Sunday, May 2, 2010

Eomer, 3rd Marshal of the Riddermark

Here's an image I made for my brother a few days for Christmas. I had to keep working on it ALL night Christmas eve. I was so rushed I didn't catch the saddle until I was almost done. He'd either suffering from a VERY short torso or a very painful leap into the saddle :P This one, though I think the sleeve is a bit too static and patterned (thanks, Jerry :) ) is one of my favourites. Despite these faults I was pleased with the armour and general outcome achieved. I was very focused on the mail. One thing I did my best to achieve was the fact that metal like that will reflect differently with each little piece. I was very happy with the armour. Any other comments would be appreciated. I'd e interested to hear what you have to say, Chuck. You weren't at the lunch I brought this painting to. It's about 8.5"x11". So is the hart piece.


  1. I like the color palette of this piece very much. Eomer is a favorite character of mine (as well as Eowyn and Faramir who got real short shrift in the movie).

  2. That's an awesome Christmas gift!

    Justin, I think this is my favorite illustration of yours. I agree with Christina, color works really well. I like how the character plays off the more intense background color.

  3. Thanks guys. I'm heavily influenced by Hildebrandt and N.C. Wyeth compositions and lighting techniques. I love those images that are dark out of light, where the action is in shadow or the main characters. They're cooler and very theatrical. I wanted Eomer to be in low key and the clouds to be in high key. Thanks. I was very happy with this one, colour-wise I like to experiment with toned papers. I used that red-orange chalk as an undertone on an already warm-toned paper. It made the whole painting very warm. It's interesting to see the White Hart develop because I'm using mostly cool colours. Even though there are warmer yellows to compliment the blues, the yellows are cool yellows and the high key off-white colour I used under the rim lighting is very cool. Yet when the orange seeps through it all I get a very nice high-contrast of colour. The impressionists were geniuses. I learned a lot from the way they use colour.

  4. I think this is great, Justin!
    The colors are well-chosen and you've captured the feel of the "calm before the storm" very well. I love the contrast between what is probably a breathtaking sunset and the grim-face of the soldier who's too preoccupied to enjoy it.

    Another thing I like about it, is the way you have the piece organized: You have an emotional focal point (the figure) which is competing for our attention with the sky, where the color interest is. This creates a bit of tension in an otherwise quiet scene. Better yet, you’ve got all the details in the figure subdued, so that the beauty of the sky grabs us first, and the somber reality of where the rider is going hits us a bit later. There’s a very clear hierarchy of shapes happening: the rider makes one dominant dark brown shape —a really good shape, against the sky (very obvious when I squint). The sky is divided in two complementary colors, which gives it that much-needed punch. The line created between the orange and the blue follows the horse’s neck, but cuts across the figure diagonally, which also helps the composition a lot.

    On a secondary level, you have a very flat, monochromatic rider, divided up into a series of fields: breastplate, shield, sleeve, mail, each with a unique pattern. This isn’t something that hit me on the first pass, but these fragments remind me of countries drawn on a map with patterns to distinguish one landmass from another. Again, the fact that all this is subdued, to be discovered later, is to your great credit. It also seems in keeping with a medieval feel, to have the figure flattened somewhat with an abundance of patterned detail the way stained glass windows or hanging tapestries are organized.

    Jerry has a good point about the sleeve, if you are looking for an absolutely naturalistic look. But getting a more patterned look in the folds is a viable option. Especially since patterning is an important (if tertiary) visual theme in this piece.

    A sculptor I worked with years ago loved the drapery of Tilman Riemenschneider, because it was highly stylized and angular. His stuff is well-worth checking out, especially if you like a gothic look.

    Sorry for going a bit long —just wanted to make sure I was giving proper respect, especially since you kindly asked.

    I’m interested in hearing the comments of others (I really need to get to more lunches, but it’s really difficult for me right now.)
    Keep up the good work!

  5. Hey, no problem, Chuck. I look forward to meeting you when the situation presents itself. Thank you for the in-depth critique. I don't like high action scenes, with explosions and ridiculous stuff for the sake of itself. If there are things like that it will contrast with the emotions of the character(s). Contrasts are an important idea in my work.

    I've never thought about the painting in terms of mapping, that is cool. I like that a whole lot, Chuck. I think you've given me some seriously cool ideas about how to approach my work in the future. Again, thank the Impressionists, N.C. Wyeth, and the Hildebrandt brothers for the colour choices and compositional heirarchy :P

    I will definitely check out this other artist. Thank you, again. No problem about the long response. The other thing I go for in a piece is evoking the Sublime. I want those who view my paintings to want to stop and say, "wow," for any reason. I want the characters to evoke a response, for viewers to identify with them. I love the long responses. I like to style myself less an illustratour, but a Neo-Romanticist working in an illustrative fashion. The sublime is important to me.

  6. And, yes, Christina, I loved those tertiary characters. Faramir was a big favourite of mine. He and Eowyn are amazing in the books. The movies made Eowyn look kind of pathetic, when in the books she was really very poetic. They made her affection for Aragorn seem less mythic and more teen drama. Annoying. Plus, they really departed from Faramir's character in the books. I really liked who they cast for him but his lines could have been better-scipted.

  7. Haha! We should petition Roger to put some in his racecar art!

  8. That would be awesome. A Heavy Metal poster with a Nascar theme :P