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LotR/S: Memories of Blood and Fire

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By Houkakyou   |   Watch
Published: October 18, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 Houkakyou
My submission to :iconarda-inspired:'s Around the Fireside contest. I took it very non-literally....

Ingwe and Finarfin in the years after the Oath and the burning of Alqualonde. When they look at the white skyline of Tirion and the intricate sculpted buildings at Alqualonde, they see blood and fire reflected back at them despite the peace of Valinor.

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I always knew what Ingwe was going to look like when I finally drew him, but Finarfin took a bit of thought. I'd always imagined him with the same overly wavy hair that his...uh....grand-uncle. ugh elven family trees I didn't particularly want to draw two huge masses of wavy/curly blonde hair though. And then I remembered that I drew Finrod with straight hair! What a revelation. It works because although Indis probably had Ingwe's hair, Finarfin and Finrod also have Finwe's straight-hair genes! I decided not to make it incredibly long, either...Finarfin always struck me as the most sensible of Finwe's sons, and long hair is not very practical. So he gets waist-length hair that he puts into this weird bun thing.

I also had issues with Ingwe's crown. It took me a bit of searching to find out that Mithril (a logical choice for elven jewelry) actually is not found in Valinor, only in Middle-Earth (in Moria and Numenor, to be exact). I didn't want to use gold because gold hair+gold crown=no, and I figured silver was a bit inferior for the High King of the elves, so I used white gold. It ended up looking gold anyway, go figure. BUT NOW YOU UNDERSTAND MY PAIN.

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Closeup of the elves, if you don't care about the meaning in the piece and only are here for effeminate guys...
Image size
4800x3204px 11.63 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Comments20
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MirachRavaia's avatar
MirachRavaiaHobbyist General Artist
Your picture placed 1st in the Teitho challenge! Congratulations!
:iconarda-inspired:
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Thanks :)
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Thanks!
Sirielle's avatar
Sirielle Digital Artist
I sympathize with the hair problems, I see most of them with wavy/curly hair. Golden hair and gold, hmm, I still think it could work, need to try it one day. IMO much better than silver colours, which white gold would be. Also their crowns could have been form something else, than metal. Why not? Maybe after Feanaro left someone invented a substance alike silima and made royal jewels from it? Got to try it one day. Jewels itself are the other problem - those guys not only should be beautiful, preferably with long beautiful hair but also wearing circlets and other jewelry and some strange clothes. I wonder what JRRT imagined they looked like. Regarding the picture - interesting idea for the vision of flames :thumbsup:
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HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Sirielle's avatar
Sirielle Digital Artist
That's suitable jewelry :thumbsup:
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Lol thanks XD
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Good points! Thranduil does use wood in his, after all - they needn't all be metal.
About jewelry...I tend not to go overboard on that. Here I have an excuse - yes, they're kings, but this is after tragedy and horror has visited what they considered to be a peaceful paradise. I doubt they'd be too concerned with finery.

Additionally, I base general styles off of what Elrond and Galadriel were wearing in the movies (though admittedly that was WETA and not Tolkien in the design and planning) and clothing I think would be comfortable and/or flattering. I usually pattern their clothes somehow or edge them in something but here I felt that the picture was more about the meaning than the physical appearance of the city and its inhabitants.

Initially I did imagine Finarfin with very long hair, but that thought died somewhere along the line when I read that he was the most down-to-earth and reliable among the brothers. People like that don't usually think that long hair is practical XD

Thanks!
Sirielle's avatar
Sirielle Digital Artist
Sorry for so late replay. In that comment I got lost in what I wanted to say :XD: I was thinking if Tolkien ever really imagined those men the way he describes them, along with all "the fairest among the fairest" thing happening all time to different characters while reading. Who was the fairest of them all? ;) Then having the long hair and jewelry and so on.
No matter how I love to look at such and usually give Eldar long hair it is impractical. I guess they had to cut their locks when battles came, and then could grow them again in times of peace, but still they had much more work to do in Beleriand, thus hair couldn't be too long. Really long hair would belong to Aman times only.

I try to avoid the movie designs, but yes there are some really nice ideas. I believe that's mostly Alan Lee and John Howe concepts.
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Very good points. I love the idea about long/short hair corresponding to times of peace/war. Makes sense!

I noticed that they really tried to flesh out the elves a bit more in The Hobbit so I'm looking forward to 2 and 3, I bet they'll have even more.
Sirielle's avatar
Sirielle Digital Artist
We'll see, I really like Thranduil's design, even if he doesn't look as I imagine him, nor his hair are golden. There's always room for more ideas and visions of the same character :thumbsup:
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Same! Unfortunately, he's ruined my headcanon Thranduil who has wavy golden hair etc, so I haven't really been able to draw him anymore....
Sirielle's avatar
Sirielle Digital Artist
Wavy golden hair, that is what I imagine, too :D :thumbsup: With time you'll be able to draw him again :fingerscrossed:
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Haha hopefully :)
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Thank you!
Elaini-the-Mystic's avatar
Elaini-the-MysticHobbyist General Artist
Wow, this has some strong meaning behind it. And seldom you can see Finarfin with his uncle. Great work. :)
Houkakyou's avatar
HoukakyouProfessional Photographer
Thank you :) Seldom do people draw either of them alone, let alone together!
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