‘The Ringwraiths are deadly enemies, but they are only shadows yet of the power and terror they would possess if the Ruling Ring was on their master’s hand again’
The Fellowship of the Ring – Book II, Chapter IV – A Journey in the Dark
This particular illustration has been a bone of contention for me now for quite some time. since its conception and initial stages, until now that it is finally finished and ready to post, a lot of time has passed and a fair few other artworks have been conceived and completed.
However, this is a good time to post the piece, I have finally brought it to the point of ‘abandonment’ as Leonardo da Vinci once put it and it is like a celebratory relief.
Now for the interesting part, let’s dive into the words of Tolkien himself and see what he had to say about the Ringwraiths, through the character of Gandalf of course…
“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.
I recently got my hands on a new set of brushes from an exciting new start up brand called Hayroo – (Click Here For Company Website), I have so far used them to work on two study paintings and I must say I have been impressed with the results.
Whilst I don’t intend to write a formal product review in the conventional sense, I did feel the need to get a blog post written to show my personal views on working with the brushes and the results of doing so.
What’s in the box?
I really do believe that you get bang for your buck with these brushes; they hold up well under detailed, gentle, soft blending paint work as well as choppy, loose and rough paint slinging. The brushes keep their shape well and have a good flexibility with a generous amount of bristles.
Another sure tell tale sign of a good or bad brush is how they hold up to a good clean up; I have managed to clean each and every brush after each painting session without losing any hair so far and without any splaying, misshapen hairs; and that is more than I can say for a lot of the leading brands that I have used over the past few years.
These two paintings are my results so far from using the Hayroo Brushes, the length of the brushes helped me to paint more loosely and expressively than I usually do which gave a nice change of pace.
I’m planning my first proper plein air painting session for some time in the next couple of weeks and I will be using the Hayroo Brushes for that and documenting the process throughout the day, be sure to subscribe to my blog to stay updated!
Overall, I definitely recommend anyone looking for a new set of brushes to check out this exciting new brand and give them a go!
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.
Here we are at the final chapter of the Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two; just over two months since the Fellowship set out from Rivendell on their quest to destroy the ring and things take yet another turn for the worse.
Gandalf fell into the abyss whilst fighting the (wingless) Balrog and has been lost to the depths of Moria, still grieving, the rest of the guys have just had to up and leave the relative safety and comfort of Lothlorien after almost a month of being there.
So at this stage in the story, Frodo has done one of his famous ‘disappearing acts’ in order to give Boromir the slips but in the process given everyone else in the Fellowship a bad case of anxiety as to his whereabouts.