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King Thror and Carc the Raven

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Whew. This one took a lot longer than I intended. Getting started, inking it... and as usual, I rushed it. Once I start doing ink washes -- especially on large areas -- I try to go fast to keep from getting weird splotches. I'm really happy with the characters, but I hate the foreground and background. Of course, part of the problem with those sections was just figuring out what on earth was going on in reference images from the balcony of Erebor. Ah well....

Black Magic ink on smooth bristol. Inked using Winsor & Newton series 7 sable brushes (#'s 0, 1, 2, and 3). Black and white pencils for some detail work. Originally drawn onto the bristol with blue pencil (you can see the blue pencil before I fixed a few things and started inking it here).

Edited on 7/17/14: Replaced the old photograph with a scan.
Edited on 9/9/15: This image was considered for use on The Battle of the Five Armies EE documentary, but sadly didn't make the final cut. It was a lovely surprise and a wonderful compliment! :)
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© 2013 - 2021 cfgriffith
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vvveverka's avatar
I look at it again and again and still I can say just "wow, this is wonderfull"! Love / Luff It's not only about your outstanding skills to create a perfect piece - speaking about composition, likeness, idea and interpretation. The thing that captures my eyes the most is that the drawing looks almost digital but it's traditional and if I look properly, I can see that it is but still I can see the digital-like features and it is soooo captivating! :shiny: I've never seen something like that before... Great style! :clap:
cfgriffith's avatar
Oh, thank you so much! :D

I wonder if some of the digital-ness comes from the scanning and adjusting process? My scanner is so bright, that even on the deepest, darkest, several layers of thick ink to make a black spot, you can see brush strokes/streaking, so I will occasionally go in and adjust the contrast a little to help darken those spots again. Depending on the drawing and how many different sections there are though, sometimes it's a more involved process and I have to do it differently.... I can't remember what I did on this drawing in particular, but I remember with the Gloin's Locket piece, I had to actually have layers (one in high contrast to darken the darks, and another in regular to allow for the very faint and delicate details) and erased bits to have the darkest shine through the regular layer that was on top. It blended together to look like the original piece instead of the washed-out scan.

I've also noticed if I try to shrink a high-dpi file, it really starts looking digital and very different from both the original real-life drawing and the scan itself too! Anyway, that's probably not fully it... I know what you mean though. Even the original hanging on my wall has weird effects on it. The ink washes actually have a warm tone in real-life (slight pink/red tints), while the blue pencil line still shines through lightly... almost gives it a 3D effect!

It is so neat studying artwork closely. You sometimes see things you didn't see before, each time you view it.

Best Wishes!
vvveverka's avatar
Oh, my! :D I think I've never gotten such a long and exhausting response! :D

Hmmm, hmmm, I know what you mean - my scanner does it too (makes the dark lines lighter, creates white spots in them and it captures light tones very bad). I found the way how to adjust the scanner properties to capture the contrast and colors quite properly but the light tones are still a problem... Anyway, I think that you do much more precise job with the final adjustment than me so that your drawings look perfect even in the scanned version - yes, that possibly partly the cause why they look a bit digital. But it's probably also because of the way you draw - like you said... Your style is unique and I do admire it! It's special and outstanding and it definitely deserves a lot of attention! Omg does luff I agree that if you look at good artworks properly, there's always something new and great to find! :aww: So I'm looking forward to your next drawings because they definitely deserve closer view! :aww: Keep up with the great job! :D
LaLogias's avatar
Wow, this is amazing!!
ArlenFram's avatar
This is piece of real art <3 Hands down.
cfgriffith's avatar
Aww, thank you! You've just made my day! <3
MuttMix's avatar
I like the amount of detail you put into designing Carc's feathers!
cfgriffith's avatar
Thank you very much! :D
TheFunnySpider's avatar
Wow this is amazing!!
cfgriffith's avatar
TheFunnySpider's avatar
Eruanna3012's avatar
I love your style and your talent for detail.
cfgriffith's avatar
Thank you very much! :)
Saraleee's avatar
Oooh! I love this one! It's great.
cfgriffith's avatar
goddesstears's avatar
Oh wow, this is incredible! :D I love seeing how you draw the dwarves! :3 The shading and inking is really good, and dang! Those braids and feathers! :3 So beautiful! :heart: :heart:
cfgriffith's avatar
Thank you! :) I wish the background had turned out, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be on this one. I'm more interested in Thror and Carc anyway. Next time, I'll be a little more careful with the background. Although, I'm starting to think this way of inking is beginning to be a little more trouble than I want. Ha!
goddesstears's avatar
:3 I think it looks great! (but I'm comparing it to my backgrounds, which stink lol) If I could, I'd frame this on my wall. :D
cfgriffith's avatar
Yeah, at least I did a background for a change... it'll get there. *nods* And yeah.... totally need to get frames and start taking care of a few of these. They're buckling and warping and leaning on shelves. It's making us nervous!
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