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Coldfire by Bluesrat Coldfire by Bluesrat
I did this for a Secret Santa who asked for an illustration of the dark fae from C. S. Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. When I took the request, I immediately thought of this scene, from chapter 25 of Black Sun Rising. I've wanted to illustrate it since I first read the books (fifteen years ago now?).

Deciding to forgo my usual method of drawing and then coloring the lineart, I actually painted this from the ground up (well, digitally--all hail Photoshop!). I started this in October, ran into a two-week dead spot in November around Thanksgiving when I couldn't figure out how to fit Damien (on the right) into the scene, and then finished it just last week, four days before the deadline.

And then I decided I was dissatisfied with it because it didn't feature the fae to the extent I felt it should to answer the prompt, so I whipped up another picture in about three hours that focused more on the dark fae, and submitted them both. :) Figures.

Still, this is probably the most elaborate thing I've ever done, and as an illustration of that scene (one of my favorites) from one of my favorite books, I'm more than pleased. And I'm very pleased with how the fae looks in it, even though it didn't answer the prompt to my satisfaction.
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:icondorothy-t-rose:
Dorothy-T-Rose Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Aaaaaaah, LOVELY depiction of that scene! Poor Sensei! The fae looks awesome and I really like the glow of the coldfire, too. I love how freaked Damien looks. *pokes him*

~D~
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:iconcabadrin:
cabadrin Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, that's lovely. And adds much needed art to a very, very small fandom. Small compared to others here at least.
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010
Thank you! I agree, this fandom needs way more art. :)
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:iconnnaj:
nnaj Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Omg detail *dies*
I loved that bit in the book. Why doesn't this deviation have more love? Why doesn't Coldfire have more love?
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
I don't know, but I try to spread the love when I can!
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:iconsmtarrent:
smtarrent Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
The scene I want to see the most would be Hesseth's sacrifice for Jenseny... now that is one emotional piece...

Anyway, this is by far one of the best Coldfire fanart I've seen. I'm really a huge fan of the series since highschool and this picture made my day!
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
Oh, thank you! I've been in love with these books for years. Wrote a couple of college papers on them, even. It's always wonderful to meet another fan!

Hesseth's death was a beautiful and sad scene, and I love the image I have in my head of the rakh, but I'm not sure I could manage that one. Maybe one day, though. :)
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:icondm-narsisa:
Dm-narsisa Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2010
this is really amazing :D i don't recall the scene but i've started to re-read the novel because it's just that awesome >.< love this!! the fae looks just like i imagined, it's really, really good. :)
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2010
Yay! Prompting a reread is total victory!

That scene is about halfway through the book, after Damien follows the Hunter into the Forest to rescue Ciani. It's one of the most visually evocative descriptions of the fae I can remember from the books, and that's the reason I illustrated it. :)
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:iconmadprincefeanor:
MadPrinceFeanor Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009  Professional Writer
This is incredible, my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) got me into C.S. Friedman and the Coldfire trilogy. I loved that scene so much, you did it great justice! :+fav:
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009
Oh, thank you! It's such a striking scene; I particularly wanted to depict the fae as it's described in that scene.
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:iconmadprincefeanor:
MadPrinceFeanor Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009  Professional Writer
You're very welcome! It really is, and I always love how Friedman described the dark fae.
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:iconiyadaethras:
Iyadaethras Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a great depiction of that scene :D I love it!
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2009
Awww, thank you! I think the best thing about it is all the Coldfire fans I've met thanks to it. :)
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:iconiyadaethras:
Iyadaethras Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I bet so :D They are few and far between ^^;
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:icontwo-smokes:
two-smokes Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2009
This scene stands out to me every time I remember the series. It was so well written.
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
I loved the description of the fae. There are some things that I don't like so much about the picture (this is my third try at Coldfire art, but I still can't Damien to look the way I want him), but I'm very happy with the way the fae came out.
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:icontwo-smokes:
two-smokes Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2009
It certainly a difficult one to draw. C.S. Friedman is in a class of her own, and this scene was so well-written. I think you've done a great job with it. If nothing else, I know exactly which scene it is at first glance.
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:iconlightzout:
Lightzout Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009
There should me more fan art from the trilogy. Especially with Gerald Tarrant, he's the best anti-hero for me out there.
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009
Tarrant is indeed awesome. :) The series really does need more fan art. I ought to do a few more pieces for it...sometime when I can find the motivation.
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:iconlightzout:
Lightzout Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
ooooh, can you make the part where Ciani and Damien have their first date?
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
Hee, I'll keep it in mind. Meanwhile, one of the ladies on the LJ Coldfire comm did this: [link]

