This is a private commission I just finished. It’s a variation on the same theme as a previous piece, Waterfall Dragons. The painting had to have three women, a dog, and a dragon. The client wanted a dwarvish version, though. There is also a hint of a story going on here. The female dwarf at the top of the stairs is holding an multicolored dragon egg. Maybe the eggs are being transported, and the females are the only ones who are allowed to handle the eggs. Hence the dragon rider is also female. The dogs stand near the rest of the eggs in a golden dragon shaped nest. At least that’s how I understand it, and the story hasn’t actually been written fully as far as I know, but its fun to think that I could be molding the story with a picture, instead of the other way around.
I also drew inspiration from Tolkien’s dwarves in The Lord of the Rings. In particular, what we learn about their relation to the natural world in the the dialogue between Gimli and Legolas in the Glittering Caves. In this part of the story, Gimli is overcome by the natural beauty of the caves, and fantasizes about making them a realm like Moria or The Lonely Mountain. Legolas’ response is first that he would rather be in a forest, and that it’s a probably a good thing that dwarves are unaware of the place because they would destroy its natural beauty by mining it in their greed for precious metals and gems. Gimli’s corrects the elf, explaining that dwarves look on the rocks and the caves of the earth in the same way elves appreciate forests and things that grow. The appreciate the value of nature in itself, and not from the wealth and resources that can be extracted from it. The dwarves would no more spoil the natural beauty of the cave than the elves would cut down an entire forest for its wood.
I wanted to show this by making the the cavern a place where glittering gems and veins of gold are undisturbed while the dwarves go about their task of forging armor for the dragon. I couldn’t resist painting a forge if I was going to do a piece about dwarves either.
It’s oils on panel, 28” x 44”. It’ll be on display at my booth at Illuxcon in Altoona, Pa next week.