The starting idea here was to depict two upper class dwarven Warriors. The one on the left is a professional Warrior of some prestige, maybe a field official. The one on the right is a nobility member, a person with considerable wealth and power.
Both wear ancient styled armor, being the nobledwarf's one of a foreign style maybe from the eastern dwarven houses. The professional warrior wears the kind of warmask that the dwarves developed in the first age to fight dragon's fire. It is grotesque and frightening with very exaggerated features and proportions. A beastly heavy and strong piece.
Many historical helmets and masks were as grotesque and exaggerated as this one, and I took my inspiration to create this one from the African tribal masks as well as from Samurai armor. The features resemble a wild boar, and the proportions are so massive that some features do not match the exact size of the face underneath. The mouth on the mask for example is well below the dwarf mouth inside. The plate that represent the mask's beard is long and broad and doubles as a neck and chest guard.
He wears a very sturdy full suit of mail and plates, those darker stripes you see I imagine as being of a different pattern, for example 6x1, for added sturdiness without compromising the overall flexibility and reasonable weight as well as being a decorative feature. He carries a pair of axes as well as a single bladed sword (the hilt is off center because of this) and a chisel bladed knife, very useful to shove into taller opponents' armor gaps. He also carries a medium shield on his back. A very complete and versatile gear fit for most of the situations a warrior could face.
The nobledwarf wears a fine gear, with a crested open faced helmet. He is expected to be seen and to give orders not to fight in the front lines all the time. His armor was inspired by historical Indo-Persian armors, and this early plate armor design is very simple but effective without compromising much the movements. It is not as gilded as a ceremonial or parade piece as it is meant for actual battle, but there is plenty of gold and even a plating treatment that flaunts his wealth. The mail underneath also sports a pattern of different colored rings. He also carries a complete gear including a poleaxe, a short Seax style sword and a slender and pointy dagger. He carries on his back a small rectangular shield with a boss in the middle.
It all was done with my trusted Noodlers fountain pens and watercolors, in my tiny Moleskine with some later PS fine tuning.
I wish they had you on the new Amazon Tolkien TV enterprise!
Have you seen my take on the dragon helm?
I didn't know you were a GW fan ! What faction do you play ? I'll send you the pdf when it's done (not likely soon since I always have so much to do and find myself so often doing nothing) but it will be in french (since I'm french and working with french and belgian people on a french forum). Do you speak french ? I was planning to do (or ask interested people to do) an english/spanish version but it will depend of the time I'll have... may be in the summer.
Unfortunately my french is really weak but I think I can read the article quite ok. I think I'll give it a try
Thanks man for asking for my art, see you.
Just curious, whats your take on the dwarves of the iron hills wearing metal mesh leggings? Is that even possible to make?
Thanks man, it is so nice to know what specifically caught your attention. I'm really glad you like the mask, I'm working hard on those concepts and I like the masks from the books since the first time I read about them, but most artists just ignore the theme so it's good to see it's been well received.
Thanks for your chritics about the shields. As you see, I do heed wise words.
the nobleman on the right is great aswell, that helmet crest really works. somehow dwarves without mustaches always look more classically german fairy tale in my mind, like quaker influenced almost (this was especially the case with balin in the movie, who looked like something straight out of an arthur rackham illustration) it's an artistic call i have a mixed relationship with, for the dwarves. it's definitely not the "classic" but in the right context it works. the armor is beautifully detailed and that pattern in the maille of gold rings is really beutiful, patterned mail being something i thing the dwarves would be big into.
it's funny your designs are actually making me think i should be a little less conservative with my own attempts at dwarf armor, they lend themselves well to really heavy pieces of armament.
well done, as always.
It is a pleasure to know your opinion on my take of those Dwarven masks. This particular piece of gear has been my design obsession for years now. I never saw many of them depicted, and almost none that I find attractive or good. I have to say that was your own take on the subject that kinda unlocked something in my mind and from that point on I started to have success in my quest to design believable and interesting masks. You know how hard this particular piece of armor is to design, given it doesn't have any real world close counterparts and also this angular design we chose for the Dwarves isn't by any means something easy to come by in a satisfactory way. So I have to thank you for the inspiration and many encouraging and criticism words. I will not lie to you, I hope one day the circle comes over again and maybe you can find yourself enough inspiration on this back and forth to try more possibilities of your own on the theme. I love all of your art you know, but this is particularly underrated stuff. The dwarves need us
As for the dwarf without mustache: well I have to say I find this queer and somewhat ugly if you got my meaning, but I also find it very exotic so it fits well the image of a foreign dwarf warrior. Also and I don’t know exactly why, but I think it fits the “nobledwarf” idea well.
The patterned maille is something I would love to explore more, but it is very difficult to portrait it in a simple small drawing and even more for different maille patterns, and that is a special pitty given there are so many different and fascinating historical examples to derive from.
To be less conservative is something that we should allow ourselves now and then, you know our kind of approach is very tied to historical references in order to avoid this horrible and ever prevalent tendency to anchor design on “coolness” alone, so it is difficult to be innovative without going too far. But we have to be watchful in order to not stick too close to real the world or the fantasy world of reference and thus miss the opportunity of creating something unique and great.
A hard task. To be between strict history and wild fantasy without falling from the edge.
This is an honor, I'm flattered. It is always nice when I receive some appreciation for my art, but when it comes from a learned and critical person like you it is really special. I hope to see you around here now and then, your comments are always very wellcome.
I also prefer the professional one, I like this brutish menacing look
Thank you very much, this is a huge complement! And you are one of the few that are able to see those details and value it. The world is so full of “cool” art that people just forgot about cohesion and coherence, about solid foundations of research and also a good pinch of reality. I completely despise this current trend and try and do something different. It is a treat when someone like you notice it, appreciate it and point it out. Thanks again for your words, I specially love to hear from you given I admire your work myself.
Very nice designs!