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Eldacar of Gondor by MatejCadil Eldacar of Gondor by MatejCadil
Eldacar – Minë Yunquea Aran Ondonóreo (Eldacar – the Twenty-first King of Gondor)
Eldacar's father Valacar had been sent by Romendacil II as an emissary of Gondor to the Northmen in Rhovanion. There he fell in love with and married princess Vidumavi, daughter of king Vidugavia. Their son, first named Vinitharya, would later be called Eldacar. When Valacar returned to Gondor, the high men of Gondor frowned upon prince's marriage to a woman of alien and "lesser" race for they feared that Vidumavi's descendants would prove short-lived. During Valacar's reign rebellion started to smoulder in the southern fiefs of Gondor since many refused to accept Eldacar as their upcoming monarch. When Eldacar succeeded his father in T.A. 1432 full civil war erupted, called the Kin-strife. The rebels came against Eldacar in great strength and lay a siege that laid waste to Osgiliath. As Eldacar fled the city to Rhovanion, his distant relative named Castamir claimed his throne and had Eldacar's son Ornendil put to death.
Eldacar gathered together Northmen and many of the Dúnedain from the northern parts of Gondor and after ten years of exile he led a great army to reclaim his Kingship. The greatest clash during Eldacar's return took place at the Crossings of Erui. Although Eldacar himself avenged his son Ornendil by slaying Castamir, the sons of the Usurper escaped from the battle to Pelargir and sailed to Umbar which then became a refuge for all enemies of the King and a constant threat to Gondor's coastlines and sea traffic.
Eldacar lived for 235 years, which showed that his mother's lineage had not diminished his lifespan as feared. Eventually he was succeeded by his younger son Aldamir.
pen and coloured pencils, A3 paper. 2017.

The portrait of Eldacar had to reflect the most important event of his reign – the Kin-strife. I chose to depict him in the aftermath of the battle at the Crossings of Erui, he defeated his enemies led by Castamir the Usurper, but it is a sad victory, with so many Gondorian blood shed and the realm deeply shaken. That is symbolically shown in the cloven Gondorian shield on the ground, same as Eldacar's (both sides in battle fighting for Gondor) and of course the depleted army in the background. As Eldacar was a descendant of the Northmen on his mother's side, I was tempted to draw him fair-haired, but it is clearly stated by Tolkien that he didn't look any less Dúnedain than his ancestors from the House of Anárion, so I didn't want to make him too conspicuous in this way.
The border decoration is again in a similar "Northern" style as with Eldacar's predecessors, again with green colour representing the Northmen, but here also with a lot of red, representing the bloodshed of the Kin-strife.

As always, I'll appreciate your comments. :-)


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Previous king: Valacar of Gondor by MatejCadil  Reign interrupted by: Castamir the Usurper of Gondor by MatejCadil   Next king: Aldamir of Gondor by MatejCadil  

For my portraits of earlier kings of Gondor, see the Early Kings of Gondor and the Ship-kings of Gondor
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:iconmellaril:
Overall: very nice job! I especially like the old-timey illumination type design and choice of subject matter. We don't really hear a lot about the kings of Gondor, and I feel like I really learned something from this art piece. Character design is very thoughtful and well done-- the armor is almost samurai-like; were there eastern influences? Or did Western armor of the feudal era really look like this? Either way, looks sweet.

Vision: again, I really like the illuminated frame. The pose could use a little improvement. It's hard to say because the stoicism is also era and style-appropriate, but it's not really doing it for me. Is he mourning the loss of his friends? Horrified by the aftermath of civil war? Triumphant? Weighted down by responsibility? As it is he looks like he's just... standing there. I do really like the detail of the figures in the background. But I do think you could give them more interesting poses too, even if they're just lying there.

