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A Breeze of Spring III (R)

By Raven22372; with Éomer

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Yet now all that seemed inappropriate to me was the thought of laying the steward of Gondor on a horse blanket in the kingly stables.
Illustration for A Breeze of Spring.

Posted Jul 21, 2012

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The following people enjoyed the picture, and would like to thank the artist: Minx

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8 Comment(s)

I really like the feeling of this picture, so comfortable and cheerful, Faramir nonchalantly petting a horse while Eomer fishes in his pants – that’s just priceless. And Eomer’s other hand is like, “Hey, Horse, you shouldn’t be looking there, you should be looking over here.” Excuse me x))
I also like how you essentially use the same colours for all the elements in the painting, and yet it does not look bland somehow. And that Eomer’s hair and the horse’s mane are the same shade – they must be related!

December    24 July 2012, 12:57    #

HEEHEEH, I ´m delighted you like the curious horsey! :D I found the picture somewhat boring before, until it popped up and demanded to be part of it! Not that the scenery would be even half as cheerful in reality – erotic intercourses in a stable might lead to various incidents of which an unexpected encounter with soft, inquisitive nostrils might be a rather harmless one! XD

And it´s so amazing what you can do with only two colours! I´ve just started to read about painting again, and I´m struck with awe by how easily you can improve your results once you know how! ;) (Sounds silly, I know. But generally I don´t even read manuals, and though my shelves are stuffed with books about art, I mostly stick with looking at the pictures. XD)

I´m positive they´re related! Given the very close relationship between the riders and their horses… okay, perhaps what Tolien actually MEANT was a rather spiritual one – but you never know! X)

— raven22372    25 July 2012, 12:30    #

Well, you know, there are all these humorous works out there showing how look-alike dog-owners and their dogs often are. I don’t think anyone’s ever done the same with horses, but I definitely see possibility. I for one always liked feisty temperamental horses, just like myself, lol! And Shadowfax is in many ways like Gandalf, by the way, even looks! And then Glorfindel’s horse was all very Elvish, and Bill was so much like Sam, so… yeah :)

Oh, but you must, you must share where you read that, those tips! I am so struggling with imporving my art lately, and isn’t it frustrating when you look at a picture, and you see something in it that you would like to do, but you have no idea how…

Oh, the horse is absolutely a must in the composition, methinks. It adds so much nuance to the relationship you portray. I mean, it is inherently interesting, of course, to see one LOTR hottie loosening the trunks on another, but that doensn’t mean you can’t make it even MORE intersting.

December    26 July 2012, 10:07    #

Now that you´ve mentioned it… indeed, there are remarkable resemblances between the Tolkien horses and their riders! X) Unfortunately there are not so many explicit human/perissodactyl relationships (as you said Gandalf/Shadowfax and Sam/Bill are the most distinctive ones) but there should be at least hints that allow a little elaboration… XD

And since it just fits in: I know you prefer the book version of Faramir, yet there is a little story about ROTK (the movie) you might enjoy nevertheless. It´s told by David Wenham, in the audio comment and it´s about the horse he rides in the film. So, according to what he says, it wasn´t long until he got the feeling their communication suffered of a little disorder, and since he generally got along rather well with horses, he finally consulted the stable master in order to find out what was wrong. Well, the answer he got was approximately like that: “Why yes, was quite a cheap horse. Cost us not more than 200 Dollars. No idea what´s wrong with it, but I figure there must be a reason” Whereas he decided to just integrate the given circumstances in his role, like: Hey, maybe it was a present of Denethor. Cheapest horse, only 200 bucks, just give it to Faramir!” So yes, coincidence of happenings…

Oh dear… here you have me rambling again and instead of stopping me you even fuelled the conflagration. Soooo, wanna talk about art? ;)

First and most important. I don´t think I can hand over anything way too helpful. Just refer to a few books I found helpful – and perhaps an advice I´ve recently got.

One of my all-time favorite books of reference is Facial Expressions by Gary Faigin:


After all even the most emotional expression is a result of muscle contractions and the book explains which muscles are involved and how you can depict it on paper. It´s very easy to consume and you can flick back and forth, depending on what you need, without working through the whole book. Also, it´s amazing that sometimes a simple trick suffices to depict a highly complex emotional state!

