“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
– J.R.R. Tolkien; The Hobbit; or There and Back Again
Just recently I kicked back and did something that I haven’t done for too long…
I pulled out my sketchbook and blew the dust off it as though it was an ancient tome that I had recovered from the depths of a barrow and before the the tiredness overtook me, I started sketching.
“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”
– Vincent van Gogh
It seems appropriate to start this post with a quote from the post-impressionist master himself, as it was watching the recent biographical drama about the latter years of his life ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ that inspired me to create something bolder and looser than my usual work.
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
That quote is incredibly apt when it comes to the journey that I have just taken to a galaxy far far way in order to create my latest artwork ‘Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah’.
I took a very different approach to this piece than I usually do with my paintings; this time I wanted not to work from a single reference image and fall into the usual trap of becoming a slave to the reference and instead worked from a variety of different ones.
The Last Flight of the War Drakes – Oil on Box Canvas – 10″ x 8″
The Last Flight of the War Drakes – Detail
The Last Flight of the War Drakes Detail 2
The horns of the fell war blew a cry to awake
Through the night and the day, to the fight of an age
Over mountains and pastures the flight of the drakes
To the end of an era, to the light that’ll fade
“To the war! To the war!” cried the chief of the Wyrms
Every winged beast and creature full of evil that lurked
In the world at that time had a reason to purge
The fair people of Earth, and then see that it burned
The last flight of the War Drakes was the one and only time that the great dragons had ever been known to band together as a unitary force; they flew with intense fury and vengeance to the battlefronts of the Fell War leaving a burning trail of destruction and death in their wake.
They flew to their demise and apparent extinction once the Eldar caused the ‘Burning Sky’ ending the fell war and eradicating every evil creature present.
Some of history’s greatest seafarers, an inspiration to all those with an adventurous spirit, or a plundering one for that matter.
I decided to try something new with this small piece; a speed painting.
I really struggle to get a good amount of time in for a half decent painting session, working on one of my more thought out artworks and as a result, most of the time end up not painting at all. With that in mind, I had a couple of hours spare and decided to just go for it and try my hand at a speed painting.