View Full Version : Races of Middle Earth - Character - Culann

01 January 2003, 10:34 AM
I'll try to do something for this one, I have quite a nice idea...
Expect some sketches to pop up eventually.:)

01 January 2003, 04:42 PM
Alright, I made up my mind.
The race I'm going to use are 'Sandmen from Far Harad'. Harad is a desert dominated part of Middle Earth, so they will fit in alright.
The attached sketch still looks somewhat cartoony, but my aim is a more realistic take on. We'll see what I can do. I just wanted to get it out here. :)
Backstory of the sandmen will follow.

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 06:53 PM
Ther he goes....looks good so far!!!!!

Nice idea:thumbsup:

Cheerz dude


01 January 2003, 07:40 PM
Thank you, Tommy! :)

Right, here's a bit of back story, thrown together rather quickly. I don't really enjoy writing in somebody else's universe, but what can I do, eh? ;)

Sandmen are artificial beings, created by Morgoth in the dark past of Middle Earth.

Formed from debris of rock, sand and fire, they were fell creatures, crude replica of the race of men, created only to quench the Dark Lord's desire for torture and pain. In the deep bowels of the earth beneath Angband, they spent their days in darkness. The day came, however, that Morgoth once again went out to war, and the minds of the guards of Angband were bent on other things than the protection of the prisoners. It was then, that a group of strong sandmen, led by a youth named Fraeg, threw down the bars of black iron and overpowered their swarthy guards. Their pent up anger raged unchecked, and after they had united, formed an army comprised of their kind, they burst out of the fortress sparing none in their path.
They made their way through the lands of the world, hidden and furtive. Many who saw them mistook them for ghosts, spirits of the otherworld. After years and years of wandering, they reached the vast expanses of the deserts of Harad, and every trace of them was lost in the coarse sand. Over an age passed until they resurfaced, stronger and cleared of the evil wrought into them. They had evolved, merged with their surroundings. They were the sand. They had formed splintered groups, nomadic tribes which patrolled the borders of their territory, ruthlessly eliminating any followers of Sauron they happened upon. They evaded the gaze of men, and elves, and dwarves, and few creatures who ever laid eyes upon them lived to tell of their encounter.

01 January 2003, 08:08 PM
Great idea!
At first sight one would think "Dune" then reading the rest of it and get so many ideas.
Heck I mean, since you havnt seen any desserts in the movie, theese creatures doesnt have to look like the other ones and can function in other ways.
Keep it up!

01 January 2003, 09:51 PM
Thanks Alice.
Yup, you're right about the deserts. Although we have seen people from Near Harad in the Two Towers (the ones with the Oliphaunt), it's still a far cry from Far Harad. We'll see what costumes designs I can come up with to go with that fact... :)

01 January 2003, 04:24 PM
Sounds good so far Culann. Looking forward to seeing another sketch.


01 January 2003, 08:33 PM
Thanx Gamoron, right now I'm workin on a couple of more elaborate sketches.
I'll post them when I'm happy with their look. :)

01 January 2003, 06:02 PM
Culann I love it man and great back story way to stick to the tolkien flavor.
can't wait to see more. :applause:

01 January 2003, 06:23 PM
Well, thank you. :)
More is on the way, I assure you that, but the facial study I'm doing right now is quite detailed pencil work, so that takes some time...should go up tomorrow, though. :wavey:

01 January 2003, 11:40 AM
Good start ... I'm waiting for your next sketch before I add more comments. I like it so far though. :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 09:53 PM
Hey Kirt, thanks!
Well, here's my next 'sketch', although it's a little bit more than that. What fiddly work it was... ;)
I'm working out the final composition now, and the final character will most likely be a hybrid of the first and the second designs. I liked those facial markings of the first one, so they'll probably reappear.:)

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 10:29 PM
Wow!!! Looks great:thumbsup: ...just one thing... The eyes are not on the same hight,.. that looks strange.
I hope itīs no prob.. I took ya pic to show ya what I mean:

01 January 2003, 10:45 AM
Thank you for the paintover, Tommy.
But since he isn't really human (only a 'crude replica'), it doesn't matter that much that he looks a little skewed. ;)

01 January 2003, 01:38 PM
Awesome looking sketch Culann, nice attention to the details. Looking really good, I like the improvements.

01 January 2003, 05:22 PM
Nice drawing...I like the texture you've achieved on the skin.
Very cool!:beer:

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 05:32 PM
Okeydokey dude! Anyway great Image..damn cool details:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


01 January 2003, 06:19 PM
Thanks Gamoron and Wildsheepchase (and Tommy, again ;))
Work is proceeding nicely, although I may have to slow down a bit considering I have a portfolio to complete. (How often have I said that recently?....must have been quite a regular comment :p ) Composition proves to be a tad hard to pin down, since I can't decide on a final one...we'll see.

01 January 2003, 09:20 PM
Here's a composition sketch. It's a pretty good indication of how the final composition will look like. I've already started the final image and progress is good. I hope to complete a nice background as well as several figures in the foreground, not just one, as is the case in this sketch. :wip:

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 02:57 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: Now thats an action-shot. Great!!!!!:applause:

01 January 2003, 04:00 PM
Danke, Tommy. ;)
Small update, I started colouring. The whole figure is still in a state of constant flux, but well....there you are. :)

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 05:47 PM
Gern geschehen Culann!:D

Good start... nothing to crit now...wait for more.


01 January 2003, 04:22 PM
Yet another small update. Still working out the details... :)

01 January 2003, 09:34 PM
Looking good Culann.

You're from Ireland eh? Can you do me a favor and tell me what my last name means? McCullough.

I've been told lots of different things. One was "of the lake" is this true?

