Sunday, February 23, 2014

Goldberry from Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Here's a character I had originally meant to submit to a Lord of the Rings Exhibition last year but couldn't complete it in time (if you would like to see the exhibition you can view it online here). Since then I redesigned her and here you see her finished in her silver green dress and forget-me-nots in her hair.

"...they saw Goldberry now small and slender like a sunlit flower against the sky; she was standing still watching them, and her hands were stretched out towards them. As they looked she gave a clear call, and lifting up her hand she turned and vanished behind the hill."

JRR Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring

Ink, watercolour and gouache on Arches 640gsm smooth watercolour paper.

And here's the development of the painting, enjoy :) Send me a message on facebook and let me know what you think or if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Original concept sketch

Originally I was going to have her facing the other direction wearing a cloak

Colour rough

Final drawing, with a few lines from the book describing the scene

Here is one of the rare shots I got of the inked drawing (really need to remember to scan first before proceeding!)

After reading about Arthur Rackham's technique of lifting colour to create highlights I thought I'd give it a try

I applied a layer of Daniel Smith's Watercolour ground to the hair before applying the was as I found that I had made the hair too dark with the ink linework

I was quite happy with this end result as a tonal base, however next time I will use a lighter glaze.

Due the ink staining the background a lot more than I intended a lot of white gouache was required to lighten the sky
Apologies for the shaky photo but this is the only shot I have with my palette in front

There were a couple of moments where in the middle of painting I felt it was a shame to continue, like the tonal base and this stage with the irises, I 'm still learning the art of guiding the eye using detail and it's lack thereof.

Now this is the type of frame I'd like to frame my artworks in, unfortunately this one was too narrow. However if any of you decide you'd like to buy this painting may I suggest this frame :)
and here you can see some of the reference I used

Thanks for watching!


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Transformation of Daphne Painting Process

The first painting for 2014 is for an upcoming exhibition opening next week, it is available for purchase through my Etsy shop or during the week of the exhibition. The theme for the painting is based on the Greek myth of the transformation of Daphne. Daphne is a naiad who in order to escape the amorous attentions of the god Apollo cries out to the gods for help, the gods respond by changing her into a laurel tree. Here is a nice quote I found while researching for the painting;

...a heavy numbness seized her limbs, thin bark closed over her breasts, her hair turned into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet so swift a moment ago stuck fast in slow-growing roots, her face was lost in the canopy. Only her shining beauty was left.

And here's the process behind the painting - enjoy :)

Inks I used to make the darker sepia colour
Some of the paints I used

and while I was working I was visited by a little friend at the studio...

Minnie (a dingo cross) eats a rice cracker