„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.