Technique: I personally don't like working in color pencil. I feel like I can never quite get the value ranges I want and it ends up looking streaky. That said, this is definitely one of the best examples of the medium I've seen. Even so, there are gaps in the color of the grass, clouds and background. You could be a little more aggressive with the shading in the foreground and on your main figure. There are appropriate shadows below the cloak, but there should be more around the face and hair, hands and body. I think the mountains and grass are a little too saturated. In addition you could pull some of the colors from the sky into the rest of the picture for heightened dynamics and unity.

Impact: my question for you is- what if there were no context for this picture? What if whoever viewing it had never heard of tolkien or Eldacar and didn't read the description? I think in that case this picture would be perceived as being very well done and detailed, but to make it really stick with me, I feel like it has to add a little something more. I have to feel the entirety of the tragedy and greatness of the character just from the picture. I know it's a lot to ask but I believe in you!

Great job! Keep drawing!
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:icontoraach:
Toraach Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2018
A style here is a very similar to his granfather Romendacil. I think that the gondorian artists here were inspired by Eldacar's northern heritage and utilizing northmen troops during his reclamation. Perhaps the king also utilized a myth surrounding his great grandfather. 

A nice choice of theme in this picture. I like that the King looks sad, and it is overall grim, nothing strange in those circumstances. Dead bodies, soldiers also don't look enthusiastic, I can distinguished between northern and gondorian soldiers. Also a nice twist with including this northern cataphract in the background. I remember from the LotR that Gondor used northern mercenaries and allies during the days of kings, hundred of years before the fundation of Rohan. I think you are right with paiting him dark haired :) 
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks again for your detailed comment. :-)

Yes, I see Eldacar as similar to Rómendacil II in that he was a victorious leader in the war (while Valacar was a king of more or less peaceful time), but obviously Eldacar's victory and the circumstances were not as glorious as Rómendacil's.
I really had to include some Northmen in this picture. :-) Now you reminded me that this was likely the first ride of the Northmen into Gondor to help its people, repeated many times in the following centuries (not only by Eorl and Théoden).
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:icontoraach:
Toraach Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2018
To be honest. I don't see any similarities between Romendacil and Eldacar. The later king's victory wasn't glorious at all. It was a bitter thing.

I think that during this time Northmen were just subjects of Gondor, and sided with the related king in the civil war. To be honest, at the time of the war didn't live any northmen who remember  Vidumavi. It is interesting how common men thought about the kings of Gondor, who lived much longer than common men. Various northern kings lived and died, when Romendacil II was in power in Gondor, first through regency and later as the king, it was like 120 years. 
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, they are similar only in the fact that they waged victorious war (with the help of Northmen), unlike Valacar who lived in peace, so that may be the reason why I made the style somehow similar. Though you are right the circimstances were very different (and moreover there was rarely peace in Gondor from this time on, so most other kings would be war leaders as well). But I hope the mood of these two portraits sufficiently shows this difference.

Yes, I think the fact of the greatly different lifespan is important here and might be easily overlooked. It is said that Eldacar seeked refuge at the relatives of his wife, but we have to remember that the Civil War happened almost two hundred years after Valacar married Vidumavi, so Rhovanion was likely ruled by some great-great-great-grandson of Vidugavia, born long after Vidumavi died.
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:icongaston3-italia:
Gaston3-italia Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful drawings. ✌🏻
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! :-)
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:iconluucalio:
luucalio Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is stunning, amazing job! -maxie
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :thanks:
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:iconjuanramram:
juanramram Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018
I think that it's one of your best portraits
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, I am glad to hear that I am improving. =D
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018
Very good technique, style, and symmetry. 'Debased blood' and weak, hmmm?  But evil and the truth are enemies and strangers,
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for your comment! :-)
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:iconimperatore4:
Imperatore4 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018  Hobbyist
It's amazing how you represent these kings. So vivid. Love your work as always. Heart 
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! I am glad you like it. :-)
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:iconimperatore4:
Imperatore4 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist
You're welcome. :) (Smile) 
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