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First Watch by peet First Watch by peet

'It was Sam's turn that day to take the first watch, but Aragorn joined him. The others fell asleep. Then the silence grew until even Sam felt it. The breathing of the sleepers could be plainly heard. The swish of the pony's tail and the occasional movements of his feet became loud noises. Sam could hear his own joints creaking, if he stirred. Dead silence was around him, and over all hung a clear blue sky, as the Sun rode up from the East. Away in the South a dark patch appeared, and grew, and drove north like flying smoke in the wind.

'What's that, Strider? It don't look like a cloud,' said Sam in a whisper to Aragorn. He made no answer, he was gazing intently at the sky; but before long Sam could see for himself what was approaching.'  


JRR Tolkien: 
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Book II, Chapter 3: The Ring Goes South

Previous: The Fellowship of the Ring by peet  Next:  'I go to find the Sun!' by peet

If you appreciate my artwork, please show your support by taking a few short moments to 'Like' my Facebook Page at Peter Xavier Price - Illustrator. Many thanks!
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:iconcuthillius:
Cuthillius Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really love what you did with Sam and his hair.
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I might be said that it's not curly enough, but perhaps he washed it recently and it's not quite flicked into shape yet ;)
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:iconjeantinehobbit:
JeantineHobbit Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Nice take on Strider! :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Glad you approve - it usually gets a mixed response in light of the movies.
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:iconjeantinehobbit:
JeantineHobbit Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! I'm actually trying to picture the LotR characters in a different way from the movies (particularly Aragorn, Boromir, Faramir, and Denethor) but when it comes to the hobbits it's just really difficult! :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Edited Jan 6, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Well I'd love to know what you think of my other depictions, when or if you have the time.

Re these four characters, its really funny but I only pictured Boromir with a small beard and the rest beardless. And then I found out much later that the high-Numenoreans were typically beardless, and lo and behold, Aragorn, Denethor and Faramir are the three Men left in M-e who have the truest blood of Westernesse flowing through them. Of course Boromir did too, but its stated many times that he was less high than the others, and more forward in battle rather than lore. Re the hobbits, my main problem was with Frodo. He looks too young, and acts too young. I actually picture him as a hobbit version of 'Aramir' (Aragorn and Faramir) - obviously relative to his stature, but definitely a little elevated/distant from, and maturer than, the rest of the hobbits, even from the beginning. I think that's made pretty clear in the text - all three hobbits looks up to him, because he is elven wise and learned for a hobbit (Bilbo's influence). It was a shame that this was missing in the movie.

Again many thanks for commenting, it's greatly appreciated!
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:iconjeantinehobbit:
JeantineHobbit Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're very welcome, my friend! That whole 'Dudes with high Numenorean blood are beardless' thing is a major reason as to why I am trying to re-imagine my mental image if certain characters! Dang it I actually imagined Imrahil as a bearded Liam Neeson when I read RotK! Not to Mention that Imrahil seems to have another Elvish ancestor. :P I agree with your Frodo is an 'Aramir' statement. He is evidently more 'elevated' than the other hobbits including Bilbo. To me he seems highly favored by the Valar Irmo, Estë, and Nienna. I'll check out more of your art when I have the time! :D
P. S. I picture all the high Numenorean descendants as eventually growing beards in later life (like Elves); probably in their equivalent of late middle-age and early old age! :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
One of my favourite Tolkien artists, Anke Eissmann, depicts Imrahil with a very thin moustache - so maybe that could be a concession! You may be right about Numenorean beards in later life though, but I'm not sure Tolkien is explicit on the matter.

Re Frodo, I'm pretty sure that his elevation above Bilbo in particular occurs because of the Quest, rather than in spite it. Before 'The Ring Goes South', I'm pretty certain Bilbo is still at the top of the 'hobbit hierarchy' between the five. For example, Frodo is enraptured by wonderment and amaze during his first stay in Rivendell, whilst Bilbo is thoroughly acclimatised, talking and jesting with the High Elves as if he is 'one of them' (again, relative to his stature). He is also fast friends with Aragorn and probably was acquainted with Arwen, if not even friends with her too. Frodo cannot claim to be anywhere near Bilbo's stature at this stage. Subsequent events changes things though, of course.

