Middle-earth Inspiration: Jerry Vanderstelt – Bag End: Expect Me When You See Me

Inspiration Time!

This week has been slightly slower on the art creating front for me so I decided to do something a little different in order to ensure getting a worthwhile post published and sticking to my new posting schedule of every Sunday.

For this post, we’ll be taking a brief look at an incredible piece of work from the amazing artist Jerry Vanderstelt!

Bag End: Expect Me When You See Me!

Continue reading “Middle-earth Inspiration: Jerry Vanderstelt – Bag End: Expect Me When You See Me”

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Jedi Master Yoda – Preliminary Drawing

Finally…

Here we are at last with the third preliminary drawing; the one that was left as a bit of a surprise, unless of course you follow me on Instagram in which case you would have seen the work in progress.

Master Yoda!

I don’t know what the appeal is for me that draws me to the wizened old sage-like characters in literature and film but nonetheless, both Yoda and Gandalf seem to fit into a category that captivates my imagination.

If you missed the first two preliminary drawings you can find them by clicking the links –

Passage of the Marshes

The Grey Pilgrim

Anyway, here is the drawing –

jedi master yoda on dagobah meditating force awakens last jedi star wars fan art drawing illustration scifi fantasy
Jedi Master Yoda – Graphite on Strathmore 400 Toned Paper – 8″ x 10″

Now that I have the three preliminary drawings I can begin the oil paintings, I have transferred each drawing to its canvas and they are ready to go, all I need to do is snatch moments here and there to get started.

The next post for this project will show the start of the painting process so don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to stay updated, the subscribe/follow button is further down this page!

Until next time, farewell!

JGlover

Once Through an Ancient Archway

Back in May I  had the privilege of working on a commission for two incredibly imaginative producers; Mythril Spectre and Paths, creating an album cover for a new dungeon synth album packed with music that not only tells a story and evokes emotions, but that is also transportive; taking the listener away from their current location and immersing them in a realm of untold imaginings rich with lore and awaiting exploration.

I did post the artwork back when it was completed but now that the album has been released here is the artwork again accompanied by the links to listen to and buy Once Through an Ancient Archway!

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Once Through an Ancient Archway – Charcoal on Canford Paper – 8″ x 10″

The Album Lore as written by Mythril Spectre

In regularity I’ll find myself reminiscing, casting, through the fog and boggy stench of my mind to myriad memories of my time as an adventurer. I spent decades of my life marching through storm battered nights, scratching the nettle welts left on my hand after going on the long Autumn hunt, sharpening the dull edge of my blade after forcing the soul of a rampaging marauder in to the cleansing judgement of the Seven.

I have seen the beauties of the world (he chuckles) and I have seeded some of the beauties of the world too. I have seen the best in men, and the worst. Seen some of the finest men gasp their last breath and the worst take them.

However, the tale I tell tonight, is not one of them. On my last night as Chief of the Alt Eterriu branch of the Crimson Wolves Warrior Company involves none of that. I will leave you with my strongest memory and, in that, the most important lesson.

I was just a young lad, first few months of the guild, brave, but reckless, confident in carelessness. Me and a few of the lads were on our first leave and were restless. We had spent our whole lives leading up to these moments we wanted more. The hunger was insatiable, no drink could quench, no arse could distract. No.

So we decided to go find a piece of action, I remembered the old, near forgotten catacombs on the outskirts of Eterriu Shire. Where the old city was. It had been overrun by undead, used as fun for a dark wizard and had been left to rot and forsaken to the ever shifting sands of time.

So we set out for there, two days of drunken wandering on an overgrown trail, I tell you, I swear on my wife’s Boar Pastry, that I am still picking thorns out of my arse to this day. Poor Nechtan here almost got dragged off to his death by some infernal hags a day in.

Finally, after much scratching, flea bites and vomiting, we approached the entrance. A once beautiful ivied arch way, boarded up, some strange runes I’ve never seen before painted in blood up both columns welcomed us to the defiled resting place of my dynasty.

Now, none of the lads knew this at the time. It was, however, something that had haunted my sleep for my whole life, dark magick this is. My Mother said, it was this place which cost my Father his life, driven to despair having lost his arm (and his mind in doing so) to this place. To me it was time to claim back my honour and lay my father’s weeping spirit to rest.

I’ll not bore you with the usual. Unlike my father who ventured with my Uncle, a fool and barely trained in combat, the new inhabitants of the catacombs were no match for a trained company, the marauder responsible, was waning in power and barely sustaining himself and the corpses of my family in being so. My mace crashed against his chest within the hour and launched him near 10 foot with the force, he was so frail.

