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WIP:Lords of Noldor: Feanor by aautio WIP:Lords of Noldor: Feanor by aautio
WORK IN PROGRESS: Kurufinwë Fëanáro, Son of Finwë


”Fëanor grew swiftly, as if a secret fire were kindled in him. He was tall, and fair of face, and masterful, his eyes piercingly bright and his hair raven-dark; in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast. Few ever changed his courses by counsel, none by force. He became of all the Noldor, then or after, the most subtle in mind and the most skilled in hand.”

-- J. R. R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, Chapter 6: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor



Character Background

Finwë's eldest son and only child by Míriel, Fëanor was the greatest of the Ñoldor in skill of hand and power of the mind. He created the Silmarili and the Tengwar and is without doubt the most pivotal figure in the history of the Ñoldor and all of Tolkien’s legendarium of the Elder Days.

Fëanor was also extremely proud and hot-tempered. Although the Fall of the Ñoldor was contrived by Morgoth, Fëanor was truly the embodiment and main motivator of their rebellion, driven to madness by the loss of his father and the Simarils. The Oath he swore with his sons led to the Flight and eventual Fall of all the Ñoldor who left Aman. Although for the most part of the Silmarillion Fëanor is already dead, without his deeds there would be no story to tell in the book!

Design Concept

My image of Fëanor is tall (6'4" / 193 cm) and nimble, with sharp features and raven-black hair reminiscent of his father. I see a slight air of nervousness and a great deal of creative madness about him; he would never sit or stand still, never be content with what he has and constantly aspire for greater achievements. Although I see him as the shortest of Finwë’s sons physically, his spirit and his presence would be so powerful that he would always seem taller, almost as if glowing with an inner light. (Not quite sure how to draw that, though..)

With the pose I try to convey that as always, Fëanor’s mind is at work.. He can’t be bothered to look at the ‘ portrait painter’ as he’s already thinking of some new invention or work of art. I wanted to give him some item that would mark him as a great writer and loremaster and ended up with a peacock feather quill, because.. umm.. well, peacocks are extremely cool and I think Fëanor was also a bit of a “ peacock” himself. He wears very flashy (but still quite practical) clothes and lots of jewellery.

The heraldic design is my interpretation of Tolkien’s original design for Fëanor. The smaller design below his name is my idea for a more simplified emblem of the House of Fëanor, a silver star on red/black background.

---

This is a WIP character sketch for my “Lords of the Ñoldor” project. It combines the scanned, not-yet-cleaned-up pencil lineart without shading or highlights, the current idea for the heraldic device(s) and the Tengwar inscription (I haven't decided yet whether I want to use the regular script or the cursive style, so I included both) to be used in the triptych. At some point I might finish it up as an individual character portrait but for now it’s just a WIP component.

Character drawn on regular copy paper, no references used. The originals are quite small; each character is under 15 cm tall (that’s a bit under 6” for the measurement-impaired). I draw them with a regular HB pencil that I try not to sharpen too much.. gives the line a nice thickness and more lively(=uneven) character. The size also keeps me from adding too many details, which would be lost anyway in the finished piece where the characters are fairly small.

The heraldic designs were drawn in AutoCAD, I looked at Tolkien’s design for reference. Assembled in Photoshop. (--Hard to say what category this should go into, but let’s say traditional, since the pencil drawing is the main thing..)

It’s still WIP, so comments, ideas, suggestions, etc. are more than welcome! :)


WIP:Lords of Noldor: Triptych Layout

WIP:Lords of Noldor: Character Portraits
Add a Comment:
 
:iconelemmireofvalinor:
ElemmireOfValinor Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
You' ve got great talent, but it is definitely not my vision of Feanaro. Especially his hairstyle, I don't mind it looks as if he didn't wash it for a long time, because it suits well his "obsessed with his works" lifestyle. And the clothing, even during greatest days of Valinor should be more practical.
Reply
:iconemmiko28:
emmiko28 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
ehm ... no way is feanaro shorter than his brothers; he was said to be quite tall, the mightiest in body and mind and with a spirit that burned as a flame in his heart. in my opinion, arafinwe would be the smallest; there are references in texts that feanaro and nolofinwe are tall ... nowhere does it say that that finarfin himself is tall. no way is he only 6'4' ... he should be at least 7 feet because that was the average height of the noldorin men ... the noldor themselves considered him tall ...

