You guys know that people sometimes pay me to paint things, right?
As in, art isn’t just a hobby, but a business. They get an authentic, hand-painted portrait. I get money. Everyone wins. And when you’re lucky enough to have your art teacher’s complete and zealous support, the odds of being a multi-millionaire by age twenty are definitely in your favor.
Unfortunately, I happened to miss several lessons of art class over the last few weeks, due to… circumstances. Which means I had a lot of assignments to make up for last Monday. Which means I had several large portrait projects and a research paper due, all of which had to be completed in one week.
Guess which week Mrs. Howard found me another portrait commission?
Needless to say, my creativity feels burned out.
After a week of non-stop painting, and an evening of furious cramming and writing (to those who say you can’t write an essay in one night, tell that to my A+), I can honestly say I never want to look at my artwork ever again.
Naturally, I had an art dump in the roster for this week.
This is mostly old projects that were done over the last 1-2 months, since you can’t see the commissions because PRIVACY. So don’t expect anything spectacular. However, you should expect elves. See, I just finished reading the Silmarillion. Which was a fantastic book. And when I read fantastic books, my creativity goes hyper.
It’s not my fault.
I did warn you, didn’t I?
As our first specimen today, we have Maedhros, AKA the tragic oldest son of an elven psychopath, AKA my favorite. It’s totally not obvious that I was studying graphic design when I drew this.
This was cool. Four squares made out of three triangles, arranged to create some sort of kaleidoscope. If you look long enough, you’ll see that the squares are all identical.
For the record, I don’t recommend looking long enough. This thing will hypnotize you.
Shallan Davar of the Stormlight Archive. I’ll be completely honest here: I’m in love with this drawing. The incredible softness of her nose, the scholarly dreaminess in her eyes, the way her freckles came so perfectly off my pencil. While she’s certainly not the most amazing thing I’ve ever done (um, Arwen portrait, anyone?), I see so much more than the finished product here. When I look at this picture, I see how much fun it was to draw, and all the successful experiments I managed to pull off with almost every one of her features. This one created itself. And when that happens, the artist can’t help but love it.
Yeah. Rant over. The point being, I really like this one.
Another Silmarillion thing—Turin Turambar and Beleg Strongbow. This is how I assuage my grief: I draw a bunch of happy pictures and pretend everything that happened didn’t actually happen.
(Which is otherwise known as denial, but anyway…)
We were doing these cool zentangle thingies on little canvases in art class, and the girl sitting in front of me randomly popped up and said, “CAN I WRITE A BIBLE VERSE ON MINE?”
Mrs. Howard thought that was an idea worth emulation. As did I.
It’s come to my attention that 80% of my sketches look the same, so this was a quick exercise in drawing odd features. I swear I wasn’t trying to make them look evil. It just… happened.
The dude on the bottom left is my personal favorite.
Maedhros and Maglor. From—YOU GUESSED IT! The Silmarillion.
Here is a real conversation I had with my mother, as I tried (in vain) to explain that book to her, and why I’m so fascinated with it.
“There’s this elf guy named Feanor, who’s rather dumb and slaughtered half of elfdom because he wanted their boats to go find his silmarils, otherwise known as glowy jewel thingies. Then everyone got banished from Valinor because they were dumb enough to actually LISTEN TO THE JERK. Then this other guy, named Fingon—no, Finrod—no, Felagund—no, actually, I think it was Fingolfin—so this person does something else that—no, wait, I actually think he died. It was Thingol. Yeah. So he did a bunch of cool stuff and became everyone’s unofficial grumpy uncle, and Luthien was melodramatic, and Maedhros got spiked to a cliff, and then they all died because Melkor, mom, Melkor. But THEN—”
Mom, looking slightly glassy eyed: “So Elrond is Galadriel’s mother-in-law…?”
I give up.
This started out as a half-hearted attempt at yet another modern art assignment, and ended as some sort of deep psychological contemplation that gets more thought-provoking the longer you look at it.
Kaladin Stormblessed, otherwise known as Grump of the Century.
In a rare moment of adventurousness, I thought I would try something in colored pencils.
I have since renounced all adventurousness.
If you ask me, the medium doesn’t lend itself to much depth. No matter how hard you try, it always ends up a tad flat, not to mention rather streaky. I don’t like it. Not one bit.
And for your information, yes, I did spend four hours just on the plaid.
Here’s a rather sad specimen, based on a scene from a book I haven’t written yet, and featuring my very un-epic handwriting. May all the people with OCD be blessed by it’s crookedness.
Some sort of African princess, I think. I really don’t know. This one just… happened, and there she was.
Ah yes. The random lady I drew from a magazine. It’s incredibly satisfying to know that somewhere in the world, this poor soul is going about her normal life, completely oblivious to the fact that she’s a permanent addition to some kid’s art class portfolio.
Also, let’s appreciate the fact that for all my whining about being a people artist, not a plant artist, that flower turned out extraordinarily well.
Look and learn, kids. We can’t win all the time.
So there you have it, folks. There’s my load of creativity for the week. There is one more thing I was going to show you (something I like to call “le chef-d’oeuvre”—learn your French, guys), but it’s going to be in my homeschool co-op’s spring showcase, and unfortunately, I was dumb enough to hand it over to my teacher before making a copy. Typical. So you’ll have to wait on that one.
Happy Thursday, guys, and may your mother always understand your Silmarillion rants.