The magic was broken, the remaining unholy puppets of my family without arrows and fragments of iron stuck in them collapsed to the ground. Finally, at peace. In honour, of our victory, we broke open the cask again and drank deeply.

Now, I don’t know, if it was some resonant magick or the effects of the ale, but I will always remember the strangest single occurrence in my life, even thirty years later and having participated in over a thousand quests, I still remember, as if it was etched in my heart.

I remember me and the lads staring at an ancient archway, my torch in hand, however, it wasn’t the beauty of the archways captivating us, it was a the pale blue shape of a maiden standing in the archway. Sublime, not overwhelmingly bright but enough that we could see her gesturing for us to come. Despite Nechtan’s meeting with Eterriu’s finest, drink seemed to compel us to follow and we were Kings of the Shire, in our heads, for that night.

We entered into a large decrepit dome, the defiled crypts of my departed loved ones lining the walls, the sight made the tears near flow from my eyes. The spirit, however, was not beckoning to this, but some ancient musical instruments strewn in a raised platform in the center of the dome.

Now, me and the lads, as you know, always loved a bit of music, so we felt compelled by the spirit and the fact she hadn’t tried to chew our throats, picked up and began to play a few of the laments (since none of us can actually sing as you know and we didn’t want to anger any more of the dead we left that section out).

Now, it started off a low key affair, the guys seemed a bit too far gone to notice at first, but my eyes never left the spirit, in fact, after the second song it really started to catch my eye. It slowly began to dance it’s way around the dome, cutting in and out of my sight, stopping at each crypt in turn as it done, at first the reasons why it was doing so were unclear but that soon became apparent. After a few songs there was no longer merely one spirit in the dome, in fact, they were crawling out of the woodwork, so to speak. Spirits of all sizes and shades were now surrounding us, some dancing too, others merely witnessing, but I can say that they was a definite feeling of joy in the air from all of them.

The drink continued flowing and I could feel their joy and relief through me. Whether it was the magic or the ale, it was a real feeling that resonated through my body and my own spirit. It was near unreal. At last, we played a final lament having reached the end of our drunken recital.

However, it didn’t end there.

With sweat dripping down my fingers, a fine, yet dusty lute in my arms. I expected to hear no sound. Instead, what I did hear resonates in me to this day.

Music.

And it enveloped me completely.

The spirits were all in formation around the platform on which we stood holding musical instruments of their own, some recognizable, some looked like they were from another realm entirely.

The result, however, was of this and it became me.

As I stood in awe. Not just sweat now dripping down me, tears in amongst the falling fluid. The Maiden Spirit who originally guided us here had made her way through the throng of serenading souls. she clasped my hand in hers and took me into the mass of energy surrounding us.

All I can remember is waltzing, in warmth and lights of all colour engulfing us. A high of which no herb or ale could replicate. An energy that flowed through my spirit, I felt an overwhelming sensation…

I woke up.

I was on my back at the entrance of the archway, morning light piercing the cracked roof. The others were on their feet, slightly worse for wear but very much on the go, far more than I was at least.

Shall we get going? they said.

I took one look back at the archway and the darkness beyond, physically never looked back.

Mentally though, I am always there.

With my final words to you as Chief of this Company. My lesson is to you is look to your future, it is will be truly bright, let your mind lead you there.

But keep your heart in the past and in your heritage.

It shapes your now and your future.

-The Final Words of Gartnait, Fifth Chief of the Crimson Wolf Warrior Company.

Once Through an Ancient Archway

JGlover

Join The Journey! Win Some of my Artwork!

Would you like to Win some of my Artwork?

I’m planning to start a monthly roundup on my artwork to send out to those who are interested and wish to be kept up to date with all the developments and works in progress; including items and progress shots of my art that doesn’t make it to the blog.

Those in my mailing list will also have the first chance to buy or win my artwork when the time comes.

All you need to do is click the link below and you will be directed to a sign up form where all that is needed is your email address and name and you will receive an update from me personally every month without having to fear any spamming!

Keeping this post short and sweet, here is the call to action –

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Join the Journey – Discover New Worlds – Witness The Story Unfold

Click Here

All those who subscribe will be entered into a prize draw which will result in three winners!

1st Place

Original Sketch

Hand Signed 5″ x 7″ Fine Art Print – Winner’s Choice of my Artwork

Standing Stones at Imvel’s Watch Bookmark

2nd Place

Hand Signed 5″ x 7″ Fine Art Print – Winner’s Choice of my Artwork

Standing Stones at Imvel’s Watch Bookmark

3rd Place

Standing Stones at Imvel’s Watch Bookmark

Good Luck!

