Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
The Oath of Feanor by aautio The Oath of Feanor by aautio
The Oath of Fanor and His Sons upon Tna

"Then Fanor swore a terrible oath. His seven sons leapt straightway to his side and took the selfsame vow together, and red as blood shone their drawn swords in the glare of the torches."

- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, chapter 9: Of the Flight of the Noldor

Here's another Silmarillion illustration, my most ambitious piece as yet.. finally finished! It's the Oath of Fanor and his sons, the prelude to the Doom of the oldor -- a dramatic scene and a good opportunity to study these characters. I had already made a posing sketch for this one, and while I thought it was ok I still wanted to tweak it a bit, mainly because I thought the main characters of the scene, the Fanorians, were quite small and I doubted that I'd be able to draw them in as much detail as I wanted.. I needed to make the whole thing bigger!

So this is the first of these drawings done in A3 size -- and the first one done on proper 180gr drawing paper instead of that crappy ordinary copy paper. I also changed the composition from the first sketch by placing Fanor more in the golden section and emphasizing the perspective by making the people in the foreground bigger. This led into some trouble with space so I decided to drop Angrod and Orodreth out of the picture entirely. I also gave the architecture a little more thought even though I liked the way my first doodle had turned out. Still, I think Finw's house might be a little over the top, it turned out quite pompous..

I made the illustration in the 10:16 aspect ratio, because I wanted to try it as wallpaper for my laptop.. but I think it turned out a bit too complex for that purpose in the end. Aside from the bigger paper size it's the usual stuff: drawn with regular HB pencil and (mostly) HB 0.5 mech. pencil, probably at least 20 hours total over a period of two months; an hour here an another there.. I spent the better part of my Christmas Day finishing the pencilwork.. Took me quite a while longer to find the time to get it done than I had imagined and this one actually felt like work at times (good work, that is)! Brown paper background and highlights added and colour and levels adjusted in Photoshop as usual. I waited until i could scan this at work with the better scanner.. i also rescanned all my previous drawings and made a new paper background.. you might notice it's a little different from the earlier ones. I think i will go through all my previous deviations and update them with the rescanned lineart and better paper background when i have the time.

The drawing is again rather self-explanatory, but I'm going to bore you with my long needless description anyway.. =p The Fanorians from left to right: Amras, Amrod, Caranthir, Maedhros, Fanor, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin. I clad them in uniform-like tabards and scale mail but I wanted to reflect their personalities and styles by their dissimilar swords (like I've done with the others as well, you might recognize the sword designs) and also the way they are swearing the oath.. some more enthusiastically than others, some motivated by hate and revenge, some by honour or duty, some even by sorrow.. In the foreground Aegnor, Fingon and Galadriel listen gravely, but the fire in their hearts has been kindled by Fanor's earlier words and the desire to see Middle Earth; Finrod, Turgon and Fingolfin raise their voices to protest Fanor's rebellion against the Valar and his blasphemous oath. Finarfin seeks to restrain his brother and prevent the outbreak of violence. All around them the oldor of Tirion listen to the dread words of the oath in terrified silence..

"Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean,
brood of Morgoth or bright Vala.
Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
Man yet unborn upon Middle-earth,
neither law, nor love, nor league of swords,
dread nor danger, not Doom itself,
shall defend him from Fanor, and Fanor's kin,
whoso hideth or hoardeth, or in hand taketh,
finding keepeth or afar casteth,
a Silmaril. This swear we all:
death we will deal him ere Day's ending,
woe unto world's end! Our word hear thou,
Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
Darkness doom us if our deed faileth.
On the holy mountain hear in witness
And our vow remember, Manw and Varda!"

- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Annals of Aman 134, Of the speech of Fanor upon Tna (from The History of Middle-earth vol.10: Morgoth's Ring)
Add a Comment:
Forcedlactationlover Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Interesting. Although Feanor should look as fierce as he does, given his fury, and that oath, he should have still the essential Elven beauty that was 'mightiest' according to the Silmarillion.
linder-stokie Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
JoryRFerrell Featured By Owner May 3, 2014  Professional Artist
How much would you charge for work like this? How long would it take to complete?
Mirianes Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your art was featured in :iconmoment-of-beauty: journal "Image of Feanaro in Drawings"
Yule-Lord Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
nice work. Like all the detailed armour...
Hollow-Image Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Interface Designer
So um. I would love this on a print.

Any thoughts?
Flinxerone Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I have all of the books. I have faved this.
Mimisilvertongue Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Student General Artist
Just, I can't even say anything...
Kingsdaughter613 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
This is just incredible. You really see everyone's personalities... The whole story just comes to life. Great job.
ByMoonlight96 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
My goodness, the detail...and the somberness of the oath. I love it. (Sorry, if it's a short comment, I'm sort of speechless.) The building adds a nice touch, and I can see the differing emotions by the faces of the oath-takers as well the way they're holding their swords. Absolutely lovely!
WARORK Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2011
Wow, such detail! And such power and action! I can almost hear the voice of Feanor cursing Morgoth and yelling that pledge!

