Sunday, October 28, 2012

Assignment #3 SmART School

 While I'm waiting to set up a decent photo shoot of my finished "Bats" picture, I've moved on to my third assignment with SmART School.

WARNING: A plethora of geekiness is about to ensue. 

After Samwise Gamgee, two of my favorite characters from LOTR are Eowyn and Arwen. One of my all time favorite quotes from the books is from Eowyn, when she is asked by Aragorn, what she fears most.
 "A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire."   
 You go, horse-girl! Poor Arwen hardly gets any lines and yet, her story, which is even more minimal in the books than it is in Jackson's movies, encompasses a life of sacrifice, love and hope and powerful influence from afar. It was Arwen who would chose mortality over immortality to remain behind and support the cause of men. It was she who gave Frodo the Evenstar, a necklace with a white stone, which would aid him when the darkness of his injuries troubled him. But probably the saddest part of her story is her end which can be found in the Appendices of the final book. At Aragorn death, she leaves her son and daughters and travels to Lorien, to the place she and Aragorn first met, Cerin Amroth.

 "But Arwen went forth from the House, and the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lorien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.

"There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of the life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea."

It's like she simply fades away in the land that had once been so enchanted and protected by the power of Galadriel's ring, Nenya. Nothing to mark her grave but the falling golden mallorn leaves. So sad. To my knowledge, there isn't an illustration of this. I thought I'd give it a try.
Here are some thumbnails:

 This one (below), I developed a bit more and in the process had an interesting experience as I "stepped into the picture". It's a small thing but was quite significant for me. Wondering how Arwen would feel and what she would take, if anything with her, it came to me that she would take something that held personal significance for her and Aragorn. Leaping Legolas!! (light bulb moment)... She would take the banner of Elendil that she fashioned with her hands and sent with her brothers to give to Aragorn prior to him taking The Paths of the Dead. The banner of black cloth was unfurled at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields to reveal the emblem of Elendil figured in mithril, gems, and gold; this became the first triumphant public announcement of the King's return. It infused Aragorn with hope in a time of terrible despair. That's what she would take. I knew it.
Though I liked the one above, Rebecca felt like she had see something similar...not with Arwen, but with someone else. At first that bothered me and then it came to me that this was a similar composition to Sam Weber's WOT illustration . I can always return to that one but the point of this class is to take criticism and advise. Both she and Eric Fortune liked this one out of the bunch and I developed it further. 
 She felt I needed to extend the length slightly, which I did, plus I added the banner and changed her left hand, trying to make it look more delicate. 
Next I did a quick color comp in PS. I think I might need to add one more of the stone steps and change some of the background treatment. Waiting to hear back from Rebecca this week.
Okay, relax....geekiness concluded (until next post).


John Calvin said...

Love the "geeky" posts! Let me know if you need a Tree of Gondor shirt to keep you in the mood as you work :)

All the thumbnails look great. I don't find that one draft to be too similar to the piece by Weber, IMO.

Tolkien has a way of writing melancholy and heart-wrenching scenes, without being sappy in the least.

This would be a fantastic scene to illustrate. It is off the beaten path, and only die-hards have heard about the end of Arwen's life.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thanks John! I think I might work up both of these pieces if I have the time. I know they are similar, but you see the influence from Sam's WOT piece. I so agree with you about Tolkien. I mean, in the chapter, The Departure of Boromir, he has a grown man, an elf, and a dwarf singing their tribute and grief and still, it never once felt contrived. Appreciate your comments. (Owen loved his Avenger shirt!)

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

I meant to say, "I know they aren't that similar, but..."

Sophie Moss said...

Wow, Kim! I LOVE this. I'm so impressed with the thought you put into Arwen's character and that you decided to bring this tragic, but beautiful, moment to life through your art. I can't wait to see the final draft. :)

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thank you so much Sophie.

Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful series of sketches. i enjoyed reading about where you got your inspiration and why you chose to illustrate this. When i look at the piece you chose to do... i also think of sleeping beauty. quite lovely, sad and tender too.

Brian said...

I almost always prefer the working sketches to the finished piece. Wonderful work Kim!

Linda Lawler said...

You are not all that geeky, just a strong female discarded composition, you were just seeing an all too familiar pose...head uplifted in defiance of ones fate. Keep the geekdom posts coming....I am such a geek also.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thank you Linda.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

I appreciate your comments, Brian and Tammy.