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The Shipwright by aautio The Shipwright by aautio
This is not what I was supposed to be doing at all, but sometimes.. ehh, most times inspiration just gets the better of me... :roll:


Círdan the Shipwright


“Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars.”

-- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, Book 6


“Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth.”

-- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B


“ ‘My heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores, guarding the Havens until the last ship sails.’ ”

-- J. R. R. Tolkien: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age




Círdan the Shipwright, Lord of the Grey Havens seen here at the end of the Third Age, overseeing the building of one of the last ships to bear away the remnants of the Eldar to the Undying Lands..

Círdan is often -- well, perhaps not completely forgotten, but at least largely ignored. Though never truly an active player who takes the centre stage, he is still extremely significant. By the end of the Third Age he was probably the oldest of the Eldar still left in Middle-earth; the one character that is always there, through all the stories.. definitely a strong contender for the supporting cast title. ;)

Once again a drawing that shaped itself on the fly without any prior planning. I just had a thought that I need to draw Círdan and started drawing away.. When I started sketching I had a wise old sage wearing robes in mind, but he turned out rather more vigorous and hands-on active.. actually in the process of building one of his ships. Originally I had him holding a quill, but it didn’t seem to fit so I wanted to give him some other instrument and ended up with the dividers.. just because. (I really don’t know what he’s supposed to be doing with the thing, though.. :roll:). After I had his pose and form done I momentarily contemplated whether I should rather make it ‘Turgon oversees the building of Gondolin’ but decided to stick with my original idea since I’ve drawn Turgon before whereas Círdan clearly needed drawing.. ;) I gave him simple and practical work clothes.

You might also notice that I’ve tried to learn how to draw Celtic knotwork, something that has always been beyond me.. I’m still not very good at it, although in January I found a nice small book in a London bookstore that explains some of the tricks of knotwork design and it’s been helpful. :) As a bit of a joke, I chose Josephine’s knot as Círdan’s decorative theme here, since it’s traditionally associated with sailors (and because it’s one of the simpler designs that I could remember, since I didn’t actually have the book with me, and couldn’t look for any references..) ;)

HB pencil and Photoshop. This one’s drawn on actual fine art paper and it was a positive pleasure to draw on it. A coloured version may (or may not) get done.. someday. :roll:

EDIT: Some minor tweaks in the image, shortened the title
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:iconsirgodspeed:
SirGodspeed Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013
Cirdan is a great character. Also; he's surprisingly beefy in this image.
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:icongh05t7yl1ght:
gh05t7yl1ght Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful work :D
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:iconnuveena777:
Nuveena777 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
this is so beautiful. I am in love with your drawings.
Reply
:iconmimisilvertongue:
Mimisilvertongue Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Student General Artist
Awesome!! just WOW!!!
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:iconavi17:
avi17 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011
Favorite Cirdan I've ever seen. He tends to look almost wizardly in a lot of depictions, whereas here, even with the beard, he's clearly still very elvish, and still has a kind of ageless air to him despite the lined face. :D
Reply
:iconnerwen20:
Nerwen20 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2010
He kind of reminds me of Galileo Galilei, but he looks awesome <3
Reply
:icondarkwing-eli:
Darkwing-Eli Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2010
This IS Cirdan! :clap:
You are an awesome artist!
Thanks for all your Tolkien art. I should fave your whole gallery! :D
Reply
:icondubatuluk:
dubatuluk Featured By Owner May 9, 2010
This is a gorgeous piece, I must say. It's not often I actually see a Cirdan piece with his beard long and venerable rather than a young man's goatee.

I think you did an excellent job of showing his age yet making him appear ageless.

Great job!
Reply
:iconmarblegean:
marblegean Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2009
I must say I am in awe of the work you have represented in your gallery here. I will make a point to keep an eye on your stuff from now on.

I am a long-time fan of Tolkien's works and you clearly have done your homework.
Reply
:iconmasterkocken:
MasterKocken Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very nice Il like the way you draw people it totaly works.:-)

Keep upp the good work.;-)
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:iconc-m-o-t:
C-M-O-T Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2008
aaaah... I just couldn't imagine an elf with a beard before... but this works.

Great :D
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:iconrovycreme:
rovycreme Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008   Traditional Artist
what type of pencil
Reply
:iconlorndane:
Lorndane Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2008
Cirdan has always been a favorite of mine. While he never took center stage he still managed to leave a mark on the history of Middle Earth. Great work!
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:iconroekkum:
Roekkum Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2008
This IS Círdan. I love it! ;D :+fav:
Reply
:iconfoxmaq:
FoxMaq Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
He has beard :o
Anyway, You should definately draw more dwarves :slow: Something that came to my mind after watching it ;)
Reply
:iconarmel:
Armel Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol, everyone is talking about the beard, and that's indeed something that's kept every Tolkien fan puzzled for years. Shouldn't it mean that other elves should have one too, though it is nowhere else explicitly written? Though I can understand how much the typical fangirl would find it disturbing ^^
Anyway, back to the drawing: this one is absolutely awesome, I just love everything about it.
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:iconainulaire:
AinuLaire Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
Cirdan! With a beard! HAH! *happy*
Reply
:iconwavs:
Wavs Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2007
It's wonderful that someone pays attention to the minor characters. I always wondered about Cirdan, at each re-reading of the LOTR. I remembers mentions of him in the Sil too, if I'm not mistaken...