A great work you have wrought here, my friend!

best part of the Silmarillion bar none and you have brought it to life, well done!
Valinora Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
StrawberryJam1313 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
Wow!! So detailed! And, gosh, this scene looks so...perfect! It's amazing ^^
FuocoInteriore Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2010
Manwithnoname89 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2009
This is really something Spectacular, really great artwork! You set the scene for the Silmarillion perfectly.
WedgeFactor Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, this is really amazing. I probably would have died if I'd tried to draw it. All the attention you paid to the details is astounding. I love the clothing and the swords. Their faces are good too.
haplotheone Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2009
I just want to be there. It is that beautiful...
concho Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2008
great work!
blind guardian - the curse of feanor, listen to it:P
Pebble-and-a-half Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2008
Very, very good. I find the background particularly stunning.
Xeryll Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008
Its grat and a wonderful szene!
perbastet Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2008
Epic,a great masterpiece,worthy only for Tolkien Universe.You have a true gift from Valar¡¡
envinyatare Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007
I'm stunned... Absolutely beautiful!
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007
Thank you! :)
Ernaug Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2007   Photographer
aautio Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
Thank you! :D
HermyEmma Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2007  Hobbyist Interface Designer
Most incredible detail befixes this beautiful drawing. Certainly, your inspiration must be divine or perhaps soulful. The intricate and finite details of each individual and everything else around them is astounding as to how realistically sized, shaped, colored, textured, lit, and shadowed.
aautio Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2007
Why thank you! :hug: Quite a list of compliments! :blushes: This one was a lot of work but I'm pleased with the result.. glad you like it too! :D
HermyEmma Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2007  Hobbyist Interface Designer
You're quite welcome dear. :) :hug:
RhapsodyBrd Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2007
What I really like here is besides the wonderful details in characters, is how you worked the details of the swords (another great drawing of you in here). The painting just emanates, the reaction of the bystanders is another great detail.
aautio Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2007
Thank you! :D Yes, I did a lot of sketches for this one, including the sword concepts.. I'm glad if you feel like it paid off. :)
GothicHobbit08 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist Amazingly intricate and I love the flags and their hair. And the weapons, and their clothes, and... yeah I likes. This is awesome.
aautio Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2007
Thank you very much! :D
gambitgurlisis Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2007
Fantastic! Great linework, I really love the personality you managed to get into each of the sons.
aautio Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2007
Thanks a lot! :)
Damirius Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing, great work you've really captured the moment of oath.

See my gallery
aautio Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2007
Thank you! :D
NiamhNathalia Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2007   Photographer
You are really the best! The detail is magnificent..
The Silmarrilion is just pure inspiration!!!
aautio Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2007
Thank you! Yes, it's a wonderful source of inspiration! :D
Aradiliel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2006
I have always wanted to draw this scene, and I think you did an amazing job! There's so much detail! Oh, and I love the way Fingon is standing :love: :clap:
felegund Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2006
Thats really great! You're amazing how you can depict so many people in one picture, and I think its cool how you highlighted Feanor a little bit. :)

It's really good! :D
silverandgold06 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2006
This is really wonderful! *adds to favourites*
Galadhen Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice... very nice
Bellmoore Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2006
A great scene from a great book, a definite fav!
elegaer Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2006
OK! I'm going for a huge comment fest now! Now you know I love every pic you do, so I'm not going to waste space and time gushing - so just take "omg I love it utterly you are so talented" as read!

Well, I really love Fingon and Finarfin and Fingolfin in particular. not sure why, but they seem really *real*. I'm not entirely sure about Turgon, but that's just because he's got short hair - I know we both like Feanor with short hair, but I'm not sure my stretching of canon can reach to Turgon as well! =P Oh gosh, I'm being really picky here - please ignore as you like! I think the only other thing I could possibly complain about - as a Feanor fangirl - is that Feanor doesn't *stand out*. He's meant to be charismatic, beautiful, fair beyond anyone else, and he just looks like the others.

OK, I'll stop being picky picky picky. Love the flag. love Turgon's gauntlet. *love* the building in the background!!!
TinorialPeredhil Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2006
This is great! Exactly as I pictured it! Definitely going in my favorites. ;)
aautio Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2006
Thanks a lot! :)
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
I *love* this. I've drawn this scene a few times, but all ten years ago when I didn't really produce anything that good ;) Since then, I haven't touched it, and now I feel I don't have to - it's wonderful! You portray so much emotion and so many different characters, each with their own thoughts obvious, even though they're either rather small in size or viewed from behind. A certain fave! Awesome work.
aautio Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2006
Thank you Jenny! I'm flattered.. :blushes: Your comments mean a lot to me since i'm a big admirer of your work! :thanks:

The Oath is a powerful scene and I too tried to get it on paper already something like 15 years ago but i only managed to do some sketch doodles before i decided it was too difficult for my limited skills back then. The basic image in my mind has remained pretty much the same, however, and i'm quite happy with how it turned out now that i finally got round doing it. It was challenging and fun to try to show the emotions and motivations of each character in the picture and i'm really happy if you find it carries through here! :) I'm also quite the detail freak and i love to work on things like weapon designs.. There's a lot that here, but the pencil original is quite big and unfortunately a lot of detail is lost in this size.

This is a scene i would like to do in full colour too. I recently bought a Wacom tablet and i'm hoping to develop a style for colouring these illustrations digitally.. now if i only had the time.. :roll:
A3ulez Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2006
Wow, my heart picked up a little after staring at this too long ;) I love that scene, especially combined with the musical version by Blind Guardian in their song 'Nightfall.' I love the many angles and different details in the character designs. Seems like they really paid off :)
aautio Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2006
Thanks a lot! I think this is a very dramatic scene, i had this image in my head for it already years ago i think.. it feels good to get it out on paper! :D And yes, i did quite a lot of background work with all the sword and face studies.. hopefully i'll have time to use them again soon for some other illustration. :)
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
December 31, 2005
Image Size
530 KB


33,140 (5 today)
369 (who?)