwar and is without doubt the most pivotal figure in the history of the Ñoldor and all of Tolkien’s legendarium of the Elder Days.

Fëanor was also extremely proud and hot-tempered. Although the Fall of the Ñoldor was contrived by Morgoth, Fëanor was truly the embodiment and main motivator of their rebellion, driven to madness by the loss of his father and the Simarils. The Oath he swore with his sons led to the Flight and eventual Fall of all the Ñoldor who left Aman. Although for the most part of the Silmarillion Fëanor is already dead, without his deeds there would be no story to tell in the book!

Design Concept

My image of Fëanor is tall (6'4" / 193 cm) and nimble, with sharp features and raven-black hair reminiscent of his father. I see a slight air of nervousness and a great deal of creative madness about him; he would never sit or stand still, never be content with what he has and constantly aspire for greater achievements. Although I see him as the shortest of Finwë’s sons physically, his spirit and his presence would be so powerful that he would always seem taller, almost as if glowing with an inner light. (Not quite sure how to draw that, though..)

With the pose I try to convey that as always, Fëanor’s mind is at work.. He can’t be bothered to look at the ‘ portrait painter’ as he’s already thinking of some new invention or work of art. I wanted to give him some item that would mark him as a great writer and loremaster and ended up with a peacock feather quill, because.. umm.. well, peacocks are extremely cool and I think Fëanor was also a bit of a “ peacock” himself. He wears very flashy (but still quite practical) clothes and lots of jewellery.

The heraldic design is my interpretation of Tolkien’s original design for Fëanor. The smaller design below his name is my idea for a more simplified emblem of the House of Fëanor, a silver star on red/black background.


This is a WIP character sketch for my “Lords of the Ñoldor” project. It combines the scanned, not-yet-cleaned-up pencil lineart without shading or highlights, the current idea for the heraldic device(s) and the Tengwar inscription (I haven't decided yet whether I want to use the regular script or the cursive style, so I included both) to be used in the triptych. At some point I might finish it up as an individual character portrait but for now it’s just a WIP component.

Character drawn on regular copy paper, no references used. The originals are quite small; each character is under 15 cm tall (that’s a bit under 6” for the measurement-impaired). I draw them with a regular HB pencil that I try not to sharpen too much.. gives the line a nice thickness and more lively(=uneven) character. The size also keeps me from adding too many details, which would be lost anyway in the finished piece where the characters are fairly small.

The heraldic designs were drawn in AutoCAD, I looked at Tolkien’s design for reference. Assembled in Photoshop. (--Hard to say what category this should go into, but let’s say traditional, since the pencil drawing is the main thing..)

It’s still WIP, so comments, ideas, suggestions, etc. are more than welcome! :)

WIP:Lords of Noldor: Triptych Layout

WIP:Lords of Noldor: Character Portraits
Image details
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© 2007 - 2021 aautio
anonymous's avatar
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ElemmireOfValinor's avatar
You' ve got great talent, but it is definitely not my vision of Feanaro. Especially his hairstyle, I don't mind it looks as if he didn't wash it for a long time, because it suits well his "obsessed with his works" lifestyle. And the clothing, even during greatest days of Valinor should be more practical.
emmiko28's avatar
ehm ... no way is feanaro shorter than his brothers; he was said to be quite tall, the mightiest in body and mind and with a spirit that burned as a flame in his heart. in my opinion, arafinwe would be the smallest; there are references in texts that feanaro and nolofinwe are tall ... nowhere does it say that that finarfin himself is tall. no way is he only 6'4' ... he should be at least 7 feet because that was the average height of the noldorin men ... the noldor themselves considered him tall ...

also, he ain't wearing no practical clothes; those are not clothes of a man who was known for his travels and restless spirit, for being a smith, a craftsman. i think that he would have no need for peacock dressing for he was by nature very fair and handsome; no peacock would marry nerdanel ... neither would nerdanel marry a peacock ... not even if he were feanaro. :D in my opinon, elegance should be the word associated with him; miriel, his mother, was said to be graceful, slender and beautiful, gentle and sweet voiced ... she was compared to a white flower laying in the green grass ... that ain't no image of kitch, vulgarity.