also, he ain't wearing no practical clothes; those are not clothes of a man who was known for his travels and restless spirit, for being a smith, a craftsman. i think that he would have no need for peacock dressing for he was by nature very fair and handsome; no peacock would marry nerdanel ... neither would nerdanel marry a peacock ... not even if he were feanaro. :D in my opinon, elegance should be the word associated with him; miriel, his mother, was said to be graceful, slender and beautiful, gentle and sweet voiced ... she was compared to a white flower laying in the green grass ... that ain't no image of kitch, vulgarity.

just my two cents on the matter.
Reply
:iconshyangell:
shyangell Featured By Owner May 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it.
But the hair... you said it is short... to me (who always envisioned him with long hair) rather looks as if he's got a very messy braid and hairs come loose... (you know so not to burn his own hair in the forge. ;)
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:iconpresentdayromeo:
PresentDayRomeo Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Isn't it a C and not a K?
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:iconfoxmaq:
FoxMaq Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
So human... that's why I like this work. In the story he seems to be smart, cunning but he also is not as ';perfect' as rest of the elves. More human.

So I must say I like how he looks on Your work.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2007
-drool- he's amazing.....except he has no long pretty elfy hair :p
Sorry about the short reviews...I really suck at writing reviews
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2007
Heh, Thanks! :D (And again, it's just my personal impression.. I've always seen him short-haired.)
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2007
I know what you mean...I juts like my lon, pretty, elfy hair...sorry about the multitudes of reviews too! I was on a spree...
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2007
No problem, it's always nice to hear comments.. :)
Reply
:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2007
:P If i could draw i'd draw you somethign....but my best drawing ever was a stick man...he had a NOSE :)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
No way! A nose? :noes:

:lol:
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:iconzephyr-zucchini:
Zephyr-Zucchini Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2007
It was amazing..and one had HAIR!
Reply
:iconwinterthorn:
Winterthorn Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
his boots remind me of eskimo peoples boots! and the scarf thingie and the pattern on his sleeve!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
Eskimo boots? :oops: I had something like 15th century nobleman's suede boots with gold embroidery in mind.. ;)
Reply
:iconwinterthorn:
Winterthorn Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
that works too :hug: it still looks very noble :)
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
:D Thanks! :hug:
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:iconwinterthorn:
Winterthorn Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
you're welcome :bucktooth:
Reply
:iconladymornariel:
LadyMornariel Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007   Photographer
Your drawings have an incredible amount of detail in them . . . and even though I'm one of those who favors a long-haired Feanor, I'm rather fond of yours. There's just one eensy thing . . . maybe it's just my eyes though. His clothing makes him look . . . a bit on the bulky side . . . more through the legs and ankles than anywhere else. I hesitated to even say that, with the knowledge that I'm not that great at drawing period, but it just kept jumping out at me no matter how I looked at it.

Still . . . Feanor . .. . ::wipes drool and pulls self back together:: I'll be a diehard supporter until the day they cremate me!
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2007
:D Thank you! Good to know he's acceptable even to a die-hard fan who has a somewhat different image.. :)

Hhmm.. I'm pretty sure I was throughout with the sketching so his proportions shouldn't bee too off.. but he was definitely not supposed to look bulky.. I see him as more thin and lithe than big and muscular.. He does wear three thick layers of clothing with large loose sleeves and padded shoulders, though..

One thing that might confuse the viewer about his legs is the fact that his skirt covers his knees (they are roughly at the level of the copyright text) and so his legs might appear shorter than they actually are.. I don't know if that's what you meant. Thanks for the feedback! :)
Reply
:iconladymornariel:
LadyMornariel Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2007   Photographer
::grins at the thought of him in a skirt:: Oh yeah, definitely acceptable!

