I love the rich and varied Thorin Oakenshield artwork that people create! The Thorin holding Orcrist painting below by Wisesnail–of the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage who portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films trilogy–is stunningly beautiful in every way!
First, the composition of the Thorin painting is spot on with regard to the rule of thirds—leaving pleasing seemingly blank spaces that draw your eye back to the central subjects of Thorin’s face and the point at which his hands grasp Orcrist. Even Thorin’s upper arm reflecting his strength is an aspect of the image that we are drawn to. See a gridded version of the painting that I mocked up at right.
Second, the archival versus art conundrum. In the original 2012 photographic portrait image of Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield holding Orcrist for a 2013 film magazine Hobbit movie promo [(below left)]– which no doubt inspired Wisesnail’s painting–the photograph appears in muted tonal contrast of grays and blues to the color rich painting. This muted–some might say flat–color palate was used consistently throughout the initial formal/posed Hobbit character portraiture (Richard Armitage as Thorin at below left) in 2011 and 2012 as part of the films’ art design. And the blues event extended to the 2nd film (with a Delft china bluish Thorin DofS poster at right).
Yet now four years on, these very familiar character portraits seemed like mere gateways to the more expressive character portraits used for the 2nd film (Thorin in brown and gold tones for Dof S Poster, above middle) and 3rd films (such as Thorin in gold and green tones for BOFA above right). And the photographic portrait example of Thorin ( below left again) serves as a reminder that though photography is its own recognized art form–or marketing blitzkrieg in this case–a painting can transform the original image. And where the photograph is cropped close for magazine publication, the painting expands the background image so that Thorin and Orcrist don’t seem so crowded into a box.
Finally, the Wisesnail Thorin and Orcrist painting’s overall color wash [(right again)]’ is so wonderfully vibrant and evocative. With the bold burgundy-red-orange-yellow hues betokening the fierceness within Thorin, I instantly also thought of Smaug’s firey wrath. And the gold tones above Thorin’s head also speak to me as if a golden halo surrounds Thorin–emphasized in the painting by two faint gold half circles above Thorin’s head–as we know that the dragon gold sickness took hold in him. This type of halo shadowing and iconography composition is also seen in religious paintings and therefore also makes me think of Thorin’s sacrifice for his people. Though Thorin is not divine–let alone a saint–he holds a central position in the rich tradition and history of his Dwarven peoples as their King. And lastly, the deep blues in the background also allude to Thorin’s Dwarven royal lineage–as mirrored in Thorin’s ceremonial clothing’s coloring of indigo blue and an interpretive teal. That teal made me think of the Hall of Guardians [(below, Grati’s manip)], as I labeled it in my story, “Thorin’s Dream of Love”.
And the fine detail on Thorin’s costume and in the delicately curved rendering of the fiercesome sword Orcrist is breathtaking. The individual pieces of the chain mail on the sleeves and the chevron symbols on the gloves are easily identifiable as a suit of finely made battle gear–for a king, of course. And yet, the Thorin and Orcrist painting’s blurred areas of the fabric of the costume’s indigo blue and teal tunic–as well as the shoulder pelt– also lends an other worldly impression to the composition of the subject.
My amateur musings went on a bit longer than I intended, but I must close with my grateful thanks to Thorin Oakenshield and Teresa A on Facebook, for drawing my attention to Wisesnail’s gorgeous Thorin and Orcrist painting! Now I’m interested to hear your thoughts about the painting. Have a gReAt day! Cheers! Grati ;->