Day 47: Cat on my Windowsill

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I called her Cottontail when she was a kitten because she was one of a litter of four. Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter, though yes, I know they’re not rabbits. Mopsy, or Mops as I liked to call him, was actually my favorite among them. However, he was a quiet, rather gentle male in an area where there were a lot of male cats jostling for territory and getting into fights over it, so he disappeared after some time. She’s the only one still left.

I’ve been getting stray cats around my home for years and have fostered a number of kittens, though I never domesticated them. I doubt we’ll be having any more kittens around the area since the Queen of Sheba here is the only female left and she was spayed after her first two litters were killed by male cats. Still, we’ve got her and she makes a daily morning visit to my kitchen windowsill. There, she roosts, snoozes, makes funny talky-noises with crows and mynahs, and demands food. All in a day’s work.

This was sketched live and painted in later, and yes, that is her default expression. Utterly unimpressed.

Day 46: Barad-Dûr, Mordor

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I saved the best for last. I’m particularly proud of this bookmark, and it’s oddly poetic that it would be the Tower of Barad-Dûr in Mordor (with the Eye of Sauron and a side order of Mount Doom) that would turn out best. At least I think so.

And this marks the last of the bookmarks. God, I loved making these.

Day 45: Erebor

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Erebor, the dwarven kingdom in the heart of the Lonely Mountain, is the one bookmark I did of an interior rather than the exterior. The outside is beautiful – make no mistake – it has one of the most elaborate gate designs I’ve seen, but I found the interior far more impressive.

It draws attention to a clear aesthetic difference between the elves, men, and dwarves. The elves have their flowing organic shapes that they sing into being from the trees themselves. The men have their solid, practical walls and pillar with a couple of statues here and there for the most part, things they can build with their hands without the aid of magic. This being a dwarven kingdom seems a sort of middle ground, giving an idea of grand scale, the cunning craftsmanship they are known for, as well as a sort of sternness in their bearing that comes from their use of straight lines and hard angles.

Good job, Art Department. You guys are brilliant.

Also, it’s GREEN. ALL GREEN. Whole new color palette.

I had initially intended to only do the throne room, but then I got bored with it being totally monochrome with only tall pillars and walkways and bridges, so I added a Smaug and a tiny Bilbo.

Day 44: Edoras

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Edoras, the capital city of Rohan, abode of the riders and the Rohirrim, who has the most awesome theme music in the entire movie soundtrack. And they have Karl Urban. And the Lady Éowyn.

Day 43: Rivendell

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Beautiful elven city ruled by the venerable and wise Elrond, with cupolas and bridges and gable-roofed structures with wide balconies wrought with elegant twisting designs that utterly enchant you until you have to paint them with one hair of your smallest paintbrush, dear god.

It really is pretty though. The elves are very tasteful in their style, but their buildings are more fun to draw up close.

Day 41: Minas Tirith

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Or if we’re being really specific, Gandalf riding on Shadowfax towards Minas Tirith, considering that only a corner of the actual city is visible and most of the scene is mountain.

I painted this one while listening to the Volsungsaga episodes of the Myths and Legends podcast. Tolkien’s inspiration is clear and the similarities are eerie. Also, Vikings have no chill whatsoever.