Interesting point re Frodo's favour among the Vala Irmo, Estë, and Nienna. This is probably to do with the fact that Gandalf, as Olórin during his youth, dwelt among the former two and often visited the latter's halls. I would add Manwë himself to this list also, Frodo being a particularly important instrument of providence and deliverance.
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:iconjeantinehobbit:
JeantineHobbit Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Imrahil with a mustache? Maybe... :) I've actually seen Anke Eissmann's art before, and to be honest I had your works confused with one another for a while' :P And now that you mention it Frodo's elevation does seem to be caused by the Quest itself. Also my 'Frodo is favored by the Valar' statement is influenced by his dreams and visions at Bombadil's house, his "replenishing" dreams during the Quest, and his condition after the Quest! It seems that even the Valar themselves took a great risk with a little hobbit! :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
But this is the whole point, in my view, and connects again with why Manwë chooses Olórin personally -- almost as an afterthought -- to go to M-e with the other Istari, he being the one most learned in the ways of 'pity and patience', who was perhaps the most ostensibly 'weak', and who therefore 'feared' Sauron the most. It's by these means that Olórin discerns something in the halflings that others do not see ...

'Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.' (Silm: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age)

... and as such it is therefore he who fulfils most faithfully the Valar's wishes, or more pertinently Ilúvatar's, by acting as the conduit by which the flow of providence, or grace, can come to fruition:

[Aragorn]: 'Let none now reject the counsels of Gandalf, whose long labours against Sauron come at last to their test. But for him all would long ago have been lost ...' (LotR: 'The Last Debate')
 

Re Anke's work and mine, I insist that she be the better artist ;).

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(1 Reply)
:iconcelticbard76:
celticbard76 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As others have already mentioned, I love Aragorn's expression. There's a bit of restrained tension in the scene, which I would expect from a seasoned Ranger like Strider. He seems alert, yet composed. Excellent work! I'm truly enjoying your pieces. 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much - these are the small, and to some irrelevant, details that I hope can be discerned in my works. When I view illustrations, its this sort of thing that I pick up on. So it's nice to read that others do so in mine too :hug:.
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:iconcelticbard76:
celticbard76 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You are most welcome!
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:iconheidinanookie:
heidinanookie Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
This is fantastic! I love Aragorn's eyes and that Legolas has brown hair.
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, I'm glad you approve of my non-film interpretations :D Many thanks!
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:iconheidinanookie:
heidinanookie Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Of course! The innate magic of a book is that everybody is allowed to imagine their own interpretation. In this case, I'm sick of blond elves and I like your creativity!
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Edited Nov 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Have you noticed that they all have exactly the same hairstyle as well?? :wtf:
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:iconheidinanookie:
heidinanookie Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Jup. That's a really sad example of how movies can hem in your imagination... :(
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah well! :) Again, thanks for commenting.
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:iconnislande:
Nislande Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One of the main things I love about your art is you always know how the characters are truly feeling, whenever they are tired, weak or sad your always spot on. I see how restless Aragorn and Sam are. I'm not kidding when I say I hope a version of the Lord of The rings gets printed with your illustrations in it, that would be brilliant :D
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah this is a real compliment, so thanks so much. I've always thought that my figures/anatomy/human emotions needed improvement, so I've been striving to do so recently. Comments such as these really make me feel as if I'm on the right track. As for a copy of LotR with my images - I think that's every Tolkien fan's dream if they happen to paint the scenes too! I don't expect it to happen anytime soon, if ever!
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:iconnislande:
Nislande Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It certainly is a dream to see our art in a book, I don't have a particular thing
I like to draw lately so I can't picture exactly the kind of books I would like to illustrate.
But anyway... I think your human anatomy overall is truly VERY good, but sometimes
some sections of the illustration can look more 2 dimentional and others more 3D, unless that was your intent,
theres always room for improvement but but besides that which is no biggy.
As I said in previous comment It's the emotion that comes through your art that is the winner for me. Cutie Thumbs Up 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Aw, thanks so much :) Do you mean in this painting in particular or just generally re the 2D-3D? I don't think its purposeful, but I'm not really interested in photo-realism in my painting anyway (I admire those who can paint in this way, however, don't get me wrong); rather, as you say, its the feeling or emotion that's more important to me. Especially given the subject matter, which Tolkien basically admitted was akin to nineteenth-century Romanticism.
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:iconnislande:
Nislande Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I mean just generally. 
But only a little bit, it doesn't affect the quality of the artwork whatsoever. 
these are interpretations or illustrations after all. Photo realism isn't necessary.
I would never suggest you change anything about your work, it is brilliant just the way it is :)
I always aim for photo realism in my artwork but that's just my style.
Artists wouldn't survive without the inspiration of others who have such different styles.
your artwork shows the love you have for Tolkien works and that is a beautiful artwork in itself :) 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
What a nice thing to say - you're way too kind! Thanks a lot :)
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:iconminuya:
Minuya Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
Great work, as usual :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconevilscarrlett:
EvilScarrlett Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
amazingly crisp and colorful. you did a great job!
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I thank you very much indeed!
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:iconevilscarrlett:
EvilScarrlett Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you're welcome :)
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:iconeleynah:
Eleynah Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
very beautiful drawing as always. The man sleeping in the background reminds me of Thorin lol but it must be boromir. I wonder if you have ever seen the movies? I like the way you capture them from your own mind.
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
It is indeed Boromor, since Boromir is a man unlike Thorin ;) Sorry, I just don't understand why many of his company were suddenly made to look mannish (except for sex-appeal I guess :puke:).

