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August 7, 2007
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Fanart100: Winter by Qitian Fanart100: Winter by Qitian
Wee, first bigger projekt in ages!
As per usual, I can't handle light (or its absence) in a realistic way, but all in all I think this turned out all right. Especially as I tend to fail at crowd scenes. (It helped that all of the people depicted got some backstory while I was sketching - if they didn't already have one anyway.)
I had a poll on my lj concerning the St. Elmo's Fire, and the majority wanted to have it, so there it is.

- - -
Then Fingolfin seeing that Fëanor had left him to perish in Araman or to return in shame to Valinor was filled with bitterness; but he desired now as never before to come by some way to Middle-earth, and meet Fëanor again. And he and his host wandered long in misery, but their valour and endurance grew with hardship; for they were a mighty people, the elder children undying of Eru Ilúvatar, but new-come from the Blessed Realm, and not yet weary with the weariness of Earth. The fire of their hearts was young, and led by Fingolfin and his sons, and by Finrod and Galadriel, they dared to pass into the bitterest North; and finding no other way they endured at last the terror of the Helcaraxë and the cruel hills of ice. Few of the deeds of the Noldor thereafter surpassed that desperate crossing in hardihood or woe.

~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
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:icongwailome:
Gwailome Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
It is always very wonderful to me to find out that a picture you like is drawn not by some faraway person but by someone you know for real)
Add it to the favourites so to say officially now)
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Yes, I love that as well. It's like it removes some layer of distance! :D
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
Nicely done!!! FŽanor was such a spoiled jerk.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey, cut the poor guy some slack! He'd just lost his father and his greatest creations basically due to severe mismanagement on the part of the Valar. That sort of thing can drive a guy over the edge... ;)
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner May 16, 2012
He was always spoiled though!!! Even before then he acted irresponsibly...
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Come on. You let EŲl get away with an "eccentric", but FŽanor is a "spoiled jerk"? :D
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner May 17, 2012
I don't like FŽanor, though, there's the difference. XD
And EŲl didn't lead his people to a Curse, nor did he abandon half of them to cross freezing Ice, because 'they were taking too long'.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He didn't abandon them to cross the Ice - he abandoned them to return in shame to the Valar.
It's not actually FŽanor's fault that Fingolfin decided to cross the Ice.

EŲl didn't have followers or he probably would've done something similarly stupid. ;) Seriously though, obviously I just like FŽanor and dislike EŲl, and for you it's exactly the other way round. De gustibus non disputandum est etc. ...
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:iconemeraldkeefe:
EmeraldKeefe Featured By Owner May 18, 2012
Indeed. To each his own. :)
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:icongreenapplefreak:
greenapplefreak Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2012  Hobbyist
wow!

kudos for the epic work! :la: I think I recognize Aredhel and Galadriel! also Fingon.
and yeah, I feel bad for the little children in the lot.

the fire was a great idea: it give the scene a point of light! ;)
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!

You probably recognised them right :) Glad you like the St Elmo's fire! I wasn't certain whether it was a good idea when I was done, but by now I'm glad I put it in - otherwise, the scene really would've turned too dark.
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:iconmontmartre96:
montmartre96 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this illustration, you have a great technique. The crossing of the Helcaraxe is so epic...
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, thank you!
Yes, absolutely epic - what a feat! I probably would've frozen, or otherwise slipped and broken a leg or something, on Day Two, and it must've taken years...
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:iconmontmartre96:
montmartre96 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome ^^
I probably would've frozen, too, or catched a pneumonia...Anyway, great illustration (better to watch it than being inside it, though)
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:iconheartofoshun:
heartofoshun Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010
This is great!
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!
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:icondermot:
Dermot Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
Just realized I forgot to fave this. Fixed that.
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:icondermot:
Dermot Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
Tolkien later retconned that Galadriel didn't cross the HelcaraxŽ with Fingolfin and the 90% of —oldor who did, nor was she involved in the First Kinslaying. She and her now-retconned-Falmarin lover Teleporno (Celeborn) crossed the Belegaer by ship - one that wasn't stolen.

That pedantry aside, you can't really tell if Galadriel is in this picture anyway. It's a nice picture all the same.