Anyways. It's odd that you see Cirdan rather more of a viking-like figure, instead of a sage in long robes and long non-braided hair, but hey, everyone has their own vision. I think it's beautifully exacuted. *nod*
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:iconprimulatook:
primulatook Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wonderful detail!
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:iconsirielle:
Sirielle Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007   Digital Artist
Fantastic! Now I finally can imagine what way an elf with beard could look like. Great job!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconamarieveanne:
AmarieVeanne Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2007
he is absolutely amazing :wow: the best cirdan i've ever seen! :love: it's great that he has his tools in his hands, actually i've never seen a cirdan like that, the only indication that it was really him was the beard! and you've gone beyond just a 'bearded elf' excellent! :boogie:
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
Thank you! :hug: I haven't seen many images of Círdan and none that I've seen have been quite like I had imagined him. So I'm glad you like the way I drew him.. :)
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2007
Is that a bun? -snigger- now now, your art is wonderful (as always) but a loincloth? and a BUN?? -gigglesnort- But your art's amazing and the celtic knots? Brilliant.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
:lol: no, it’s not a bun.. it’s a.. ponytail-kind-of-thing. And that’s not a loincloth either.. it’s meant to be a carpenter’s apron.. -thingy-whatchamacallit, with pockets for tools, etc.
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:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
it *looks* like a bun and loincloth...oh funny story! My friend LOVES the old tarzan mmovies, and so when she went on a date wiht guy, he showed up in nothing, and I mean *nothing* but a loincloth.......we had several laughs over that one ;)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
:lmao:
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:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
guess what? i just heard this week-end! they're getting married in May!
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
:lol: Well, the loincloth definitely seems to have made an impression, then! They're a match made in Heaven, I'm sure.. :XD:
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007
It did its job! ;) They're...interesting to be sure! They want to get married sky-diving,but they want all their families wiht them and her Mom refuses to go sky-diving :) I have interesting friends
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
That's definitely how it sounds like.. :XD:
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(1 Reply)
:iconsuccubus1982:
Succubus1982 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Guh I won't argue with the books on the whole beard thing but I personally really dislike the idea of elves with facial hair. If we want fuzzy faced dudes thats what the dwarves are for!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
:lol: Well, I understand.. Though I don't see what's the big deal. Elves are not that different from Men anyway. And despite their immortality, elves did age, if slowly.. and Círdan lived to be much older than any Elf in Middle-earth before him, so it's kind of logical he would show signs of age. ;)
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:icontoradh:
Toradh Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw, knotwork!
Wonderful work as usual, and his appearance captures his crafty personality.
Much applause!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Thanks a lot! :hug:
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:iconidril-celebrindal:
Idril-Celebrindal Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
Fabulous! So unique, and I love the beard!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Thank you! :) I'm glad at least someone does.. :D
Reply
:iconidril-celebrindal:
Idril-Celebrindal Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
:D Oh yes, I see that the beard is huge issue here! But he looks like tolkien said, bearded. :)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Yeah.. I tried to visualise him along the lines the author had described, but everyone has their own way of seeing characters such as Círdan. :)
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:iconcirdannn:
Cirdannn Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank You
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
:D You're welcome! ;)
Reply
:iconnebulosa-dreams:
Nebulosa-Dreams Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome job!! cirdan looks like an engineer :D
*fav*fav*fav*
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Heh, he does.. which is why I thought for a while I should rather make him Turgon instead.. But in the end I'm glad I didn't.

Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconsinneahtes:
Sinneahtes Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
Lovely image! The things he's holding are a very nice touch. :)

(Er, oops... I think I accidentally pressed "request as print" and didn't mean to! Sorry if that sent you a message or something...)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Thank you! :) And that's no problem.. ;)
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:iconstarryowl:
starryowl Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
As per usual, very good; your gallery is basically the definitive guide to the appearance of Tolkien characters for me these days.

Always thought Cirdan was a bit of an anomaly; somehow never quite manages to be vital, yet is always rather important, just in a lacklustre kind of way. And the beard is an oddity amongst elves too.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
Thank you! :D

Yes.. Círdan is a little different. He’s more of a conception than an actual active character.. At the same time he symbolises stability and permanence, but also indicates the slow and inevitable aging of Arda.. one might say he’s a constant against which all ages of the world can be compared. :)

Even more importantly, to the Elves he represents their salvation, so to speak.. his ships are the means by which the Elves may escape “the long defeat,” the fading that threatened them in Middle-earth. After the War of Wrath and the lifting of the Ban he’s the one who provides the Exiles the means to return to the Undying Lands (and the Edain to migrate to Númenor).. so he’s a kind of first gatekeeper of Valinor, and in that way he also represents the grace of the Valar in Middle-earth.. it was who Ulmo told him to stay and always kept contact with him -- thus, “with a little help from the Valar” “Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth.”
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:iconjacquesmoineau:
JacquesMoineau Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
I've never ignored him, he's lovely! I see him looking younger (still with a beard obviously, just younger), but that's up for interpretation. Nice drawing! :)
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
Thank you! :)

(This is supposed to be him towards the end of the Third Age.. I don't think he actually had the beard before he was already "grey and old..")
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:iconjacquesmoineau:
JacquesMoineau Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
Ah right. Heh, maybe he did, you know, a sexy short one. :)
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