Furthermore I´ve just read a book about Water Colours by Colette Pitcher:


Again, rather laid back, not too scientific descriptions and lots of practical tips. There´s also a section about room arrangement and perspective.

And I´ve just found a rather voluminous book, Drawing by Andras Shunyoghy:


It covers each section from the basics (perspective, room, the usual suspects) over anatomy, architecture and and still life to the depiction of animals (horses!!!). There are certainly books that go deeper into the single subject, but it gives a good overlook over the topics and again, you don´t need a diploma to read it.

And last but not least, and I hope I won´t fuck up the explanation: A couple of weeks ago a drawing teacher told me something I find immensely helpful. Actually she referred to a pencil depiction that consisted only of lines, neither shadows nor colour, but I think in any case it´s a method to get an idea of the dynamics of a body. It´s actually vey easy, but a bit difficult to explain, when you cannot show it.

So let´s say… well, take Faramir´s arm in this picture, (that one that reaches out for the horse). Now, in which direction does this movement lead? The upper arm (the one that does the “raise”) goes upwards, which is to the left side of the picture. So, given, you had no other stylistic devices than the outer lines of the arm, you could emphasize the one, that goes into that direction (the left one), by making it bolder or darker, for example. The lower arm instead stretches towards the horse, which means it goes into the opposite direction, so you could emphasize the right line, to show the motion. It´s a kind of “where does the energy go”. Meanwhile I´m trying to do this, even when I have the support of colour and shadow, because it gives me a better feeling, for, well, body masses and spaces (I´m afraid I lack a better term here. And I hope you can make anything out of this rather incoherent description XD).

I also wrote myself a little schedule of things I should be aware of before I start a draft. Like: Where does the light comes from? Where am I standing (means: the onlooker)? How is the position of the characters to each other? Are the “masses” well-balanced? Maybe I should point out that all these are attempts (and rather poor ones) to find a way through the jungle. ;) Sometimes things work, and many times they don´t, so… if YOU have any tips/advices/tech support for me – please let me know! I´M EARS! :D

Woops, when did this turn into a comment fix? Are you still alive? Not died of boredom yet? (nudge nudge) December? Could you wave a flag or something..?

— raven22372    26 July 2012, 15:27    #

Oh, thank you, dear! My oh my, I feel like such a dilettante now, hehe. Don’t think I’ve ever even opened an arts manual in my life, despite several years at art school – which alas didn’t exactly teach us to draw either, it was more “creative” stuff, hehe. Anyway, thanks plenty for the suggestions, I’ll be sure to check in the local library just about today, and then we’ll see :) I do understand the point you are making about the lineart, that it is not just the outline of a shpae, but can be used to illustrate motion etc. While I understand the concept, the application, however, is much more elusive. Well, cut down on the moaning.

Anyway, as for what I could recommend in return. Again, haven’t read any books (saying this I kind of feel like a Boromir, hehe), so can only tell you about the people who insipe me, if I dare use such a big word for the works of those from whom I haven’t actually been able to grasp enough to improve my own work, as they are too awesome for my understanding :P

Sooo, I’ll mention here just two, the most awesome of all, in my opinion, and the most LOTR-mooded, if you see what I mean. They don’t actually do any LOTR fanwork, but the overall feel of their pictures sets my thought in that direction. Both are, incidentally, my compatriots, which I learnt after I’d already fallen in love with their work, so let’s not consider that a bias. Anyway, to cut the crap, one is Anndr, and her handling of colour is just something beyond me. It’s as though she invents colours all of her own, that weren’t there before her. Check out how she does landscapes – and she also does that stuff we talked about, using just 2-3 colours for an entire piece, or, on the other hand, using all the colours of the rainbow to paint a face, and it still looks normal.

The other one is Phobs, and this gentleman is just generally effing amazing. I won’t go into detail, just see for yourself – but the way he handles character depiction, and lanscapes, and… yeah, see for yourself. I’ll only add that, if LOTR was themed not after medieval North-western Europe, but medieval MONGOLIA (goggle eyes, I know, yeah), it would totally look like THIS. Mind you, I’m not even much of a fan of medieval Mongolia, given my people’s dealings with it at the time, but you. Just. Have. To. See. This.