The cracking ice is a nice touch too. Is ElenwŽ one of the blonde people in this picture? I always imagined that ElenwŽ's demise wasn't that of weariness or anything like that, but of an abruptly sudden and instantly lethal fall through the cracks of the "grinding ice" into the freezing water. Anyone who knows about polar sea ice knows that it's extremely dangerous for people to be on, because the ice is constantly shifting and cracking, and the water beneath it is cold enough to instantly kill people from exposure alone. Elves tend to be more resilient than Men to injury, but it is no less difficult to kill an Elf instantly by typically instant means. If ElenwŽ had fallen into the water even once, she didn't stand a chance, and it was immediately back to Mandos for her to be re-embodied after her time of waiting.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, he may have done that, but I have to admit that I don't like that version and thus prefer to ignore it. *embarrassed cough* It's a bit like the controversy about Han Solo, if you're familiar with the Star Wars fandom: In the 1977 version of A New Hope Han shoots Greebo after their argument; in the Special Edition version, Greebo tries to shoot Han first just so Han - one of the good guys - isn't seen killing people unprovoked, which I personally find silly because just because someone is mostly good doesn't mean they can't do pretty bad things anyway, and denying that just takes away depth of character. Likewise for Galadriel: Just because she's mostly good and noble, I think she can have done something really bad (i.e. gotten involved in the kinslaying) anyway. Inventing some kind of loophole by which she of all people didn't take part in the kinslaying and she of all people didn't cross the HelcaraxŽ diminishes (for me) her otherwise intriguing character. So yeah, I'm aware that such a version of the story exists, but I'm not buying it. ;)

No, ElenwŽ is not in the picture. If you look at the first line of people (that is, the four black-haired Elves marching behind Fingolfin), the one with the rolled-up banner is supposed to be Argon, and next to him is Fingon, half-carrying Turgon. Turgon needs to be dragged along because... well, ElenwŽ isn't in the picture anymore. (Aredhel is holding Turgon's hand for the same reason, and the dark-haired woman between all the blonde people is a nurse who carries little Idril.) Like you, I assume that she fell through a crack or off a shelf of ice into the freezing water and that was it.

Thank you for your long comment!
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:icondermot:
Dermot Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
My understanding of Galadriel is that, even if not involved in the Kinslaying, she saw into FŽanor's mind and saw only evil, and despised him, which is why she refused to give him a strand of her hair and why she didn't join him.

However, what she was (as many a —oldo were) was very prideful with hopes of achieving greatness. This poisoned the ethics of most of the —oldor, even the good ones. She went to Middle-earth feeling seduced by the potential for power, hopes of which the First Age dashed for most —oldor. But after the Doom of Mandos was lifted, she was too arrogant to accept the Valars' pardon, which stranded her in Middle-earth for longer until she could prove she could overcome her vanity. Getting a ring of power (Nenya) didn't really help her ego, but she eventually proved her virtue by the test of rejecting the One Ring, which finally allowed her to return home.

So, even if Galadriel might not have been in the Kinslaying, she like most —oldor still had seeds of darkness in her own heart - just not to the depravity of FŽanor or the eagerness to fight lke Fingolfin. She was largely of a personally peaceful nature like Finarfin, but was tainted by a desire for power and glory, assuring the conditions of her long-term exile for her sins.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah well, I'm a little... more forgiving towards the FŽanorians. Extreme circumstances breed extreme actions. Or, as Terry Pratchett so aptly put it, Bad things generally come to pass not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil (or, as you'd say, "depraved") but by people being fundamentally people...

If there had been "only evil" in FŽanor's heart, I very much doubt that he would've been quite so popular in the first place. ManwŽ weeps when he hears that FŽanor won't take council and won't stop his suicidal mission, and in the LotR Gandalf speaks of the "great mind of FŽanor". With (or so we assume) full knowledge of what FŽanor did. I think there must have been rather more than "evil" and "depravity" there, thanks...
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:icondermot:
Dermot Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2010
Well... (nice animated tengwar icon, BTW)... I think the issue of FŽanor's popularity among the —oldor was partially symptomatic of the cultural dysfunction the —oldor themselves were having. They desired power, and glory, and to be great. Similar sins of vanity that also poisoned Nķmenor later, except that the —oldor didn't turn to Melkor or Sauron. FŽanor almost made an alliance with Melkor even knowing how evil he was, but broke it off when he realized Melkor wanted the Silmarils he also regarded as his own (though they had been made with holy borrowed power). The pure darkness that Galadriel saw in FŽanor's mind was one of supreme self-importance, where everything else came second. Yes, he loved his mother, and he loved his father, but when they were gone, and without the moderating influence of his wife Nerdanel, he did what was in his nature to do - he went off the deep end and became like a Dark Lord, stopped only by the grace of getting himself killed.

Now the problem was that —oldor were not as pure as driven snow themselves - in them (and in even in Galadriel) they had the seeds of pride, greed, delusions of grandeur, etc. If FŽanor was their white knight, it was because he represented the most powerful and the most ambitious among them, and the potential means for them all to achieve greatness. I mean, why else would 90% of their people go to mortal Beleriand even after the Valar told them that it would be to their certain doom and to their tears unnumbered? Especially after FŽanor himself had abandoned them at AlqualondŽ. It wasn't just to follow Fingolfin - many of them greatly desired a piece of the pie they saw in having power in Middle-earth. The —oldor themselves had seeds of evil within them unparallelled among the Vanyar or Teleri.