just my two cents on the matter.
shyangell's avatar
I love it.
But the hair... you said it is short... to me (who always envisioned him with long hair) rather looks as if he's got a very messy braid and hairs come loose... (you know so not to burn his own hair in the forge. ;)
PresentDayRomeo's avatar
Isn't it a C and not a K?
FoxMaq's avatar
So human... that's why I like this work. In the story he seems to be smart, cunning but he also is not as ';perfect' as rest of the elves. More human.

So I must say I like how he looks on Your work.
aautio's avatar
Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
-drool- he's amazing.....except he has no long pretty elfy hair :p
Sorry about the short reviews...I really suck at writing reviews
aautio's avatar
Heh, Thanks! :D (And again, it's just my personal impression.. I've always seen him short-haired.)
Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
I know what you mean...I juts like my lon, pretty, elfy hair...sorry about the multitudes of reviews too! I was on a spree...
aautio's avatar
No problem, it's always nice to hear comments.. :)
Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
:P If i could draw i'd draw you somethign....but my best drawing ever was a stick man...he had a NOSE :)
aautio's avatar
No way! A nose? :noes:

Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
It was amazing..and one had HAIR!
Winterthorn's avatar
his boots remind me of eskimo peoples boots! and the scarf thingie and the pattern on his sleeve!
aautio's avatar
Eskimo boots? :oops: I had something like 15th century nobleman's suede boots with gold embroidery in mind.. ;)
Winterthorn's avatar
that works too :hug: it still looks very noble :)
aautio's avatar
Winterthorn's avatar
you're welcome :bucktooth:
LadyMornariel's avatar
Your drawings have an incredible amount of detail in them . . . and even though I'm one of those who favors a long-haired Feanor, I'm rather fond of yours. There's just one eensy thing . . . maybe it's just my eyes though. His clothing makes him look . . . a bit on the bulky side . . . more through the legs and ankles than anywhere else. I hesitated to even say that, with the knowledge that I'm not that great at drawing period, but it just kept jumping out at me no matter how I looked at it.

Still . . . Feanor . .. . ::wipes drool and pulls self back together:: I'll be a diehard supporter until the day they cremate me!
aautio's avatar
:D Thank you! Good to know he's acceptable even to a die-hard fan who has a somewhat different image.. :)

Hhmm.. I'm pretty sure I was throughout with the sketching so his proportions shouldn't bee too off.. but he was definitely not supposed to look bulky.. I see him as more thin and lithe than big and muscular.. He does wear three thick layers of clothing with large loose sleeves and padded shoulders, though..

One thing that might confuse the viewer about his legs is the fact that his skirt covers his knees (they are roughly at the level of the copyright text) and so his legs might appear shorter than they actually are.. I don't know if that's what you meant. Thanks for the feedback! :)
LadyMornariel's avatar
::grins at the thought of him in a skirt:: Oh yeah, definitely acceptable!

Thin and lithe . . . yes. I thought so too. Okay, now this makes sense to me. It was my eyes after all, lol. Thank you!
aautio's avatar
Ehh.. right. Not that kind of skirt.. :lol: That traditional middle layer of (mostly Medieval) clothing, which usually had sleeves and a long hem is technically called a "skirt" (or gown, or tunic) ..but in this particular case it might be better described as an "overgrown T-shirt" or something. ;) But like someone pointed out above.. since I already gave him a "sporran," I might as well draw him in a kilt next time!
LadyMornariel's avatar
ROFL, I knew what you meant. Ooooo . . . Feanaro in a kilt . . . . ::grins happily::
aautio's avatar
heh, I think i'll just have to draw that now.. just as a joke. :D
anonymous's avatar
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