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thomaswievegg's avatar

Valley of Faces

|| EDIT: I got some great composition tips from Cynthia Sheppard over at Team Awesome (awesomehorse)[link] and decided to apply them. It turned out way better! :) ||

I wanted to paint something with an adventerous feel to it and with a grand sense of scale without making it massive. It must be one of the most enjoyable paintings I`ve done in quite some time. Everything just fell in to place rather smooth and I like how it came out.

I hope you like it too, thanks

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© 2012 - 2021 thomaswievegg
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Comic-Illustration's avatar
Haha, really like the stone faces looking like "Oh..." *very slowly turning* "what is coming there"?
jarrodwhitley's avatar
Your image inspired a short story so I thought I'd share it. Who knows, maybe it will be a book someday!

The Valley of Faces was said to be the resting place of the rock giants. The last rock giant strode the world of Alva nearly 7,000 years ago Alika had been told, but as she stood there in the valley it seems as though they could awake at any moment.

Alyka checked her satchel one last time. She knew the artifact was still there, but she checked all the same. As she lifted her satchel's flap she saw the small egg-sized globe pulsing with a sky blue glow. Satisfied she close her satchel and started forward. She took a deep breath and started walking. She had never been this far from home and this unexpected journey was going to take her across the known world and across the borders of any map that a man had drawn.

As Alyka walked her footsteps felt gently upon the soft grass. She look up the mountainside to see that birds had built nest in the eyes, nose, and mouth of a rock giant's vacant face. She didn't think that he would have minded. It was said that the rock giants were gentle creature and were created to protect Alva. Legend told that should the land of Alva need them they would reawaken once again. It should be noted that most people thought the Valley of Faces was simply carved by some ancient civilization.

But Alyka was not "most people".

She dared to believe in rock giants, faeries, bozwaddles, and even nullgrubs. Not that she'd ever want to see a nullgrub in person, but she had decided if one exists they all could.

As the young girl traveled through the lonely valley she found herself naming the faces she saw, just for fun.

"You look like a Brocktar – and you – Volbub." she said, pointing at a face that was particularly round and plump looking for a rock. "And you –"
Alyka paused. She froze in place as her ears strained to identify the sound she had just heard. She pulled back her hood revealing deep auburn locks that were tossed by the breeze.

*Click clack click clack*

A small stone bounced down the cliffside, rolling to a stop at Alyka's feet. She looked to see what had dislodged the pebble. When she saw the large crag wyrm perched upon the cliff looking down upon her with hungry eyes.

The wyrm skittered down the vertical cliffside insomuch as a dragonkin can scuttle. crag wyrms are small in comparison to most dragonkin. They are wingless and have no fire, ice, acid, or other breath attacks like larger dragons, but they are savage and quick. All the same, crag wyrms are the size of a large horse except with fangs, claws, scales, and nasty temperament.

Alyka stumbled backwards and tripped over a rock which sent her crashing onto her back. She had no weapon except the artifact, which she didn't know how to use. So, she did the only thing she could.


The sound of her cry echoed through the valley and caused the wrym to stop thirty threesteps away from Alyka. The wrym looked around, presumably to see if help was coming or not. The echoes died and after a moment of silence the wyrm began to creep forward again.

Suddenly, the ground began to shake fiercely. The wrym darted forward with propelling itself forward with great strides, it's long, curved claws digging into the ground. When it was two threesteps away it leapt through the air toward it's prey.

Alyka drew back and shriek what she was certain would be her last scream, but just as the wyrm's teeth were about to close over her head dragon's maw was met with a great rock fist that exploded in dust and pebbles upon impact.

The wyrm flew backward and crashed into the mountainside.

As the dust cleared away Alyka saw a rock giant towering over her. By her guess he had to be at least seven feet tall.

The wyrm rose up and shook it's head. Upon seeing the rock giant he let out a great roar and charged forward.

The rock giant took a lazy step forward to place himself between Alyka and the vicious wyrm.

The wyrm must have been smarter than he looked because on this approach he was ready for the giant's fist. The wyrm slipped around the fist and was behind the giant in less that a second, but he giant was apparently expecting such a move. While he had punched with left fist he swung his right arm back to grab the wyrm by the throat.

The giant spun and heaved the crag wyrm at the wall with all his might.

The was crashed into the mountainside and dropped to the ground, a crumbled heap and moved no more.

The giant turned to Alyka who drew back in fear.

"Throk not hurt." the giant spoke in a deep, gravelly voice.

"I imagine not! You're made of stone." Alyka exclaimed.

The giant shook his great head. "No. Throk not hurt girl. Throk help."

Alyka raise an eyebrow at the rock giant. "Why?"

Throk looked confused. "You call for help. You not remember? Girl hurt head?"

Alyka stood her feet and stamped a foot. "I did not hurt my head. I've just – never seen a giant before." Alyka realized that she was forgetting her manners. Especially since Throk had just saved her life.

"Throk is it?"

The giant nodded excitedly.

"Throk, thank you for saving me, but may I ask you something?"

"You ask. Throk answer."

"Aren't you a big small for a rock giant?" Alyka motioned to the enormous faces around them. "These faces themselves are at least 40 feet tall on their own."

"Throk, new rock giant."

"So, you are a baby?"

"Throk is *croncarg*."

"*Croncarg*? Is that the old faerie tongue?" The artifact hummed inside her satchel. Alyka reached inside and touched it. A wonderful warmth passed through her body. "Mountain child. It means "mountain child", right?"

"Girl know faerie speak?"

"Not exactly," she said, closing the bag. "And my name's not "girl". It's Alyka."

"A-ly-ka. Alyka."

"Right." Alyka peered down the long stretch of valley before her. "Well, I should get going. I've got a long way to go."

Throk took a step forward and said, "Okay. Throk ready."

"Wait, you're coming with me?"

Throk nodded enthusiastically.

"You *really* don't need to do that." Alyka wasn't sure about the giant, no matter what his intentions seemed to be. Trusting new people was not something she was good at, for good reason.

"Throk come. Mountain father say help Alyka."

Alyka was going to insist that she go alone, but then her eye catch the mangled corpse of the crag wyrm.

*If I meet another one of those...* She thought.

"Alright then Throk, glad to have you along." said Alyka as she started walking.

The rock giant smiled and waved goodbye at the large stone faces then turned to lumber after his new friend.

Tiancum's avatar
love the glow on the rocks! great work with the composition as well. the lines really draw you in and keep you looking around.
Magran's avatar
I simply love the look of this painting. Inspirational is right!
devilscion's avatar
Englisheddie's avatar
I love how vast this picture seems, and the mystic, slightly terrifying faces in the rock :) a definite :+fav:
DYWPhotography's avatar
samemistakes's avatar
Can i use this pic as my facebook cover, please? I promise to providd full links and credits 😍
S7alker117's avatar
This is amazing!

Makes me want to get back to writing right now! I was really needing something like this!

Thanks for sharing! :la:
BMarshallARTS's avatar
Very cool concept.
foxd3sign's avatar
Lagniprimatte's avatar
JubliantTroo's avatar
The way you work with light is amazing!?
WingedOzelot's avatar
Wow, incredible atmosphere!!
thomaswievegg's avatar
glad to hear! thanks :)
...and suddenly all my problems are gone.
Amazing! :)
thomaswievegg's avatar
hehe that's awesome to hear :) thanks!
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