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Cynthia Griffith
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Cynthia Griffith

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I've been spending a lot of time messing around with ink, but not really getting much done. Time to simplify. And time to finish things that have been sitting around WAY too long.

This was originally started (the blue pencil part of it, not the inks) in early June 2015. For whatever reason, I couldn't bring myself to ink it (despite really wanting to). So new brush in hand, I decided enough was enough. I really need to stop putting things off -- I end up forgetting (or am just doing things differently now) what I was planning to do a year or more later when I finally get around to these.

The original blue pencil was done on 11x14 Strathmore drawing paper. I wanted to preserve the blue pencils, so I scanned, darkened the lines, turned it into B&W, and printed it out to transfer to 11x14 Bristol for inking. I used Black Magic ink with a Winsor & Newton series 7 #2 brush, a little bit of detail work on Thorin and a few tiny pebbles with a Micron 005 pen, a bit of touch-ups in white acrylic paint and white pencil, and a little texture-work in black pencil.

As far as the scene... I play Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO), and I have one dwarf and two elves (also a hobbit) so far. You'd think I'd be sick of seeing Thorin's Hall/Ered Luin... well, no. My character house is there. I love that area and feel at home there. Many times, when I'd be questing (and coming across little things that were about Thorin or the Battle of the Five Armies) I would stop and just think about the story before The Hobbit. As I said on the original sketch's page:  

"I've been obsessed with the story-not-told in Ered Luin (most likely also because I play LOTRO and love going back there with my characters). I like to imagine Thorin would go away on trips for trade and supplies on his own, so he could think and be alone. Perhaps here, he is thinking of happy days gone by, family lost, Erebor in its glory -- the mighty kingdom of Durin's Folk. And while picking up supplies, I am sure he is also searching for information: where is his father? Any detail. Any hint. Any rumor.... always searching and wondering."

And of course, wondering when the time would be to return to Erebor.

(I hope the scan doesn't lose some detail. I was pressed for some time, and wanted to darken the solid black areas to get rid of the streaking that happens with scanning and hope it didn't do anything weird to the details.)

Link to the original blue pencil sketch:
http://cfgriffith.deviantart.com/art/Thorin-and-Pack-Goat-Traveling-1-537658517
I've been spending a lot of time messing around with ink, but not really getting much done. Time to simplify. And time to finish things that have been sitting around WAY too long. This was original...
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I hope you're able to do more full pieces with backgrounds. Why, maybe even some comic book pages ;)
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Cynthia Griffith

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I know I seem to be focusing on Thorin as well as head/shoulder portraits, but I've been currently going through a few things:

- I am older, and while I've been drawing most of my life, there was a long break. I guess you could say I'm trying to find my old habits again, as well as any new voice or styles that might be wanting out.
- Chronic pain and eyes that aren't reliable makes for lack of confidence and shorter amounts of working time. So bigger views allow for that practice.
- Thorin's a favorite and more familiar subject, so he's helpful to use.

I recently was on a road trip with my husband (it was a writing conference), and while he attended things throughout the day, I relaxed in the hotel room and sketched in my sketchbook.

This was one of the sketches. It was very small, one side of his face ran into the binding area (making it non-existent for the most part), and it was in blue pencil. Also, it was very stylized and simple. But we liked him... so I decided to enlarge him, add a little more detail and finish the view for inking.

Unfortunately, that first thing I mentioned above got to me. I kept playing and changing and obsessing... as well as making stupid mistakes or flat-out not realizing I couldn't even see what I was doing (sometimes it's not a good idea to "just do it" -- what's the point of working if you can't even see what you're doing, eh?). I finally stopped myself from constantly fixing things (or making those changes that I just never seemed satisfied with), and finished him. This was really supposed to be a way to get myself drawing/inking, as well as breaking in a new brush I had not used yet. Well, at least the brush works nicely compared to the old one that was worn out!

Stylized, small, unfinished blue pencil in a sketchbook, enlarged and transferred (in blue pencil) to 11x14 Bristol. Inked with Black Magic ink, using a Winsor & Newton series 7 #2 brush. Also using a few tiny archival ink art pens, a little white pencil, and acrylic white paint for fixes as well as a little fur texture.