It was a long time before the Falmari could forgive the —oldor (it helped that those 10% who remained behind were the least vain among them), and the Sindar by their proximity fell under some of the curse of the —oldor. In this, the —oldor by being High Elves were not necessarily better or wiser. Instead, arrogance ensured that most of them would be killed. Galadriel could see darkness in the minds of others, but she, as one of the most powerful individual —oldor herself, had darkness within herself too. She had a better ethics over it than most —oldor, but not enough that she stayed in Aman. Despite her ethics, she was still poisoned, as most of the —oldor were.

The —oldor actually remind me of the Kingdom of Zeal in Chrono Trigger. Extremely well-learned and advanced, but obsessed with power and greatness, and bringing themselves to ruin.

So yeah, FŽanor had a great mind, but that was one of skill and knowledge. That does not translate to good. Tolkien in his later writings made it clear that FŽanor was evil. Just not eviler than Melkor.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this is the point where we should simply agree to disagree, because this seems to be where world views (not only of Tolkien's world ;)) clash. I do not believe in people "being" good or evil. Someone may do good or evil things, and the sum total may lean somewhat more towards the "awesome good" or towards the "dreadful evil" side, but people - even book characters, at least if the book is decently written - are too complex for such simple labels. Especially if you extend the labels to an entire people. There is no such thing as a homogenous mass of people. "The —oldor desired power" is just as silly as "The Chinese eat dogs".

Yes, some of what Tolkien says in his later writing cheapens the complexity of the world he created a lot. There's a school of thought suspecting that fear of death and apologetism play a role there, and I am tempted to ascribe to that. But that's neither here nor there...
I'm sure we could both find quotes galore to support our different points, but to be honest I just don't care enough.

At any rate, I suggest we both go on sticking to our respective preferred interpretation of the many, many, many things Tolkien wrote, and I go back to working on my poor neglected thesis and you go back to whatever you're doing and we'll both be happier. :)
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:icondermot:
Dermot Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010
Okay. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to annoy you. It was nice having a little debate.

Anyway, what I was speaking about was not necessarily my worldview. The real world is a lot more complex than that. I just tend to stick to Tolkien's last word on the matter as canon, even if it may be unrealistically simplistic in some ways. I'm pretty skeptical of some of The Silmarillion anyway, ever since Christopher Tolkien admitted that he made assumptions that he later found contradicted by his father's own writings, as well as other editorial decisions he admitted were rushed and unfounded (such as Gil-galad being the son of Fingon instead of Orodreth). I tend to be a canon pedant. The rest is fanfiction.

But then again, this is fanart, which is allowed the same freedom as fanfiction. I hope I didn't irritate you TOO much. This discussion wasn't exactly heated for me, and I'm sorry if it might have been for you. You really do draw nicely and imaginatively.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
See, I think we're actually both having the same problem here. Pretty much all of Tolkien's words (last or otherwise) on the Silmarillion canon are getting to us edited by CT. Accordingly, it is extremely hard to say just what version the author would've chosen in the end. Tolkien seems to have changed his opinion and played with ideas quite a bit, changing things back and forth - so it's virtually impossible to speak of a fixed canon anyway. Everyone's welcome to decide on what pieces to accept as their personal idea of the canon - whether they stick to only the published Silm, or add bits and pieces from the HoME, Letters, UT etc. as they see fit, or take a scholarly view and compare dates in order to find out what might have been the author's "final" intention - but in the end, it's all varying grades of speculation. Of course everybody prefers his or her personal idea of the canon, but in the end it's like that scene in Brecht's Life of Galileo where two characters have a heated argument, both using quotes from the same book (the Bible) to underline their respective (totally contrary) points: You can prove anything and nothing. (Especially as there's probably loads of still-unpublished stuff hidden somewhere...)

Now when it comes to meta-comments on characters' motivations etc. I tend to be even more mistrustful of the author. To take a (somewhat exaggerated, I know) example to illustrate what I mean, I wouldn't care if Shakespeare wrote somewhere that he thinks Hamlet is a determined young man who knows what he's doing and is always doing the right thing. The actual play suggests to me that the character in question occasionally does show some initiative, and may have a good idea of what he's doing every now and then, but on the whole he's a pretty indecisive, dithering young man, and sacrificing two co-students wasn't exactly "right" either. Or - less unlikely, as in "actually happened" - it doesn't matter that JKR tells her fans that Draco isn't meant to be liked and that there's nothing redeeming about his character. (That was before Book 7, when he turned out to have a redeeming side...) If the text - the pure text, the actual canon - suggests that he certainly isn't pure evil, the author can say what she wants. In the end, meta-comment is just meta-comment, and story is story. It may be interesting to see what the author thought, but once the story is out there, it has to speak for itself. (Admittedly that is awkward when the author didn't actually put the published bit together, and tracing the editor's decision warrants a whole book in itself. I haven't had a chance to read Arda Reconstructed yet, though I mean to do so. But it can hardly be helped.)