Here's the link to the comm itself: [link]
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:icongatito-felix:
Gatito-Felix Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
uah!! I read the first book in middle school and I really love the way everything was written up to the last one. I love the way you portrayed this scene as well. I was like REEESE!! haha I clearly remember this =D one of my favorite parts. I was actually disappointed at first at the lack of Cold Fire images, but this one makes up for everything. Thanks for sharing it is fantastic.
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Thank you! I agree, there is nowhere near enough Coldfire art, so I felt I should do my part to remedy that. I've been trying to do a drawing of Damien, but nothing I've done has really turned out looking like him. It's all that Damien POV; we get a great idea of the inside of his head, but we barely even manage to learn what color his eyes are. I'll have to keep working at it, I guess.

If you enjoyed the books that much, then maybe I'd better direct you to the Coldfire community, Hunter's Forest ([link]), where we're doing a chapter-by-chapter read-through and discussion of the books. It's going nice and slow, about two to four chapters a week, because we've all got lives, but it's a lot of fun. We just started the second book, if you'd like to join in. You'd be warmly welcomed!
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:icongatito-felix:
Gatito-Felix Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for the invite; I greatly appreciate it and I do think I'll be going there to have a look. I've been deprived since I lent my books out and they haven't been returned T_T I love re-reading such great works =D especially the ending of it all was just perfect.
I agree very much that Damien is tricky to draw since everything is a description of how he sees things. Boo him. I'd like to add some of my own to the Coldfire art, but I barely manage to do assignment and I've still got a ways to go e.e;
But nonetheless thank you for sharing your wonderful art ^_~ and thanks for the link.
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:icondeathbringshappiness:
DeathBringsHappiness Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009
Wow, This Is An Awesome Picture.
I Read The First Book And kept Thinking To Myself
'I Wonder What It Would Actually Look Like?'
So, This Is Awesome!
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2009
:D That's what I like to hear! There's so much from those books I've always wished I could actually see, and...well, there aren't a whole lot of Coldfire fan-artists going around, so I suppose if I want to see it, I'd better do it myself. But I hope it's what other people want to see, too, so I'm glad you liked it!

I still can't draw Damien, though. I keep trying, but he's so difficult to pin down! Isn't it funny how we get more stuff from his POV than anybody else, but we seem to end up knowing less about him than anybody?
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:icondeathbringshappiness:
DeathBringsHappiness Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2009
Yes, I Think Its A Little Ironic, lol.
Though, I Have Only Read The First Book, So Im not Sure If I Really Know As Much As People Who Have Read All Three.
Library Hasn't got It In Yet, lol
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:icondawrei:
Dawrei Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I remember this scene really well. Good job!
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009
Hooray! Fellow Coldfire fans are always a welcome discovery. :)

Say...allow me to point you at the Hunter's Forest comm on LJ ([link]), where we are currently engrossed in doing a chapter-by-chapter reread of the novels, and then talking our little fannish hearts out about it. It's not even all fan-dorkery! There's quite a lot of very interesting insights and analysis.

You'd be very welcome if you wanted to join in!
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:icondawrei:
Dawrei Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That, I cannot resist XD
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:iconjagash:
Jagash Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The purples and reds are gorgeous.
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:iconmurasaki99:
Murasaki99 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
Whoa, this is gorgeous! I've never read the books, but the scene looks so cool I'm tempted to find and read them now.
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:iconbluesrat:
Bluesrat Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2009
You should! They're amazing books, with something for just about everyone--especially if you like bad guys. :) Or paladins. Or really well-constructed magic systems. Or sci-fi disguised as fantasy. Or deep philosophical underpinnings or powerful internal struggles of good vs. evil.
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December 23, 2008
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