JGlover

Work in Progress – Gurdan Oil Painting

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on an oil painting which will be the first part of the main storyline for my Leaves of Hellebore visual novel. So far I’ve been completing and publishing drawings in order to build up the lore and backstory of the world; which  will continue to do between the paintings and drawings for the main narrative.

I’m still in the early stages of the painting in a sense, the Brunaille underpainting is now complete and the next step will be the colour layers and then finally the detail work. So far I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along so I though I’d publish a progress post on the piece and hence, here we are.

So without further ado, here is the painting in its current stage –

Continue reading “Work in Progress – Gurdan Oil Painting”

Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth

At the beginning of the week I took an inspiration trip to the National Gallery in London, (see the post for that and the artworks I found inspiring here!) and I was fortunate enough to see a mini exhibition whilst there – Maíno’s Adorations: Heaven on Earth. This is the first time these two works have been exhibited in the UK and this free exhibit will be open until 29th January 2017.

I had never before heard of this artist and so it was a pleasant introduction to him through his work, before jumping into the artwork let’s take a look at the man himself.

Fray Juan Bautista Maíno

Maíno was born in 1581 in a Spanish town named Pastrana which is about 80km from Madrid, where it is thought he underwent his artistic training. Like all the great artists of the age he traveled to Italy in his younger years and seemingly learned a lot about his trade in the process; he is recorded as living in Rome between 1609-10 and although it is unknown when he arrived in the city, it is known he was there by at least 1604.

Maíno returned to Spain in 1611 and continued working and receiving commissions and then at around 1616 he moved to Madrid and became master of painting to Prince Philip; who later became King Philip IV.

Maíno had a long and very successful career but in spite of that there are few of his works that are known; his paintings express the knowledge that he had of the stylistic tendencies prevalent in early 17th century Rome. His work also shows that he was inspired and influenced by artits such as Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Carracci and Reni.

Maíno died in 1649 in the College of Santo Tomas of Madrid.

Maíno’s Adorations

Fray Juan Bautista Maino - Adoration of the Shepherds - classical art - religious - biblical - painting - national gallery
Fray Juan Bautista Maino – Adoration of the Shepherds
Fray Juan Bautista Maino - Adoration of the Kings - Maino's Adorations - baroque art classical biblical religious painting
Fray Juan Bautista Maino – Adoration of the Kings

These two paintings measure over three metres in height and were orignally part of a ‘retablo’ (altarpiece) for the high altar of the Dominican church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo between 1612-14.

They both sh0w the deep impression that had been left on Maíno by Caravaggio’s works which he would have seen whilst in Rome; the chiaroscuro lighting and the naturalistic approach to painting are clearly evident.

Another note of importance on these two paintings is that as well as being the greatest works created by Maíno, ‘the two adorations are also among the earliest Spanish paintings to have been executed in a Caravaggesque style’. This is also evidence of the far reaching influence of Caravaggio across Europe in the early 17th century.

My personal favourite of the two paintings is the Adoration of the Shepherds; the muted pallete works so well for the scene and although the composition is probably stronger in the Kings, in the Shepherds it works well enough to keep me captivated and engaged. I also find that the Shepherds painting shows a strong sense of humility on behalf of both the artist and the subject.

Maíno included a self portrait in the Adoration of the Kings, he is posed as a pilgrim on the left of the scene pointing towards the infant Christ. There is also an array of expensive and luxurious drapery which showcases Maíno’s knowledge and skill in the area, a lot of which was possibly influenced my his father who had been a cloth merchant.

All in all, this exhibition was well worth seeing and I’m glad that I have been introduced and made aware of another incredible artist from the past; being one that had been inspired by Caravaggio who is one of my favourites makes it even better.

JGlover

Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Beata Beatrix

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Painted by George Frederic Watts – 1871

Dante Gabriel Rossetti; a translator, illustrator, poet and most importantly for this post, an incredible artist. As one of the founding fathers of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he inspired and influenced an entire generation of artists and writers both contemporaries and successive to himself. Dante was born on the 12th May 1828 and he died on the 9th April 1882, leaving behind a wealth of work and a strong legacy that would live on long beyond his own lifetime.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti spent a lot of time working on English translations of Italian poetry and found himself strongly influenced by the famous Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) with whom he strongly identified. It was Rossetti’s identification to Dante Alighieri that inspired the painting which is the subject of this post.

With that said we’re going to be looking at one piece of work in particular; a painting full of meaning and symbolism, painted in Rossetti’s signature style and telling a powerful story rife with emotion and feeling.

Continue reading “Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Beata Beatrix”