Not that it actually matters, because even though I, drawing this, definitely drew Galadriel in, you, looking at it, are perfectly free to think "Hm, since Galadriel can't be there, I assume this scene is set before ElenwŽ took her fall."

Or whatever, really.
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(1 Reply)
:iconkaaile:
Kaaile Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
Elenwe fell into water with Idril and Turgon managaed to rescue Idril, but Elenwe disappeared under the ice. I think it wasn't instant kill.
I like the picture, poor Turgon..
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Doesn't have to be instant, just could've been. Assuming that ElenwŽ survived the first shock of falling into freezing water, she'd probably have about 15 minutes (if she were human; Elves, being supposedly hardier, might last longer).

Thank you! Poor Turgon indeed.
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:iconkaaile:
Kaaile Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010
I always imagined this scene as very dramatic one. actually I drew it more times than any other silmarillion scene but none of those pictures turned out good enough to show them on DA... :)
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It would be a very difficult scene to capture, I think.
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:iconlmmdi:
lmmdi Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so lovely, you really got across the struggle against the elements and the determination to win through. The skies are also beautiful and I love the way the characters are interacting rather than standing statically (I was looking to spot the character I knew, and I did. Yay).
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! (I'm always excited when people manage to recognise known characters, so yay indeed!)
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:iconhaius:
haius Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist
yay for ice and a very strong wind! I really wish I could see this bigger. you should make the big view bigger. that is all.
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:iconhaius:
haius Featured By Owner May 15, 2009  Hobbyist
guess who discovered the download button?

:iconifailplz:
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:iconjennycuenca:
jennycuenca Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2008
I've always liked to see more pictures of the Helcaraxe crossing.
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:iconsirielle:
Sirielle Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2007   Digital Artist
This one is very good, you can handle crowd well :) Wind blows their hair, they have different faces and you remembered even to put some kids in :thumbsup: Nice landscape - looks like real ice field.
I guess Fingolfin is in the front, Turgon holds little Idril, Aredhel has got white dress. But where is Fingon? Do you Arakáno there as well?
What are St. Elmo's Fires?

Really nice illustration :)
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
St. Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon occasionally seen on high, pointed structures; there's a lengthy wikipedia article ([link]) that explains it better than I can ;)

Fingolfin is indeed in the front. Yes, Argon is there; he's the one with the banner. Turgon is being propped up by Fingon and has his hand held by Aredhel: he has already lost Elenwë. The person holding little Idril is actually a nurse. ;)

Thank you!
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:iconelven21:
elven21 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007   Traditional Artist
:wow: Beautiful illustration!... :rose:
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! :)
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:iconelven21:
elven21 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2007   Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :)
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:iconseekhim:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2007
Now this picture I really like!

I have always pictured Fingolfin's people looking more beaten
down, ragged and covered with snow. So I think that in this
picture they are just setting out and real winter weather hasn't
started yet.

The night is dark and the stars very piercing and even though its not
snow winter yet, you can still feel the bitter cold.

Their faces are full of expression. I especially like the small children.
When I look at their little faces I just want to reach out and keep
them safe, and my heart clenches as I picture all the hardships
they're going to have to go through.

You can sense the Noldor's courage and determination. And you know
that even though things are going to get a lot worse, that they will keep
right on.

. The colors and the movement are perfect
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, since Elenwë is already missing, they must have been underway for a while... but you're right, they're not quite ragged enough (although they already have cut up cloaks and such to make wrappings for their hands, and they're wearing several layers of clothing so perhaps the ragged stuff is just out of sight - but well, that's what I was thinking while drawing, you can't really see it in the picture...)

Thank you very much for your comment! I'm glad the faces and the colours work :)
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:iconseekhim:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2007
Hey again

Listen have you had time to look at any of my poems.
I was curious to know what you thought.
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not yet, alas; I'm currently having very little time, so anything more than looking at pictures is postponed until I'm under less of a strain. They're bookmarked, though, and I'll read them once I find the time.
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:iconmurrauddin:
Murrauddin Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2007
OH,I am speechless! It's one of the best illustrations of the scene among the many I've seen. The night is really dark, cold and windy, and one can feel the desperate courage of the Noldor walking on treacherous ice... The colors and the movement are perfect! Thank you!
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:iconqitian:
Qitian Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for that comment! ^___^
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:iconmoon-blossom:
moon-blossom Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oooh! It's very good! I like the starry skies, especially :thumbsup:
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