That being said, I adore the pride in their gaze, the way they hold themselves etc. There's this attraction and almost this unspoken challenge between them, like Haleth is daring him to look down on her and I think Caranthir is drawn to this feisty human female. Also, I adore the more delicate features you gave to Caranthir and the face paint on Haleth!
PS: Sorry for my bad english im French.
2ndePS: Great Job!!!
Caranthir was not unique among elves. In fact, I'd say he wasn't even unique among his brothers. Also, there was no real grounds or need for shipping the two - in fact, I'm more impressed by her going, "thanks for the save, but nope, not impressed pretty boy."
What an atmospheric piece...it has caught my attention and imagination completely.
There's a stillness as they observe each other. It feels like the beginning of something. There's a dreamy quiet to the scene, with the snow falling down, and the wisps of Caranthir's hair catching in the wintry wind. There's a realness here I can't quite explain; this artwork just feels so alive.
The color scheme is very appealing, with its muted palette contrasting against Caranthir's black hair and vibrant red cloak. The redness emphasizes his nobility, as does the way he sits tall and regally on his horse, gazing down at her with an inscrutable expression. He has an air of elegant arrogance, stemming from elvish superiority, but Haleth is no less proud. She's quite young, but determined. Her brother and father have been recently slain, she's only just been selected as chieftain, her people have been nearly wiped out, and they're only still alive due to the intervention of the elves, but you can tell from her stance and that glint in her eye that she is utterly unflinching in the face of it all. You can see that even after everything that's occurred, she still has a fire in her.
She's going to lead her people. She's going to guide her people westward, into uncertain territory and unknown dangers. She will not accept Caranthir's protection or rule.
And even though it remains unspoken, there's this sense of attraction and respect between the two of them... a chemistry, a conflict, a rejection, an appraisal. Haleth boldly looks at him as an equal, despite the power dynamic tilting in his favor (an elvish prince who has just rescued the remnant of her people, and can offer her the protection of his lands). And Caranthir, for his part, must find this valour of hers ... surprising. Why would anyone reject the promise of an ensured peaceful future? Why would anyone choose danger and uncertainty over safety and protection?
But Haleth has a great and noble heart. She finds safety pointless if it comes at the expense of her own people's independence and pride. She will not let her people depend on anyone but their own chief for guidance. And as their chief, she is determined to give them a territory that they alone, own.
That's what I admire about the character of Haleth (one of my favorite characters so far in the Silmarillion). After the horrors she's experienced, with even her own brother and father dying in the process, it would be so understandable if she just wanted to rest, and let her people rest. But her spirit was far too resilient for that. Even as a young woman, (quite young to be selected as a chieftain!) she was utterly resolute and indomitable in the face of terrible pressures and tempting decisions. And that must be what Caranthir is beginning to realize about her, this unique human. Though he is masking his emotions well behind a cold, slightly condescending gaze, I can tell that she is holding his attention, and that he is appraising her in his mind. She has gained his respect...and interest.
Your character designs for Haleth and Caranthir exude such personality! As an elf, Caranthir is utterly beautiful, of course – and as someone who really likes beautiful elven men, your depiction of him did not disappoint! He is glorious and radiates a lordly aura, befitting his high station. As for Haleth, she is quite pretty but tough, and her celtic face paint was a really nice touch! She is a tribal warrior, and the face paint suits her. Details that further emphasized their difference was their respective textures. His velvet cape, his unbound silken hair, and his steel armor contrasts against Haleth's rough furs and cloths and braids, accentuating his cold, otherworldly perfection, and her rugged, earth-like, resilient humanness by contrast. These two really make each other so interesting!
I honestly can't remember the last time I've found an art piece that has spoken to me so much like this one did! This comment may be quite long, but I firmly believe good artists deserve thoughtful reviews, and you are definitely a good artist. Thank you for making the story of Haleth and Caranthir come alive!
Sometimes, I don't remember the reason why I love so much to spend day and night creating something even if it's not my job, and this is why: your emotions and the beautiful words you spent to describe the world of Caranthir and Haleth, just as in my mind... So thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️
Their faces do speak a lot, even though their lips are sealed. Few colours used, but very effective. And the "prolongation" of the hair strands by the long red cape works good.