Hope some inspiration will be coming your way from this rant, and do keep posting your lovely endeavours :)

December    4 August 2012, 02:42    #

Oh no no no, please don´t feel intimidated/dilettante/bad in any way ever! The detail I haven´t mentioned yet is that I spent years buying all these books, but never really read them (okay. I looked at the pretty drawings. Perhaps that counts… X) ). It was not until I decided to apply at a private art school this autumn that I thought it might be a good idea to learn some basics about anatomy and composition and stuff. X) And if I may take the opportunity to completely ruin my reputation: The use of colours is a book of seven seals to me, so I rather prefer to stick to two or three of them. It´s just safer for me… XD

Большое спасибо for the inspiration you sent my way! I checked them both and I say; what would we do without internet? Only a couple of years ago nobody would have even seen these artworks! About Phobs I love the way he depicts a character and their mental state by nothing but a few lines. A certain look, a special way to walk – it´s incredible what he can express with one tiny motion. And for Anndr – heheh, oh yes, I know what you mean! There is an epical atmosphere in her works that would easily fit into the Tolkien universe. And since you brought it up before I can mention it with clear conscience: Indeed I have noticed the kyrillic letters in the comments and it didn´t surprise me at all. ;) I hope it won´t come across in the way of a prejudice, but I often think there is a special emotional quality in the works of Slavic artists you cannot find anywhere else. And with artists I mean authors and composers as well. It´s a special kind of warmth and richness that gives me a strange feeling of familiarity – don´t ask me why. I suppose it´s either a case of reincarnation, or a way more interesting family tree I could possibly imagine – or just simple fondness, who knows?

Heheh, well, I think I WILL take your advice and scribble around a little bit more – and I will not give up hope for more of YOUR art! I remember some beautiful works and where there are two there might be more… ever thought about addition to the family? (nudge nudge)

— raven22372    10 August 2012, 22:53    #

Oh me oh my indeed! (Not sure why that is my phrase du jour!) And what an interruption! Is Eomer genuinely amused or does he hide frustration at this most inopportune intervention by their equine friend? :P I love Faramir’s lackadaisical-but-amused attitude, ‘ah well, plenty of time for a nose-rub before we get down to business.’ Or perhaps it is a nose-rub in exchange for look-out duties. ‘If someone is coming, stamp three times!’ I want to think that this little daydream of Eomer’s did perhaps become reality at a later date, maybe not immediately after their ride (now that just sounds dirty now :P) but, you know, after any aching muscles have well and truly been soothed. Or perhaps this is the post-riding scene? Where Faramir confesses to a little…erm, stiffness (in his legs and back, naturally) and Eomer, now that they call one another friend, offers his services as a masseuse?

I love the detail in the surroundings, the way the light falls on Faramir’s impromptu pillow, Eomer’s rather low-slung breeches and of course that questing hand, ha! One day, long into the future, I might dare sketch something other than a straight up facial portrait, but for now I glower in a well-intended fog of envy at your compositional, anatomical and atmospherical (computer is telling me this isn’t a word, I say it is!) skills :)

Eora    29 August 2012, 00:41    #

My oh MY!!!! (sic!) Eora, dearest, you spoil me completely! All those wonderful, flattering (and entirely undeserved) feedback! All the time you invested! How could I ever repay you? A breakfast in Minas Tirith´s best tavern? Dwarven beer? A daisy chain?

First: be prepared to get letters of protest from my work-mates who I startled to death by bursting into cascades of Homeric laughter. All those vivid notions you put into my mind, each of them holding the seed of a story of its own..! Why yes, I wouldn´t wonder if Éomer had trained his favourite horse to give mouth (better hoof) in case of unwelcome disruption. Or, since Faramir has a knack with animals, he might indeed have arranged a little something… so many delightful suggestions! :P

I might not be way too familiar with horses, but I´m sure there is a LOT of massaging involved. Aching muscles, ankles, backs… thinking about it I´m quite sure Éomer has developed some special qualities here – and he shall be glad to use them for making his guest, err, comfortable… X)

No no no, do not envy me! I spend half of my time envying other people´s skills (that is, when I´m not busy detecting the mistakes in my own stuff)! My knowledge is about as narrow as the edge of a Gondolin blade, so to say, and you have no idea how long it took me to get something (halfway) right! Once a friend posted a tutorial about drawing in Photoshop and I went green, I tell you, GREEN! X)

— raven22372    29 August 2012, 21:57    #

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