Thin and lithe . . . yes. I thought so too. Okay, now this makes sense to me. It was my eyes after all, lol. Thank you!
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2007
Ehh.. right. Not that kind of skirt.. :lol: That traditional middle layer of (mostly Medieval) clothing, which usually had sleeves and a long hem is technically called a "skirt" (or gown, or tunic) ..but in this particular case it might be better described as an "overgrown T-shirt" or something. ;) But like someone pointed out above.. since I already gave him a "sporran," I might as well draw him in a kilt next time!
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:iconladymornariel:
LadyMornariel Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2007   Photographer
ROFL, I knew what you meant. Ooooo . . . Feanaro in a kilt . . . . ::grins happily::
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2007
heh, I think i'll just have to draw that now.. just as a joke. :D
Reply
:icontoradh:
Toradh Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful job again! I particulary like his calculating facial expression.
And, again, gotta love that clothing!
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007
Thank you! I thought Fëanor could look pensive instead of brooding just for once.. I'm glad you like it. :)
Reply
:iconidril-celebrindal:
Idril-Celebrindal Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
"At any rate, it's before the Elves had even thought of concepts like "warrior" or "weapon" so even Fëanor was still a decent guy -- "Fëanor the great artist and creator" instead of "Fëanor the kin-slaying, back-stabbing, stark-raving-mad arsonist with horns growing from his head and foam coming out of his mouth.." You made my day with this sentence! :D

Drawing is wonderful. I have no problem with shorter hair solution. Why should all Elves look like clones, it gives them character.
Keep up the fabulous work! :worship:
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007
:lol: Writing that down actually made want to draw him as a raving lunatic so I did.. :D I'll have to scan and finish it one of these days.

Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconsenekha:
Senekha Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome design, as usual, and I totally dig that peacock feather! That is so Feanor! lol

You should be in the clothes design industry ;) THe toughest part for me being creative is creating decent outfits...

This triptych project has inspired me to draw some Sil art, so last night I spent a few hours on a new Fingolfin, and I'm actually halfway satisfied with how it's turning out! Would you mind if I sent a copy to you for suggestions (on outfit)? ;)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007
Haha.. I doubt anyone would really wear clothes like these nowadays! :)

I don't know anything about clothing design and I don't know if I'm that good with it.. I very rarely do any planning for my drawings but let the outfits "draw themselves." The best advice I can give is to just familiarize yourself with historical examples.. visit museums, read books, look at old art, google for pics.. i don't know -- anything that helps to build a "mental image library" in your head that you can draw upon when envisioning clothing (or weapons, or armour, or people.. anything really. Drawing is seeing!)

Most of my clothing designs are inspired by the early Medieval period, since it's what I most strongly connect with Tolkien's world and that's the period from which most of the legends that served to inspire him came from (at least the versions that were written down). But I use freely many older and newer ideas that seem to fit.

Sure, you may send it or submit the WIP in your gallery.. I can certainly have a look when I have time, but I can't guarantee I can come up with anything smart to say that would help you. ;)

Thanks, btw! :)
Reply
:iconsuccubus1982:
Succubus1982 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eh I'm not digging the clothes. Sorry but they seem to flouncy for a warrior-type as Feanor but then I suppose this IS early Feanor before he went all psycho so he'd likely be a bit more refined. Haha love the quill though. So THATS where Maglor got his bardliness from :giggle:
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Yeah, this is supposed to be the age of bliss in Valinor, when Melkor was imprisoned and everyone was still happy.. and carefree.. and gay.. :paranoid: ..err.. I mean.. you know what I mean. =P At any rate, it's before the Elves had even thought of concepts like "warrior" or "weapon" so even Fëanor was still a decent guy -- "Fëanor the great artist and creator" instead of "Fëanor the kin-slaying, back-stabbing, stark-raving-mad arsonist with horns growing from his head and foam coming out of his mouth.." ;) (okay.. maybe I'm exaggerating a bit..)