As far as what point in the story this is from, I had made a simple non-costume-specific cranky Thorin face. My husband, a friend, and myself voted on which costume to draw... and while working on him, I realized it made me think of the point after talking to Bilbo about the acorn, when Dwalin came to tell him about the Laketown survivors and he snapped back from his brief moment of kindness. It wasn't intended, but works for me.
I know I seem to be focusing on Thorin as well as head/shoulder portraits, but I've been currently going through a few things: - I am older, and while I've been drawing most of my life, there was a...
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It was a lot of work, but it was also fun to do... here is the behind the scenes interview with me about the short story I narrated.
 
The first short story I've written in over 5 years was brought to life by my wife, Cynthia Griffith. To date, it's ALMOST the most successful episode of Not About Lumberjacks. I sat down with Cynthia for this 13-minute interview about the challenges of not just narrating a story, but bringing the voice of an African grey parrot named Horus to life.
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It's been WAY too long since I last painted in acrylics (late 80's - very early 90's when I "regularly" used them), and in all honesty I didn't know what I was doing. I switched over to watercolor/gouache, some coloring with markers, did some digital coloring over scanned inks... and then focused on b&w/ink as my main form of art, before taking a way-too-long break from art completely (the past few years, I've started adding a bit of regular pencil back into the mix). I've been craving painting again, so I thought it was time!

This started off as a little 3.5"x3.5" blue pencil scrawling that was difficult to see and very vague. It went through a long process of changes until I was happy enough with it to start painting. I was very tempted to use watercolor/gouache, but they were all dried out and all my "nice" brushes were for inking -- I had more supplies for acrylic, and needed to get back into practice for some upcoming acrylic paintings too.

I am not a photorealistic artist -- I'm more stylized, with many years of comic books as my main focus (that's actually how I met my husband, he is a writer). Also I am such a lover of inked art (brush), so I did use black to mix in with some colors, like the dark shadows/sections of his hair, to bring my style of drawing a little more comfortably into painting mode. This whole piece was simply practice, but also a fun experiment to see how I might like to push my way of drawing in new directions.

Acrylic paint on 11x14 canvas, and scanned with color and contrast adjustments -- the scanner changed some of the tones, like the skin which is a little darker/redder than the actual painting, but taking a photo also doesn't show the painting in its "true" form either. I also had to do a lot of scans, trying to figure out what worked best for my dark living room wall, yet also looked good enough on a digital scan without driving me mad.

I'm honestly not sure how long this took. The drawing was a drawn-out off and on thing, and when I wasn't sick or had other things to do, I tried to push myself to work on it as much as I could every day. I also used natural light only, so I could not paint during cloudy days sadly. I just didn't think to keep track of painting time closely enough. "Too long" would be my response, since I experimented, changed things if I didn't like the effect, and obsessed a little too much (slowing progress even while working often on it).
It's been WAY too long since I last painted in acrylics (late 80's - very early 90's when I "regularly" used them), and in all honesty I didn't know what I was doing. I switched over to watercolor/...
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Cynthia Griffith

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New Blog Entry: Why I sometimes share so many in-progress images when I'm making something....
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Cynthia Griffith

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Hey folks! Sorry I've been so quiet here (I do check G+, but for groups I have to be on the right system). Anyway, I've slowed down a little this year due to a few distractions, but I'm still having fun and drawing Thorin & Co when I can. This was my most recent finished piece, and I'm still working on others (even hoping to get back to painting, as well as more ink and pencilled pieces). Hope everyone has been enjoying their favorite part of Middle Earth -- see you around here and other places! :)
I LOVED Richard's portrayal of the dragon sickness, and I wanted to capture that look while he wandered around Erebor looking for the Arkenstone (and believing one of his own Company must have stol...
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Thank you for checking it out! :)
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Have her in circles
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Cynthia Griffith

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If you enjoyed Christopher's story The Other Side, have a listen to this behind-the-scenes episode. Also includes some comments from three podcasters who helped with some of the voicework for a scene! ;)
 
This behind-the-scenes look at the latest episode of Not About Lumberjacks is worth it, just to hear the opening lines by Mark Hosack. But the interviews with Mark, Shawn Kupfer, and Rick Coste about voicing orcs for the story is a blast. Somewhere between the short interviews is a commentary about childhood slipping away as one grows older, but how adulthood is not without its own charm and magic.
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If you have a soft spot for fantasy stories, or just daydreamed as a child about having another world you could hang out in... give this a listen! (written and narrated by my husband.) :D
 
My wife knew my writing shortly before she knew me -- she's been reading what I've written for 24 years this month. This is her all-time favorite thing I've written. The gist: Daniel, recently divorced AND unemployed, breaks into his childhood home to see if something he remembers in his old bedroom closet is still there.
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Yup, it's true! I read this for my husband Christopher, a writer and podcaster (and I have new understanding of all the work that goes into things like this -- whew)! Please check it and his other stories and podcasts out! :)
 
Need something wonderful for tomorrow's commute? How about a story about an unemployed writer who lands her dream job, but finds it comes with much more than she bargained for in the form of an African Grey parrot named Horus?