Anyway, many thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. It's easy for me to demarcate between Tolkien's world and the movies, they're pretty much completely separate entities in my view :)
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:iconsarkaskorpikova:
SarkaSkorpikova Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautifully depicted scene! Painted to tiniest details, as usual, and I love it! I really like how you made Aragorn, because he looks almost exactly as I would always had imagined him if there were no movies. Great work! :)
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
No need to change your imagination to accommodate the film(s) ;).

Thanks, as ever. Further to our discussion about the virtues of masking fluid, the bush to the left of Aragorn's face was depicted using this technique :)
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:iconsarkaskorpikova:
SarkaSkorpikova Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I was just thinking about the bush :) Because it seems almost impossible to leave the space for the bush so clean without the fluid. I'm really considering buying it :).

I knew the films before the books, but the movie V. Mortensen- Aragorn seems to me well chosen. And yours is just perfect! 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't think Mortensen looks nor acts kingly enough, or rather the transition from Ranger to King does not seem convincing enough for my tastes. He looks closer to my image of a First Age man of the House of Beor, but the heir of Elendil? Hmmm. But then again, the whole character is totally different; in the film he is reluctant, echoing the post-modern perspective, while in the book his whole life has been building up to this moment, and there is absolutely no hesitation.
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:iconsarkaskorpikova:
SarkaSkorpikova Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I definitely have to re-read the trilogy. Wallbang 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, never hurts to pick it up again every once in a while ;). Have you read The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien? In that you can a lot of insight into many of the characters, as well as Tolkien's broader theo-philosophical views, and how they play out in the entire mythology. Which in turn helps to explain how and why PJ just didn't 'get it'.
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:iconsarkaskorpikova:
SarkaSkorpikova Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some of the letters I've read, some of them again and again, because there are some really interesting theological relationships and connections. I'd give it to PJ and then I'd say: "Read it 100 times otherwise you can't go home" :D 
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
And then tell him to read it again for homework ;)
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:iconevagataartist:
EvaGataArtist Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
so beautifully done <3
their look perfectly expresses their emotions and thoughts^^
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Wonderful to read, as ever! Thank you so much!
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:iconartigas:
Artigas Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014
Nicely done my friend! I love the colors and expressions.
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:iconpeet:
peet Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
As ever, a comment from you is particularly nice to read and receive :)
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:iconartigas:
Artigas Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014
Ahooooy Matey! 
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