A Hunting Party of Princes
When three hundred years and more were gone since the Noldor came to
Beleriand, in the days of the Long Peace, Finrod Felagund lord of
Nargothrond journeyed east of Sirion and went hunting with Maglor and
Maedhros, sons of Fëanor.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, Chapter 17, Of the Coming of Men into the West
Its an important political occasion when three Princes of the Noldor meet, even more so as it was the King of West Beleriand visiting the King of East Beleriand. Such an important state visit would call for a feast as well as other types of recreation.. the natural choice being hunting, since it seemed to be the favourite pastime of the Noldorin lords. The hunt would likely go on for days.
I chose to depict only the three Princes, even though both Maedhros and Maglor undoubtedly had many lords from their household to join them, as well as a whole pack of hunting hounds. I assume Finrod was journeying alone, as he was wont to do on occasion. (That would also make it more logical for him to just wander off alone later like he did..)
Finrod Felagund was definitely the greatest diplomat among the exiled Noldor. He maintained friendly relations and kept contact with all the other lords as well as the Sindar, Falathrim, Laegrim, Dwarves and Men, and was generally liked and respected by everyone. He was also driven by wanderlust and thirst for knowledge.. the desire to see new places, and to learn and understand new things. None among the exiles were as learned and widely-travelled as him. Quite an efficient fellow, he was..
Maedhros and Maglor were the more decent sort among the sons of Fëanor, most of whom were tetchy bastards like their father.. These two took more after their mother, apparently, Maedhros being somewhat more diplomatic and emollient and Maglor more calm and compassionate than most of their brothers.
Theyre equipped for hunting different kinds of game, carrying spears for wild boar and bows for hunting deer.. and therere two slightly different kinds of dogs, the one beside Maedhros is more of a wolfhound and the more slender and longer-legged one at Maglors side is bred for chasing elks and such. The swords are carried just in case since they also kept watch for Morgoths creatures. Maedhros carries a horn, since hes the master of the hunt.
The tone is somewhat lighter than in most of my illustrations so far.. (theyre even smiling!
) This is the time of the Long peace, when things were still quite well.. and despite the way it might seem, I dont deliberately draw exclusively sad scenes (only the book doesnt have many other kinds..
The idea for this drawing struck me sometime in August as I was leafing through the Silmarillion and the excerpt above caught my eye (probably because its the beginning of a chapter). The whole scene just flashed before my eyes and I had to grab a pencil immediately.. Unfortunately, the only paper I had at hand was of very poor quality, but I like the result even if the original is a little smudgy. Also the perspective is slightly off at places, but on the whole Im quite happy with it.
This was again largely an exercise in drawing horses.. I recently bought a book about drawing animal anatomy and it helped me in the finishing.. although I must add that I was rather proud of myself when I dug up the book and noticed that I only needed to make some very minor corrections to my sketch.. apparently Ive learned something!
I also wanted to try a little softer shading with less crosshatching, and I think it looks quite ok.
HB pencil + the usual Photoshop parchment treatment.