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A Hunting Party of Princes by aautio A Hunting Party of Princes by aautio
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



It’s 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.

They’re equipped for hunting different kinds of game, carrying spears for wild boar and bows for hunting deer.. and there’re two slightly different kinds of dogs, the one beside Maedhros is more of a wolfhound and the more slender and longer-legged one at Maglor’s side is bred for chasing elks and such. The swords are carried “just in case” since they also kept watch for Morgoth’s creatures. Maedhros carries a horn, since he’s the master of the hunt.

The tone is somewhat lighter than in most of my illustrations so far.. (they’re even smiling! :O_o: ) This is the time of the Long peace, when things were still quite well.. and despite the way it might seem, I don’t deliberately draw exclusively sad scenes (only the book doesn’t have many other kinds.. :roll:).

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 it’s 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 I’m 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 I’ve learned something! :D 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.
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:icondenwolf1:
Denwolf1 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Excellent work.
Reply
:iconheartofoshun:
heartofoshun Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
Not only do I like the drawing very much, but I like your interpretation. Look forward to seeing more work in the future. (My favorites, of course, are the Lords of the Noldor.)
Reply
:iconelaini-the-mystic:
Elaini-the-Mystic Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012
Best of the princes here, in my opinion. Well done.
Reply
:iconaticus3:
aticus3 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011
Do you know what the barbairens used for hunting dogs
Reply
:iconmyaru:
myaru Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011
I really love this. You captured the moment perfectly.
Reply
:iconherr-garrett:
herr-garrett Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
Tetchy bastards indeed they were. :D

This is an excellent picture, I'm glad to have stumbled across it.

Your description of Felagund almost sounds like... "To seek out new life, new civilisations. To boldly go where no Elf hath gone before" :D

The only issue: why bring swords onto a hunt? :D
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:iconmaddyymorphine:
maddyyMorphine Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009
Aww I like it :D
Reply
:icontoshirotheknightwolf:
ToshirotheKnightWolf Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
hmmmm.....i could take them, if i wanted to.
Reply
:iconfoxmaq:
FoxMaq Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I love the bow mount.
You will be doing a detailed view of it?
Reply
:iconmurrauddin:
Murrauddin Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
A whole scene, with so many interesting details (regarding both the "way of life" and the personalities of these princes), behind one sentence. I believe that it is possible to make such drawings because the Silmarillion is more like old epics and chronicles than any other book, and everybody can use his own imagination reading it and representing any episodes out of it...

The ones I like the best in this picture are the elder sons of Feanor:smiling (at last), looking so lively, and even their dogs seem to be merry! And the horses are true to life, too!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
Yes, indeed.. Silmarillion is (even in reality) a chronicle of old songs, stories and legends that was assembled much later from tradition -- like the Eddas, like the Bible.. such stories have always inspired artists and I agree it's definitely a big part of its appeal! :nod:

Thank you! :) It's nice to draw some happy images too every now and then..
Reply
:iconrhapsodybrd:
RhapsodyBrd Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007
Oh I really like this light moment between family. It just feels like the weight of diplomatics is off their shoulders for now. What a great moment for inspiration!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
Thanks! :) That's how I felt too.. the greatness of Tolkien's text is that you start to think what goes on behind each sentence, even when he doesn't outright describe it! :)
Reply
:iconsuccubus1982:
Succubus1982 Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maaaaaaaaaaaaaglor! :love: Well now.....you've just filled my Silm quota for the month in one fell swoop. My 3 favourite Noldor princes! (Well I prefer the twins to Maedhros but the other two are spot on) Maglor is particularly dashing here. I always felt kinda sad for him getting strung along with his father and brothers mad shennanigans. Poor sensible Maglor :XD: And Finners (haha my nickname for him) his story and the story of Nargothrond was my second favourite after the whole sons of Feanor bit. Hey speaking of the whole Nargo tale......I can't remember......have you ever drawn Finduilas? If not you definately should. Would be interesting to see your rendition of her.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Glad to hear you like them! :D

I have in fact drawn Finduilas.. here, if you remember. My rendition of her was.. kind of anorectic. :roll:
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:iconseekhim:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Ohhh I like!

Every time I see new deviations from the people I watch
I always hope one is from you. And you certainly don't disapoint!
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
You drew quite a bit while i was away didn't you? :P
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Well, I had drawn most of these already some time ago, I just didn't have time to give those the Photoshop treatment before.. ;)
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
heh-I came back from my camping trip and I checked deviant art and spent the next hour looking at art :)
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:iconfegie:
fegie Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Maedhros and Maglor were the more decent sort among the sons of Fëanor, most of whom were tetchy bastards like their father..

(snerk) xD

I like that you remembered that the Elves ride without anything on their horses, except for maybe something to hold things that they needed, like on Finrod's. And I like the horses in general. :)
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Thanks! :) Yeah, they don't need any extra equipment (whatever those are called..) to steer their horses, since they're smart enough to know where they're going, and they have such strong connection to their riders. But I always figured the Noldor at least used saddles.

And yeah, I just couldn't resist throwing in some (rather subjective) character analyses.. ;)
Reply
:iconfegie:
fegie Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Bridle & bit? (Well, it was mentioned in Tolkien's text; Asfaloth was supposed to be wearing only bells.)

Heheheh. ^^;
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
True, he changed bridle and bit for a headstall in the book, but Asfaloth was still wearing a saddle and stirrups.. I think it likely that only wood elves like Legolas would ride without any equipment.
Reply
:iconfegie:
fegie Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
Though it was mentioned that he put those on because he knew he'd need to go find Frodo. ?_?
....Maybe Elves just like to mess the minds of us. Saddle on, saddle off. Saddle on... ;)
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:icondarknarel:
darkNarel Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
The horses look so real. Of course elven princes look perfect. I don't know, they look really as Tolkien always described them,as mighty but beautiful. :) Will we maybe see a colored version of this too? :)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Thank you! :hug: I'm happy with the horses, since they've always been quite difficult for me.. now it seems I'm getting better at drawing them. :) This one's going to be a lot of work to colour, but I think I should try it at some point. Let's see.. I still haven't developed a very good colouring technique and i generally dislike doing it.
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:icondarknarel:
darkNarel Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
Well ok, but with practice you'll improve it like you said you did with horses. =D
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
:) Thanks.. I hope so! :D
Reply
:iconidril-celebrindal:
Idril-Celebrindal Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Great job. It looks fabulos. I wish there it's painted and with background, it would look like beautiful painting of old master.
As always, I'm fascinated.
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Thanks! :D It could be fun to do a digital painting based on this.. with background and all. But I'd need to learn to paint first -- so far my attempts at colouring haven't been too successful.
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