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March 12, 2012
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Last Breath of Fire by Toradh Last Breath of Fire by Toradh
„But as they drew near to Ethel Sirion and were upon the upward path over the mountains, Fëanor bade them halt; for his wounds were mortal, and he knew that his hour was come. And looking out from the slopes of Ered Wethrin with his last sight he beheld far off the peaks of Thangorodrim, mightiest of the towers of Middle-earth, and knew with the foreknowledge of death that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them; but he cursed the name of Morgoth thrice, and laid it upon his sons to hold their oath, and to avenge their father. Then he died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke; and his likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the halls of Mandos. Thus ended the mightiest of the Noldor, of whose deeds came both their greatest renown and their most grievious woe.“
-from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion

Why is this book so full of „omg I need to paint this scene!“ scenes? Fëanor’s death was one of some I had in mind for ages but always failed to paint it. Probably because there was too much I wanted to be in there. Initially, I had so many of his sons in it as would fit on a sheet of paper, until I finally (some days ago) realized that I probably only wanted that to paint Maedhros’ hair, and decided that I should focus on their dad. And the mountains. Mountains are awesome.
The „fiery spirit burns body to ashes“ bit HAD to be in there, though. I was on the verge of painting Fëanor transforming into an eye-burning bright flame which would have looked awesome against the starlit nightsky. At least that one element never left changed about what I had in my head: starlit nightsky – contrastive burning spirit. But then I realized that I also wanted to have the cursing of Morgoth in it, so he still had to be able to scream curses to the sky. And I ended with what you can see here. I simply couldn’t resist making him glow and radiate, though. I mean, he’s going to burn himself to ashes in a few moments. Like, „this message will destroy itself after reading“.
…Okay, sorry, I shouldn’t make fun of people’s deaths.

Other than that, the painting is probably one big excuse for painting another starlit nightsky as well as fooling around with a glowing Fëanor. Which was amesome fun. I had no idea where to put any shadows (I mean, doesn’t he light up himself?), but decided not to care as long as it looked halfway okay. Having fun is obviosly more important than realism or logic. I also spend way too much time on the details and on that fiery glow and could have done it for even longer. I only stopped when finally taking courage, turning off the stereo system which had been playing Summoning’s „Like some Snow-White Marble Eyes“ in an infinite loop for at least half an hour and deciding that it’s done now.

And I should now stop babbling because nobody’s gonna read that anyway…
But it needed to be said. Seriously.

Watercolour and some white acrylics. As well as a little bit of help for the pose by posemaniacs.

…I’ve obviously got a thing for fiery people.
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haius Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist
His expression is so perfect, so full of hate and rage. It's like he's a bonfire in this cold, cold mountaintop place. You really captured it amazingly.
Toradh Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It’s such a powerful scene, I'm glad if I could pay it at least a bit of justice =)
evergre7n Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
Wow, this is incredibly intense.
Toradh Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! That’s what it ought to be.
StrawberryJam1313 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012
He looks fantastic. The 'screaming at the sky' part is so... heatbreaking. I never expected Feanor to die so early on D: But this piece is brilliant! :)
Toradh Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
True, it would have been interesting to see how much more trouble he would have cause if only Feanor had not died before even starting to settle in Beleriand.

Anyway, thanks!
Rahona Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Student General Artist
I like how you painted this, I think it came out very well. I love the colors, and the mood of this picture.

I must say that I have a very different impression of what this looked like, but I still really enjoyed seeing your version.
Toradh Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That’s what makes illustrating books so fascinating, especially the sharing: everyone has a different vision of each scene and character.
I love comparing those =).
Dulliros Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Noch ein Beitrag zu den aktuellen "Kill Feanor"-Wochen ;-)
Läuft da grade ein Wettbewerb oder so?

Schöne "fiery Spirit"-Aura in der von kalten Farben dominierten Landschaft. Du weißt wirklich, wie Du mit solchen Lichteffekten umgehen musst. :clap:

Am Anfang hab ich die Flammen vermisst, aber nachdem ich mir Deinen Text durchgelesen hatte ist mir klar geworden, dass Feanor nicht direkt auf dem Schlachtfeld gestorben ist, sondern (wie es sich für einen anständigen Helden gehört) noch ein paar Schritte gegangen ist, um danach relativ unspektakulär zu Asche zu zerfallen. Gut, dass Du Ihn noch MIT Körper gemalt hast. ;-) Einfach nur ein Häufchen Asche wäre nicht besonders eindrucksvoll gewesen :bored:
Toradh Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Mindestens 3 Doofe, ein Gedanke :D.

Ich fand Feanors Feuertod eigentlich sogar sehr spektakulär. Die perplexen Blicke seiner Söhne müssen auch herrlich gewesen sein, als er einfach zu Asche verbrannt ist :D. Zuerst hatte ich ihn ja auch in Flammen aufgehen lassen wollen (der Pendragon? :D), aber es wäre schade gewesen, seine zerdepperte Rüstung und seinen angepissten Fluch gen Himmel bzw. Morgoth nicht dargestellt zu haben. Deswegen hab’ ich mich dann doch für den Moment kurz davor entschieden. So ganz lösen kann ich mich davon trotzdem nicht…
Ich habe eben wirklich eine Schwäche für feurige Persönlichkeiten ;).
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