The Grey Pilgrim – Preliminary Drawing

Today’s post features the second preliminary drawing for three new oil paintings I’ll be starting work on in the near future, the first piece was The Passage of the Marshes and here we have The Grey Pilgrim; the third piece can for now remain a mystery but it’s unrelated to Middle-earth.

Anyway, here’s the drawing –

Gandalf the grey pilgrim wanderer wizard mage magi fantasy art drawing portrait lotr lord of the rings hobbit j glover art illustration fantasy
The Grey Pilgrim – Charcoal on Strathmore 400 Toned Paper – 10″ x 8″

Finding the right piece of writing for this piece proved a difficult task; Gandalf is quite possibly my favourite fictional character of all time and it would indeed be hard to sum up the connection I feel with him in a single sentence or paragraph selected from the multitudes that were masterfully written by Tolkien.

However it seemed that the most fitting textual accompaniment to this piece is Frodo’s lament for Gandalf; a lament that I’m sure was felt by all that first time they thought the wizard was lost forever in the depths of the abyss of Khazad-dûm –

When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.

– The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VII: “The Mirror of Galadriel”

I hope you have enjoyed this post and please subscribe to my blog to stay updated and also follow me on Instagram for special behind the scenes glimpses at my work process and sketches/studies – @JGloverArt

Until next time, farewell!

JGlover

Advertisements

Passage of the Marshes – Preliminary Drawing

Work on big art projects has been hard to carry out lately due to work commitments so all I have been managing to do is smaller sketches and studies; but recently I have been planning to start a new oil painting that I can work on as and when I get the chance to and in light of that I decided to get three pieces ready and work on them simultaneously.

The first of the three preliminary drawings is now complete and ready to post so here is part 1 of 3 of my new project!

Passage of the Marshes

Passage of the Marshes
Passage of the Marshes – Charcoal on Strathmore 400 Toned Paper – 20cm x 8cm

“Dreary and wearisome. Cold, clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long forgotten summers.”

– The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapter II: “The Passage of the Marshes”

I want to get the three drawings finished and transferred onto canvas before beginning any of the painting work so the next post I’ll be back with the second preliminary drawing for this three part series of artworks.

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!

art, artist, fantasy, illustration, dungeon, dungeons and dragons, dungeon synth, figure, spirit, knight, armour, armor, drawing ,charcoal
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

Into The Dungeon…

True to the title of this post, that is exactly where I feel I have been and hence my lack of a post in almost a month. I recently started a new job as a chef and the unsociable hours have been getting the better of me in terms of keeping up with my social networking and artwork.

I am now however, finding a new routine for working on my art and have wrangled a bit more time now that I am getting used to my shift patterns; I also recently completed a commission for an album cover which is the true subject of this post.

Tomorrow I will be starting a new oil painting; a small portrait of Galadriel which I’ve had ready to paint for a while and now can finally make a start on before I head into the hectic evening shift of Italian cuisine.

Anyway, all that aside, here is the artwork which for now I have titled ‘Into the Dungeon’ and will post again with the relevant links once the album is released!

Continue reading “Into The Dungeon…”

The Offering – Preliminary Sketch

An offering offering insight into the offering!

Well now that I’ve got that out of my system we can get into the point of this offering, a preliminary sketch for an oil painting that I’ll be starting at some point in the next fortnight.

Admittedly things have been quiet on the drawing front of late as I’ve just finished up an oil painting that I’ll be publishing over the weekend and I began a journey into the world of the Vikings and started a small scale longship build – [Click Here]

However, in the spare time that I did manage to miraculously find I started working out ideas for another piece for the lore of ‘The Leaves of Hellebore’.

Without further ado, here it is –

Continue reading “The Offering – Preliminary Sketch”

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 –

fantasy art visual novel elven ruins standing stones ritual magic history lore drawing illustration

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

Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XXI

Good Morning!

Welcome to my Morning Coffee & Sketch series; it has been a great journey so far, I have learned an awful lot as well as loosened up with my sketching. The ideas flow nicely and many of which will eventually become fully detailed artworks; I’m working on two at the moment which will soon become oil paintings.

Anyway straight to it this morning as I’m already running late, I had to run an errand earlier this morning and that threw a bit of a spanner in the works but I’ve managed to knock up a quick sketch and get this post in order to publish.

Here’s today’s sketch –

Continue reading “Morning Coffee & Sketch – Part XXI”