April 2017

Happy Birthday to me! In the fine Hobbity tradition, I drew a gift for someone else on my birthday! This is dedicated to my dear friend, @forestofstarlight, who got me into The Hobbit! I’ve been wanting to draw Thranduil draped in jewels and furs for her for ages! 

In my mind, this is 100% Thorinduil.

I wanted to show a blending of elf and dwarf aesthetics. Thorin and Thranduil may be antagonistic grumpy assholes but I am in lurve with the idea that, despite all of that, they not only find each other aesthetically pleasing but that there is a deeper connection that no amount of screaming matches, stomping off in a huff, and prolonged sulks can erode. 

I love the idea of Thranduil being Thorin’s muse; he goes back to jewellry making because he’s a perfectionist and he wants Thranduil to wear HIS designs. Thranduil would try to refine Thorin’s style. Thorin cares about how he looks but he’d pretend he didn’t just to annoy Thranduil and get him to sigh and roll his eyes. He’d insist on dwarven-made everything until the first time Thranduil wrassles him into some fine, Mirkwood silk… then, slowly but surely (THRANDUIL CAN WAIT! A HUNDRED YEARS IS A BLINK TO AN ELF!) more and more elf-influenced pieces would make their way into Thorin’s wardrobe. Give it a couple of decades and you’ll find Thorin and Thranduil looking regal and unique in a blend of dwarf and elf aesthetics.

Some of this piece is still doodley but that’s because this is still a sketch! I’m also not terribly sure I like Thranduil looking so… doe-eyed? Maybe he’s trying to be seductive? XD I usually see him as more masculine than he appears here.

Soooo, this one is much closer to my original illustration style but it is hella time-consuming! I used both a regular HB pencil and a 0.3mm Pentel mechanical pencil. (Which I recently purchased to replace my ancient 0.3mm Staedtler pencil. It died. It died sooo hard.) I usually enjoy drawing curls but those braids were so much fun to figure out and draw I cannot lament the lack of curls in this pic. There’s a whole bunch of tweaking that needs to happen before I can ink this but I’m happy where it is for a sketch!

Bilbo of Erebor. Pencils are here! He was fussy about his jacket. It had to be a green velvet jacket but not one of those greens that is so deep it is nearly black. Not a green that hides in the shadows, he wanted a green that brings to mind summer days and mint bonbons. It was a challenge for the tailor but that wasn’t the end of things… for Bilbo ALSO wanted a floral patterned lining. They had to send away to the Shire for a bolt of cloth. Well, several, actually, but it wasn’t time and money ill-spent for Bilbo started a bit of a trend among the dandier dwarves and before Bilbo could commission more clothes with the floral cloth it had all been bought up! Bilbo’s finding he has to put a bit of effort in to out-do his dwarven admirers! Er, not that it’s a competition, of course. Except it totally is! A teeny little bit.

Cell shading in Photoshop this time. I futzed about with so many colour combinations and I hope it didn’t turn out too Christmassy. XD Originally I had quite a bit of pink, then purples, and settled back on that lovely red of his velvet jacket from the movies. Bilbo also turned out quite pale but let’s pretend it’s because he’s been living in a mountain and hasn’t been out of doors as much as when he was younger. 

Also, true story, I tried to get fancy lining put in an old leather jacket and the seamstress flat out refused to do it, claiming it made no sense to put flimsy fancy lining in when a good solid lining was needed. I argued that her lining selection did NOT include peacock blue or teal which were my choices so she told me to leave. I wound up turning the fancy lining into curtains for my office. The leather jacket is hanging in my closet, still without a lining.

Bilboctopus and Thorin Crabbyshield. @pangur-pangur​ reblogged this amazing merman Thranduil fanart and it got me thinking about what other mer-creatures might be in Middle-Ocean. 

Hobbits are octopi! They’re secretive, soft, colourful (when they want to be) and natural burglars. I decided Bilbo would be the most unlikely octopus you’d take on an adventure and I made him an adorable dumbo octopus! He’s so wee catching prawns is a bit of a struggle for him! <3 I have no idea if the dumbo octopus can ink or not, but if they can, adoooorable! The little ‘wings’ on Bilbo’s hips are a type of flappy fin that the dumbo octopus uses to swim! CAN THEY BE ANY CUTER?

Dwarves, on the other hand, are natural crabs. >:D Do you know what’s difficult to draw? MERCRABS! Drawing it was like, mmhmm torso, yes, lovely, little hip lines, yes okay then… A MESS OF LEGS AND ARMOUR PLATES! *sigh* Thorin (and all the dwarves) really ought to be hermit crabs who spend their lives building elaborate shells but I made the mistake of googling hermit crabs and saw too many with their shells off. Ick. (Sorry hemie lovers!) I may take another stab at dwarfy crabs because I still like the idea but the execution was beyond me.

To the crabs… soft little Bilboctopus is very… pinchable. Which gets them a face full of ink. >:( How rude to pinch his chubby little tentacles!