Narrated by Cynthia Faye Griffith (the part that makes it wonderful, although for the first new short story I've written in years, it turned out well), I have a new favorite episode of Not About Lumberjacks.
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New Blog Entry: Looking back on my 2015.
Looking back on the year and what little I see in-progress and (even less) finished, I should feel a bit of disappointment in myself. It's not just a matter of the usual “oh wow, I surprised myself and did more than I thought” like past years. I really did have long gaps and did a lot less than ...
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New Blog Entry: Now that I'm mostly over the nasty cold we had, it's time to get back to that Thorin painting which has just been transferred to canvas. A few little details/fixes (mostly to make sure I can see what the heck I'm doing), and hopefully I can really get to work for real painting it.
Well, I admit I had been working steadily on this project and then… we got sick. Christopher, myself, and my mother-in-law even, all came down with chest colds. Ugh. Cough-your-head-off, sneezing loudly (and strongly enough to feel like you were pulling muscles), lasting a week or two icky colds ...
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And if you think you're sick of seeing the same drawing over and over, heh... let's just say, perhaps I do take breaks often for a good reason so I don't have to look at them for a while either. ;) 
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Cynthia Griffith

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New Blog Entry: A quick (and unfinished) painted color study test
I mentioned I plan on adding a little color to my life — or, art hobby — in the future. I also shared a drawing that was created specifically for that purpose. This past week was spent digging through old paints and brushes, testing things out, and finally attempting a quick color study.
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Have her in circles
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Basic Information
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Learning to sew historical costumes, fan art of Middle Earth dwarves, and juggling with my husband when we have time. Too many hobbies to list! See links to art and sewing below.
Introduction
Attempting to learn sewing by making historical clothing (focusing on 18th century right now), as well as some embroidery. After a very long break, I am back to drawing -- fan art of Thorin and Company -- love the dwarves from The Hobbit movie. Actually, I have too many hobbies to list, and I am happily married to Christopher Gronlund.

If you'd like to find out more about me, or see some photos of the costumes I've made, please visit my website: http://www.cfgriffith.com/

Please note: If you follow me, please let me know who you are or if we know each other elsewhere.  I may not follow everyone back if I can't tell where I know them from, or what we have in common. :)
Cynthia Griffith's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Kilts
www.xmarksthescot.com

X Marks the Scot - A kilted community.

The Juggling Writer - Are You Afraid to Write?
www.christophergronlund.com

If you’re afraid to write, draw, or create and share whatever it is you make and what others to see, this is the entry for you.

CFGriffith.com » Blog Archive » Knotting Shuttle Videos Online!
www.cfgriffith.com - written by Cynthia Griffith

Search for. Learning to sew historical clothing struggling to teach myself Irish fiddle and hoping to eventually get back to juggling and art ...

The Juggling Writer - Landing Our Curiosity
www.christophergronlund.com

Some thoughts about the landing of the Curiosity mission on the surface of Mars…and writing.

The Juggling Writer - Dandelion Seeds in the Wind
www.christophergronlund.com

Some thoughts on the death of Ray Bradbury from a kid who grew up in Green Town.

Festive Attyre: Historical Costuming
www.festiveattyre.com

A page dedicated to historical fashion, featuring costume designs and research by Jennifer Thompson.

The Juggling Writer - Self Promotion for Writers
www.christophergronlund.com

The one rule about self promotion for writers I know.

Hell Comes With Wood Paneled Doors —
www.christophergronlund.com

Chapter 21 – Salvation at the Rim of Hell. by Christopher Gronlund on February 19, 2011. Wow, the last chapter of Hell Comes With Wood Panel

The Juggling Writer —
www.christophergronlund.com

A blog about juggling work, writing, and life

ChristopherGronlund.com —
www.christophergronlund.com

LinkedIn Traffic Tip. by Christopher Gronlund on December 15, 2010. This is from an entry I recently wrote on The Juggling Writer. I recentl