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WIP:Lords of Noldor: Fingolfin

By aautio
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WORK IN PROGRESS: Ñolofinwë Arakáno, Son of Finwë

Character Background

Fingolfin was Finwë’s third child (second by Indis) and second son, renowned for his strength and wisdom. He became the regent of the Ñoldor in Tirion after Finwë retired to Formenost with the banished Fëanor. After the death of their father the half-brothers disputed the kingship of the Ñoldor and led their people in pursuit of Morgoth and the Silmarils all the way to Beleriand. There Fingolfin eventually became the first High King of the exiled Noldor.

He was perhaps the greatest warrior among the Eldar and a natural leader who inspired loyalty, but like his father and most Ñoldor he was quite proud and perhaps a tad bit too fond of power - which strained his relations with Fëanor even further. Still, he was much more of a diplomat than Fëanor at any rate.

Design Concept

I picture Fingolfin as the tallest (6'9" / 206 cm) and strongest of the sons of Finwë, with athletic broad-shouldered body type (which I view as uncommon among the Elves), strong-jawed face and medium-long straight hair of very dark brown colour. I see him as slightly vainglorious.. not quite as much as his father, but he would wear flamboyant, intricately decorated formal robes of blue, white, silver and gold to show off his wealth and status and would generally bask in the attention and reverence his elevated position granted him.

The heraldic design is my interpretation of Tolkien’s original design for Fingolfin. The smaller design below his name is my idea for a more simplified emblem of the House of Fingolfin, a white/silver star on a deep blue 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
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© 2007 - 2021 aautio
anonymous's avatar
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ereniongilgalad's avatar
"athletic broad-shouldered body type" was common among the Noldor and their average height is 7' so Fingolfin is definitely taller than that:

“…and they were tall and dark-haired and strong like fir-trees, and from them most of the Noldor later were sprung."
“…The Noldor, outnumbered and taken at unawares, were yet swiftly victorious; for the light of Aman was not yet dimmed in their eyes, and they were strong and swift, and deadly in anger, and their swords were long and terrible." –So here the Noldor have two different kinds of strength one is physical and the other is related to their spirits."
"In general the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles, being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe." The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels: "Quendi and Eldar,"
They were called “halflings”; but this refers to the normal height of men of Númenórean descent and of the Eldar (especially those of Ñoldorin descent), which appears to have been about seven of our feet.’- Noldor and Numenoreans about the same height.
'' But in the dim dusk of a winter's day there appeared suddenly among them a man, as it seemed, of great bulk and girth, cloaked and hooded in white...'' - This is a physical description of Beleg in comparison to the men that were following Túrin Turambar. Keep in mind that he’s one of the Sindar the Noldor were in general larger.
"The Númenóreans ... are in constant communication with their ancient friends and allies, either in the bliss of Eressea, or in the kingdom of Gilgalad on the shores of Middle-earth. They became thus in appearance and even in powers of mind, hardly distinguishable from the Elves..." - If you read about Numenoreans you would see that they were very tall and strong but still it was quite hard to distinguish a Numenorean from an Eldar.
SadisticMasochistic's avatar
i'd love to make my own version of the characters but the book gives very little physical description... DD8
very nice though 8D
Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
your art is amazing, but I find myself not liking it as a rendition of Fingolfin..he looks like he's the type who does all the paperwork....
aautio's avatar
That's definitely not the impression I was going for.. he's actually more muscular than anyone else in the triptych. ;) But we all have our own way of seeing these characters.. :)
Zephyr-Zucchini's avatar
he looks VERY muscular ect. but the look in his eyes...-puts on glasses- ooops, never mind....
TariSaralonde's avatar
6'9"!? Jebus... That's taller than my Tech teacher, and I've seen him smack his head on the top of door frames countless times. I can't imagine what it's like for Fingolfin. Poor Fingolfin :(

Now for the 'sqee'ing. OMG! :heart:.:heart: I love him! His robes put the zing in amazing... God, that was awful... the details are so swirly and Elfy and perfect ^-^ and who couldn't adore that face?
"The name's Golfin... Fin Golfin. *wink* *nearby fangirls faint*"
aautio's avatar
The Noldor were quite tall on the average, so I'd imagine they made taller doors.. =p Still, Fingolfin was definitely one of the tallest.

Heh, that's pretty much the effect I wanted.. :D Thanks - glad to hear you like him. ;)
TariSaralonde's avatar
lol They would have had to with all those 7' people waltzing around.

Welcome ^^:hug:
aautio's avatar
scars-and-stripes's avatar
Your drawings always tempt me to pull out my old Blind Guardian CD's... I love it :D I need to take art lessons from you T_T your proportions are always perfect and I always just sorta ... fluff over the tricky bits ~_~
Anywayyysss, I love his robe, I don't see it as particularly flamboyant, though if it was coloured brightly I might take that back... I do like his cheekbones, and he has a strong chin that seems to make him look more... kingish :P Awesome as always, Mikko :D
aautio's avatar
Thank you, Pikko! :hug: I wanted him to look noble and regal above all. The robes are supposed to be a relative simple design as far as their shape goes (especially if compared with his father and half-brother..) but made of wonderfully textured fabrics and rich embroidery in gold and silver threads.

I still have never heard Blind Guardian.. I need to find their music somewhere! :D

I often struggle with proportions because i'm too lazy to sketch properly.. but the basic measuring tricks using the head size as indicator usually work. You could also check out *tracyjb's great tutorial: [link] - it's concise and well done, and it helped me a lot to get back to drawing a couple of years ago.
Succubus1982's avatar
Smexay! Looking forward to seeing Finarfin next. He's seldom drawn so will be nice to see how he comes out. Not that he's a patch on the other two studs of the family.
aautio's avatar
Heheh.. thanks! ;)
Toradh's avatar
Fits and looks great.
aautio's avatar
Annaksunamoon's avatar
Great Fingolfin draw.. I love him!!
aautio's avatar
Idril-Celebrindal's avatar
Great work!
He looks like some heroe from Greek history and mith. So fierce and regal. :thumbsup:
aautio's avatar
Thank you! That's just the impression I was going for! :hug:
Baalam's avatar
Lovely work! :D I just love his clothes, so detailed!

I can't wait to see the rest of these!
aautio's avatar
Thank you! :) I can't wait either! ;)
SeekHim's avatar
I love it.

Most pictures I've seen of Fingolfin are of him fighting Morgoth.
There's not to many of him out there showing him as a noble/king
aautio's avatar
Thank you. That's exactly the image I wanted.. a noble portrait of a ruler. :) The whole triptych is going to be focusing on just the characters and their personality and style.. no action, no weapons.. not this time. just a "family photo." ;)
Senekha's avatar
Wheee!!! :heart:

Not quite how I imagined his face, but I love the outfit (as usual^^), and his stance, and the scroll clutched in his hand. His emblem on his belt/sash thing is a nice touch :D
anonymous's avatar
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