Anyway, thanks! :hug:
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:iconfegie:
fegie Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
...almost as if glowing with an inner light. (Not quite sure how to draw that, though..)

Maybe something about his posture, or perhaps his eyes?

I like your character concepts for the peoples of Middle-earth (& beyond, in this case), even though I usually see them differently. I especially envy your ability to design believable clothing, with all the trappings.
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Thanks a lot! I'm sure we all view them a little differently, but I suppose we all try to make them justice the best we can.. :)
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:iconfegie:
fegie Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
You're welcome. :) I do envy your ability to see them more realistically than me (my style & everything). ^ ^;
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:iconyoodi:
yoodi Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like the way you dress him, also the thoughtfulness and the peacock's feather. But to be frank he looks a bit too suave for me.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Thank you! But of course he was suave! :) ..although he did become a lot more grumpy later on in his life. That's just how I see him, though. ;)
Reply
:iconc-ungol:
C-Ungol Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i like him a lot, but i always imagined feanor a bit more stern, or concentrated looking. your feanor seems to be more thoughtful.
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
I suppose it would depend on what he's doing.. Just like anyone, Fëanor would have more than just one default expression. I'm sure he looked extremely concentrated when he was working, but here I actually wanted him to look thoughtful, since he's supposed to look like he's casually thinking of new ideas.. like an artist who was just touched by inspiration. He's still supposed to be young and carefree, at the height of his creative power and not troubled by dark thoughts. Maybe he just thought of a beautiful sentence and is working on a poem, or was examining the vaulted ceiling and though of how the structure might be improved.. something like that was what I was going for.

Thanks for commenting! :)
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:iconc-ungol:
C-Ungol Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh okay, i thought he was older and therefore darker, but it makes sense now.
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:iconfrostnight:
Frostnight Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007  Professional General Artist
Yey! I'm so happy about a Fëanor pic !!! Many thanks to you. How do you design the clotes?
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
:) You're welcome.

I didn't really design them very purposefully.. I had a basic idea of the type of outfit I wanted, then I just drew a stick figure on a post-it note and doodled the layers of clothing on it to see how it would look. The decoration and details I just came up with as I was drawing the final sketch.
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:iconelegaer:
elegaer Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007
Feanor is definitely a peacock. I always use peacocks around him!
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
He is, isn't he! :D And peacocks are such incredible birds.. it's hard to believe they're actually real and not just some weird fairy tale creatures! (I'm pretty sure Yavanna was high on drugs on the day she created them.. ;P)
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:iconbaldurandearnise:
BalduranDeArnise Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007
Agree with the peacock part.
Personally, i see all elves with long hair, and Feanor should have them especially (As a major character, sort of), in fact, a storm of hair, resembling his unstable character (You know, like Einstein but more well-kept), a bit chaotic during planing and work, and carefully brushed when needed.
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:iconsuccubus1982:
Succubus1982 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thats how I see him too! A regal mane somewhat like a lion, windswept perhaps a little....
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:iconbaldurandearnise:
BalduranDeArnise Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Maybe not quite a mane, but yeah ;)
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:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007
I can't help it.. my Fëanor just has short hair.. usually I draw it even shorter than here.

Like you said, he's a major character, and so every reader has a very strong image of him. I just can't really picture him with long hair if I tried. :shrug:
Reply
:iconbaldurandearnise:
BalduranDeArnise Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007
*sigh* too bad :(
Oh well, it's your imagination, don't worry ;)
I just can't stand short hair, that's all ;P

But, if you'd like - try not to imagine him with long hair, but draw him like your hand guides you, i often do that when i have problems with imagination or inspiration.

Either way - You're the artist, you decide ;)
Reply
:iconaautio:
aautio Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2007
Yeah, I'm going to stick with my vision for this piece, but I'm always interested to hear how others have envisioned these familiar characters.. :)

Actually, I have drawn him with somewhat longer hair.. here, where he's still supposed to be just a youngster. I'm sure that's not quite what you had in mind either, but perhaps it's closer to your image of Fëanor?
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