Random HB pencil on copier paper. I was going to go to the drafting supply store this past week but it snowed. And I’m lazy. And I spent four glorious days indoors, instead. I’m not sure if I’ll refine/colour these or not, but if I do little Bilboctopus prefers to be an orangey yellow colour! Like an underwater blob of sunshine!

Next Thursday is my birthday and, in the hobbity tradition, I’m hoping to have a special sketch to share with you!

His Royal Majesty, Silver King of Ice, Captain Thranduil of the Mirkwood Elves! (He was a former figure skater but if you try to chirp at him about it you’ll get a hip check that’ll send you flying into the stands! He and Thorin have been in a few donnybrooks and when those two face off on the ice you know somebody is going to end up in the penalty box!)

 He may look like you can knock him off his feet but don’t let his lean looks fool you; Thranduil’s a bit of a goon! Especially if Thorin’s on the ice… He’s pretty hot-headed for someone who looks so icy and he’s willing to ditch his gloves and get into a donnybrook at a moment’s notice! 

He’s also got sick flow, bro. 

Edit: Eeee! My talented pal @nlwart has created a hockey banner for the Mirkwood Elks

Ugh. I am terrible at using a tablet to draw directly into my computer. I did this one old-school with pencil on paper, inked with Staedtler pigment liners (0.3 is my favourite size to work with), erase all of the pencil, then scan as b/w art > 600dpi > .tif.

Photoshop with a few different brushes. IDK! It was hard to try to get that same texture on his robe that he had in the movie. I did not succeed. XD Half the fun of drawing Hobbit Hockey stuff is trying to figure out what the different uniforms would look like!

Bilbo of Erebor. Bilbo dressed well and doled out the stink-eye in Hobbiton and there’s no reason to assume that would change just because he’d decided to live in Erebor! I’d like to think this is the look you’d get if you talked shit about Thorin or any member of his Company around Bilbo. The Teeny Hero of Erebor faced down a dragon so you can take your smack-talk elsewhere!

I tried drawing him with longer hair but it came out as a mullet… Which he rocks tyvm!

Drawn with a random HB pencil on copier paper, again. This one is definitely getting inked and coloured! I’d like to think Bilbo has brought a love of bright colours to Erebor and his hybrid Dwarf-Hobbit clothing will reflect this!

The Moth Crown. I have a real weakness for Thorinduil. Call it a hateship if you like but there’s something about royal hotheads clashing that does it for me! Maybe all that fighting makes the gifts and soft words later all the more sweet? This was a warm-up sketch of Thranduil wearing a crown and ring Thorin made for him. The crown is supposed to be Thorin’s interpretation of a moth. Set with big cabochon-cut jewels.

Random HB pencil on photocopy paper. Haha! Favourite erasers? My clicky Sanford Tuff Stuff &trade; Eraser Stick, a Pentel hi-polymer eraser, and the nubby end of a pencil. Because this was a warm-up sketch the point of it isn’t to erase but to let the lines do what they please but I still couldn’t resist cleaning up a bit.

Bilbo’s had enough of your nonsense. I had posted the pencils on my other account, in case you’ve seen this before.  I also posted a video of the inking process here 

I like my Bilbo annoyed and feeling salty. 

This was made with analog materials (pencil, paper, Staedtler pigment liners) then scanned into photoshop and coloured. I tried to play around with the colours and textures in this picture. Brushes: hard round, soft round, and some fan brush thing! Neat! I used different opacities of colour as well. The colours look so much darker when I flattened the layers. I can only assume this is because I have a dark blue background and used less than 100% opacity for some colours. I sort of like it, however, as it looks like like on an overcast or storm brewing sort of day.

Hobbit. Hockey. Okay, but hear me out. Instead of fighting battles with swords and stuff, the major players in Middle Earth settle scores with hockey! Feanor and his sons (The Feanorean Furies???) were the first winners of the Simaril Cup but it was lost when they were defeated the next season by the Melkor Maia. (idk! I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of The Silmarillion!) They swore they’d get the cup back but, yeah, nope. Never happened.

Currently the biggest teams are:

The Erebor Ravens, Mirkwood Elks, Rivendell River Falls, and the Iron Hills War Boars. The cities of Men rarely rank in the Simaril Cup Playoffs and often the best referees are men!

Hobbits, alas, do not play ice hockey as it would require wearing ice skates but you should see them play field hockey. They play dirty

EDIT: Eee! My friend @nlwart​ made a team banner for the Erebor Ravens! This is our first time collaborating on an art idea!

Pretty obviously this is pencil on paper. Not even a very special pencil except that it’s a pure black ninja pencil! Instead of using a pigment liner to ink this, I might dig out my old nibs/brushes, see if I have any inkwells that haven’t dried up and dig deep to remember how to ink without splattering myself. XD Oh yeah, because I used paper with a bit of tooth this nib experiment is likely going to be a bit splattery. Doh! 

Lol! The filename was ‘thorin_dramatic_pose.psd’. Learning how to draw new characters is always fun and a bit frustrating. Dwarves wear so many layers! Maybe it helps them look swole?

This was drawn on paper with a random pencil. Nothing fancy about either material. Inked with Staedtler pigment liners (as my Sakuras have all dried up!) then scanned into Photoshop for colouring.