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August 24, 2012
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Glorfindel Turnaround by 89ravenclaw Glorfindel Turnaround by 89ravenclaw
Glorfindel of the Golden Flower Turnaround by 89ravenclaw

I'm going to hate this when I look at it tomorrow, but I finally 'finished' this. It took me way too long because me and clean lines do not go together; I'm a rough and paint kind of artist.

I originally wanted to try and play with his color scheme and base it more on a celandine (yellow and greens), but it didn't look right with the color schemes I have going on for Gondolin as a whole. Greens and yellows are a lot closer to what I have going on for Doriath elves in my mind (I'm also using greens for more dubious characters and locations within the Fall of Gondolin narrative). So instead I went with the color scheme I had in my original concept painting for him, which are more earthly browns, blues, and yellows.

Once I have the color schemes for the other twelve captains of Gondolin, I'll come back to this and try to find a way for a more celandine palette.

In any case, I got the shapes to all represent the flower, though it does make the armor look a bit too second age (change of color should fix that). Luckily, the other armor concepts I have for the twelve captains look radically different from this.

Original Concept Painting Here: [link]

Tumblr: [link]

PS I really want to get someone to model this in Maya so I can rig it.
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bluedancingkittykat Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
89ravenclaw Apr 12, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Because even in the midst of carnage of warfare, elve's gotta look good.
89ravenclaw Mar 15, 2013  Professional Filmographer
you know it =)
How do elves manage to stay so clean and kept even in the midst of full on warfare. Never have to shave even after a days battle. Where as the humans get gritty and look cool, elves are prissy clean freaks. I haven't read all the Tolkien books yet, but I've been curious what Tolkien meant by the "Gift of Men".
89ravenclaw Mar 22, 2013  Professional Filmographer
There are some elves who have recorded beards in Tolkien's works, and I certainly will draw them more dirtied up if I paint actual scenes. They just described as being more beautiful and shinning with light of the west since they've seen that light, so Men tend to look more dull in contrast. In addition, Elves are clearly more scientifically advanced in the First Age than Men, so it makes sense that there armor is nicer, heck I draw most of the First Age men in cloth/leather armor.

As for the 'Gift of Men' it's basically that they get to die, though where they go has not yet be revealed (obviously similar to Christian theology, but in a period of time before a first coming)
Two things that always struck me; One, was the timeframes. Tolkien wrote the beginning of the fourth age was around 6,000 years before 20th century Earth standards. Despite this, they had thousands of years to develop even prior to that. Despite thousands of years they never invented firearms or vehicles or electricity (on our part it took us 1800 years to rediscover the steam engine). Second Elves being immortal. Besides seeming unfair(though the Dunedain could live much longer than typical Men), how does an immortal race procreate but keep it's numbers in check without outstripping the natural resources of the world for thousands of years.
89ravenclaw Mar 30, 2013  Professional Filmographer
If you measure out a lot of our history, the rate at which technology advanced was relativity stagnant compared to last few hundred years. And certainly there is suggestion that there were large periods of advancement, but then we declined again. So it's not entirely improbably for technology to advance as slowly as it does in Tolkien's world.

That being said, it's not advancing as slowly as many might think.

We see the elves in their earliest of days where they have no technology at all. We then see that original group divide so that the one's who make it furthest West, and therefore closer to the Valar and their knowledge, undergo a very quick slope of advancement. This advancement is made more clear once the Noldor return with their knowledge out of the west and reunited with the Elves in Middle-earth, who are portrayed as more primitive in terms of technology.

Once the elves return only 590 years transpire until the First Age ends, and during that time the Elves are constantly at war with Morgoth. Because of this there is a sense of advancement in terms of weapons, but this relates more to smithing techniques.

There's also a clear indication of advancement in ship crafting and the disparity in ship crafting skill between the different elven groups.

In addition, we also get a sense that they are continuing to develop their building techniques, since they learn additional knowledge from their contact with the dwarves, and we see them doing a lot of building during the Long Peace near the beginning of their time in Beleriand.

However, this time of prosperity is short lived, and the advancement of science becomes less and less feasible as each Elven and Manish community is wiped out.

As for Men, we see them advance a great deal in terms of technology upon being introduced to the Dark Elves, and even more so when they're introduced to the Noldor.

Similarly, during the second age it is very obvious that the Numenorians are a much more advanced culture than those of the Men that we see in the third age. This makes a lot of sense especially when correlating the Numenor with Atlantis myth.

Finally, in the Lord of the Rings we are constantly told how Man and Hobbits view the elves: as magical beings. However, when Sam asks Galadriel about this, she doesn't quite understand what he means. This is because what the elves do isn't magic, but Science far more advanced than the other races of Middle-earth.

So technology does advance, but then devances, and then begins to advance again, over the course of Tolkien's legendarium.

Also, in regards to your question about the Elven populace, in some of Tolkien's other writings he clarifies that the Elves don't have very many children (Feanor being the exception), since they have to expel some of their energy in the making of the child into that child. It's all in the 'Laws and Customs Among the Eldar' essay if you want to look it up.
There's an analogous comparison between the Elves and Men and the Vulcans and Humanity of Star Trek. Vulcans are deemed the physical and mental superior to humans, yet cannot grasp the simplicity of emotional control. Elves possess longer lifespans than Men, so do typical Vulcan's. Elve's/Vulcan's developed sophisticated society long before humanity, yet humanity progressed far faster much to the concern of the former. Both Vulcan/Elf share a certain degree of content to simply live. Where as humans possess the "drive" whether to explore, expand, (or unfortunately conquer if the case may be) and humanity had a far greater influence over the course of the world around them. And like a small group of Vulcans who look at humanity with the eyes of appreciation, certain Elves look at the "Gift of Men" with a degree of admiration or jealousy. In one episode, T'Pol asked Captain Archer if he experienced dreams whether pleasant or nightmarish. He responded yes, and in most cases they were euphoric and enjoyable. She responds by only saying envy's him.
89ravenclaw Apr 1, 2013  Professional Filmographer
It's certainly an interesting and valid parallel, but I think it only holds to an extinct, mainly because I don't view elves as beings with their emotions in check, just beings that have lived long enough to reach a certain level of maturity, and you can see the differences between much older and younger elves.

Looking at the Silmarillion alone, there's a crazy large spectrum of emotions exhibited by the elves. I think they just come across as more Vulcan-like in the Third Age because we're seeing them from a Hobbit perspective and the elves who we're primarily exposed to are some of the longest-lived. The Hobbit is a bit different because we're dealing with much younger and non-Noldorian elves in Mirkwood.

The other main difference is that the Vulcans are still mortal. So in terms of mortality they're closer to Dwarves and the Numenorians... but obviously with vastly different cultures between all four types. All the same, the longer lifespans do provide a different perspective, you look much more often at what would be the picture to a short-lived mortal like Man.

That is also a good point about a Vulcan feeling envious of a Man. In these stories, Man's jealousy of these longer-lived and seemingly more powerful races feels justified, and since the reader/viewer is of the race of Men, we don't instantly think that the other side may be jealous of us because we've taken what makes the race of Men special for granted.

PS I hope you don't mind these crazy long responses I've been making to your comments =p
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