01 January 2003, 10:48 AM
Thanks Gamoron, but I'm not really happy about how it's turning out...I'll restart later today, because frankly, painting this feels like painting a miniature. The face of the sandman on paper is quite small, which is why I have to get REALLY CLOSE with a very small brush to include details.
About your other question, well, it really depends on how you retranslate your name into Gaelic. Because there is more than one possibility. Anyway, Mac means 'son' or 'son of'. Now, Cullough could have originated as Collach, which means boar. *clears throat*
This should, of course, not be taken it's more akin to 'Son of a brave man'
It has to be said, though, that I'm not an expert on name origins. :)

01 January 2003, 01:47 PM
Cheers Dude! I've heard "son of" before, but not boar. I do like Son of a brave man. Maybe you try painting it in Photoshop. Paint it as a base and then scan it in and do the fine details in Photo. I've done it in the past and was happy with the results.

01 January 2003, 06:55 PM
Well...I would paint it in Photoshop if I had Photoshop, but that's not really the only reason why I'm doing it traditionally. I'm still building my portfolio (for college), and this is a piece that I want to include. I'm not sure how digital entries would be regarded. Also, I love working with traditonal media. So, I'll happily work out a way to do it right...and I'll surely tweak around digitally. I've always done that. ;)

01 January 2003, 11:06 AM
I like your sandbeast, and the black red color scheme for the clothes its very haradrim too. I understand why are you working with the traditional media, but if you had painted this in photoshop you wouldnīt had that miniature face problem. But you couldnt get that lovely "material" look of your drawings. Ah, the eternal debate... :shrug:

01 January 2003, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the comment, Pancreas. :) I started a new one today, and I will stick with this one. It's painted in a different style, a little more loose, and so far I like it. I did some colour correction digitally, to emphasize the shadows a bit more. It should be finished either tomorrow or the day after, I'd wager. :wip:

01 January 2003, 08:42 PM
looking good dude!:thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 08:51 PM
Thanks Gamoron...hmm, I say that rather often...I should start to think of ingenius alternatives like, 'Gamoron, thanks' or something like that! ;)

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 08:55 PM
lol... same problem here.
Great ther.. but please donīt loose to much details even its a more loosy style. Watch that ya counterbalance between loose and detail.
My two cents.

Keep going:thumbsup:


01 January 2003, 08:59 PM
Nice criticism, Tommy! I did start anew in order to get the ability to include more details, so that's what I will do. But I like the the texture created by the new colouring style, so I will keep that as well...We'll see how it turn's out.:)

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 09:24 PM
Iīve to agree with you about the textures. Very interresting stuff comes out when ya keep loose. Wait for ya next update buddy...

01 January 2003, 06:26 PM
Update...looks like I'm going to finish it tomorrow... I'm really under no pressure, so maybe I'll keep tweaking it a little longer. He will hold a weapon, just in case someone was wondering. I just didn't work on that yet. I'll also do a background.

Tommy Lee
01 January 2003, 06:28 PM
Yeah..looks good. Nice pose ya got here.
No crits now.:thumbsup:


01 January 2003, 06:30 PM
That was quick!
Uhm...thanks Tommy! ;)

01 January 2003, 08:37 PM
Nice work Culann. Lets see the background.:beer:

01 January 2003, 02:32 AM
Probably too late to tell you this (and difficult to fix if your still doing this traditionally), but you really should start with a background color other than white. It would make your colors much richer.

Keep going though ... I'm liking this one. :thumbsup:

01 January 2003, 07:51 PM
Thanks Kirt! Well, yes, I heard about not using white as initial background colour, and I did it before. But the thing is, I didn't mean to actually use the character I'm doing right now, he was a mere sketch on ordinary sketchpad paper. But then I started experimenting with colour and liked the look, so I kept going. I also found out today that the page he was on really wasn't large enough, so I transferred him to a bigger sheet. So, it's basically layer-work, except it's not digital yet. ;)
I will update tomorrow, I couldn't do much today. :hmm:

01 January 2003, 09:46 PM
Quick update, crappy scan.
I started the background layer, and currently I'm not too fond of it. BUT, it's WIP, and composited together with the main sandman, it looks acceptable. So I'll keep working on it.

01 January 2003, 02:27 PM
Still working out details. Just wanted to show some progress.

02 February 2003, 02:22 PM
Thje water color effect is good

02 February 2003, 07:00 PM
Thank you.
I'm still working on this, although not full-time. I'll have the watercolouring done mid-month, I think. After that I'll scan it all in for some digital touch-ups. So, I should be able to finish it. :)

02 February 2003, 06:40 PM
Hmph....I won't be able to finish it after all, I'm afraid. :shrug: I can't spare the time to make it to the deadline, although I'd wager I'll finish it eventually. Once all the portfolio work is out of the way. It's a pity, because I really enjoyed this challenge thematically. Ah well, it can't be helped. Thanks for all the positive comments posted here. :)

02 February 2003, 06:43 PM
Oh no! And you seemed so close to finishing...Well, there's always next month:D :beer:

02 February 2003, 06:49 PM
Yeah I know...In fact the progress is far greater than I posted here, I finished the sky and most of the lefthand side background. But the right side is still very unfinished. I'll see if I can finish the next one...:)

02 February 2003, 07:49 PM
Very nice, I specially like how you've managed the colours.
how did you get such a nice watercolour effect?

I wish you had the time to finish this one, maybe after the challenge...


02 February 2003, 09:54 PM
Thanks Frinsklen.
As I said before, I do plan to finish it, but right now I simply lack the time to do it. I achieved the watercolour effect by, well, using watercolour on watercolour paper...It would probably be possible to recreate the look digitally, though. :)

Tommy Lee
03 March 2003, 06:48 PM
Good Luck dude...Hope ya finished the pic, if not...what the hell...I didnīt finish either...hehe.

Cheerz Buddy


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