Early update! I may or may not get one up next Monday, so I'm going to shake the schedule up a little because bah! boundaries, who needs 'em!
This wasn't originally going to be a huge vertical format, but the happy trio in the first panel was coming out so beautifully as I worked that they begged to be enlarged and who am I to argue with them? It's rare enough we see them all happy at once. I'm pretty sure this is the first page they are all smiling on and I may or may not have actually gotten a little emotional about it.
THIS is why I am pro-going-green. Nature is such a precious thing.
That actually looks a lot like an English garden, made to look wild without actually being so … rather like Farah Fawcett's hair back in the day. Tories liked such landscapes, Liberals and more progressive type the French garden - order visibly imposed upon nature and such, quite unlike the apparent chaos of landscapes in The New World, actively managed by fire and systematic hunting of certain species.
They're breathtakingly lovely … like Farah's exquisitely expensive "natural" look.
Eilonwy looks like she can breathe for the first time in her life, Fflewddur looks refreshed, Taran looks like he's come to where his spirit calls home. And all surrounded by gorgeous colors and peaceful, playful animals. Well done.
Nailed my every intention as usual!
Sometimes I wish Likes could be given to such comments.
Dude. This page.
(Love the Highland Cattle!)
They just make it even better don’t they? That doofy expression they wear. Every cow should have bangs....they’d be too cute to live in horrible mass dairy facilities.
You likely already know this, but just in case you or a reader do not, Helen was often described by Homer as "cow-eyed". Bossa hath lovely eyes, as do her descendants (all bovines).
The fawn, the pond, the shadows on the grass, F&E busting out of frame in the first panel, the distinct emotions.... Brava!
I watched you draw some of this!
You do a lot of work zoomed out. It's neat.
This place must be a continual buffet for those wolves. No wonder they're so happy!
Thanks for being one of the three! Lol I don’t that much bc it’s such a slow process idk what people see in it really, unless the artist is really chatty into the void, which I’m not. I prefer speed draw vids if I’m gonna show off skills, but now and then it’s fun (it also keeps me working instead of distractedly browsing, so there’s that).
As for the wolves...it’s strongly implied that Medwyn is a vegetarian, but the text stays conveniently silent about what he feeds his carnivores.
I just can't get over how happy they all look, especially E's face in the last panel. This page must have been really fun for you to create!
It made me smile for sure, and also get a little teary-eyed and wistful. :)
Eilonwy & Taran look like they've just awakened from a bad dream. Also, I'm right in the crunch of paper-grading at the end of the semester, and I am vicariously enjoying their relief. Thanks for another beautiful page!
I'm sure that's rather how it feels to them! The healing effects of peaceful nature on the psyche are something I wish everyone could benefit from and it's so lovely to see them experience it here.
This page just makes the heart burst. So good.
AAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWW!!! Taran and Eilonwy are so cute. This is probably the first time E's ever seen nature like this in her life. She grew up in Spiral Castle with Achren and the Cauldron-born and it's all dark and gloomy and grey and now she's in a beautiful peaceful valley surrounded by soft grass and friendly animals and sunshine and fresh air and you can just SEE how happy she is.
Taran grew up in Caer Dallben, which is a miniature version of Medwyn's valley in my imagination and he's been so homesick lately that this is an extremely bittersweet experience for him, and I can't wait to see how you draw the scene where they leave. I'll probably cry tbh. Heck, I cried a little bit on this page too.
You did an amazing job capturing this moment. I can remember feeling like them at the end of the school year freshman year of high school and this made me really nostalgic, now that I'm a junior and drowning in exams. :/
I also just realized that Eilonwy and Fflewdur are holding hands in panel 3 and just want to say that I LOVE the way you portray their father-daughter relationship. I feel that Fflewdur would be a great father if he could ever find it in himself to settle down, and Eilonwy lost her parents at such a young age that she's probably never had a positive adult influence in her life until she met Fflewdur. It's just natural that they've adopted each other. I believe good family relationships are underestimated and sorely needed in modern literature so they're a prominent theme in most of my own fiction, and I always end up fangirling over it when I find a good example.
I would also like to know how their conversation went when she first rescued him from the cell - before she went back to get Taran. We never get to see that first introduction in the books. Maybe I'll write a fanfic sometime?! :)
Oh, by all means, write fanfic!!! but meanwhile, you need to read mine because I've already dealt with this in EXHAUSTIVE detail. :)
You can find it here, with the pertinent part of your wondering being covered in chapter 4. ;)
I love that you noticed the hand-holding. I don't think anyone else has yet, or at least thought to mention it. :)
Which bears the question of how Fflewddur wound up in Achren's cell in the first place and how long he had been there. Did he knock at her door hoping to earn an overnight stay with a live performance? There?
Every new post is a treat, but what I'm really looking forward to is my favorite thing about Medwyn's valley. Of course I have no idea how you'll interpret the text, but the anticipation is just as fun as the real thing. :)
I’m so curious now about what your favorite part is! I hope I don’t cut it in my efforts to condense.
It strikes me that the companions' visit to Medwyn's valley is a lot like the Rivendell interludes in The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring: pleasant respites from difficult journeys for both the characters and the reader. Actually, now I think of it there's a closer parallel in The Hobbit after Bilbo and the dwarves pass through the Misty Mountains; Beorn is much like Medwyn in preferring the company of animals (bears especially) to that of people.
Very nice work on all of the animals. The rabbits make me think of Watership Down, which is probably my all-time favorite animated film that wasn't made in Japan. Thank the stars Disney never got their grubby little claws on the rights to that novel. Among other things, it had a wonderful soundtrack, parts of which I think would fit this scene quite well.
It is rather Rivendellish! I had thought more of Beorn, given the bear incident.
Everything is so beautifully done here. This valley looks like Heaven on Earth (or I guess I should say Heaven on Prydain). My favorite part of this page is just seeing the characters so happy. Panel 1 is stunningly good.
I loved drawing all their smiles. Such a refreshing change.
I draw my hat and bow before your skills of bringing out so much emotion in your characters! I am not sure how much of that is yours and how much is Alexander's but I don't really care: You make it look like this was a very important element in their inner development. Such panels add the real spice to the story!
Especially Eilonwy: Has the girl ever smiled so unconstrained in her life? The Shadow has lifted from her, as Tolkien would say. She opens up, as illustrated in frame #3 (and now I also see why you would make her cuddle up near him later: it makes perfect sense after this frame. I am not entirely sure what is going on in frame #4: Is Fflewddur guiding Taran by his elbow or patting his back?). And we catch a glimpse of the Eilonwy that should have been. Let's hope that Taran saw it, too, it would be so important for narrowing the rift between them.
As for the fawn: Consider that in Spiral Castle she will have seen wildlife only when Achren's hunters brought it home. No wonder that she is so overwhelmed!
Agree with all the comments about how happy they all look. One added interesting thing, not sure if you did this on purpose, but Fflewdur’s hair has now noticeably calmed down. It does seem to be a reflection of his mood.
LOL maybe it’s a reflection of MY mood while drawing!