Okay, so.....I read a (very) *brief* article (*coughWikipediacough*) about Tuatha Dé Danann and their first battle with the Fir Bolg. I suppose much of the specifics of the story depends on what account or version you read, but I *think* I got the basic gist. I could totally be wrong though. So....are the Tuatha Dé and Fir Bolg...gods? Demi-gods? Or are they mortals? Or some other kind of race? I'm mostly confused on that point. So this part is where the Tuatha Dé are leaving their homeland (still don't understand why) and are going to sail to Irelend (intentionally?) and kick out the Fir Bolg, or at least try to convince them to share the land. The Fir Bolg refuse, and that's the whole reason they have this battle, right?
My knowledge of Irish and Welsh and Scottish mythology is clearly limited, as you can see.
As to the picture: I've only looked at each of your pictures briefly, so I haven't really examined them all in detial, so I hesitate to say that this one if my favorite, but I think I'll go out on a limb and say that it is. For two reasons in particular: 1.) CELTIC KNOTS SO HAPPY YAY. It seems to me you had loads of fun with all of those knotwork borders. And there are a couple I recognize in there as well. And your own signature knot! I'll always think of you now whenever I see that particular little knot design. 2.) The variety of colors in this autumny scene is gorgeous. I love the colors you chose: especially the darker forest greens and such. And I really like the light shining through the trees on the edge there.
All in all, a lovely job! Now I'm going to work my way through commenting on the rest of your series.
Yay Wikipedia! This illustration spread is kind of a combination of both battles of Maige Tuired. The first battle is against the Fir Bolg, who occupied Ireland before the Tuatha De Danann. The Tuatha De Danann were sent forth by Dagda...from what I remember off the top of my head, it was sort of like Noah and Shem, Ham, and Japheth...be fruitful, and multiply. Sort of a Genisis 9:7 parallel.
The first battle of Maige Tuired is where Nuada gets his hand hewn off and then it is replaced with a silver hand. He was sometimes called Argetlam, or "Silver-hand" after this, which the Butcher-of-All-Things-Wholesome-and-Meaningful (Christopher Paolini)plundered for his silly book. How dare he even get near the awesomeness of Nuada? Anyways, the Tuatha De Danann give the Fir Bolg one of the four provinces of Ireland in compensation. Because Nuada has been maimed, he cannot rule as king over the Tuatha De Danann; they have a law that their ruler must be entirely whole. They appointed Bres, who is half-blooded Formor (Formorii: Children of Dominu, the sister of Danu. Gosh this is hard to explain over the internet. Danu is the mother-entity who caused the fires of earth to cool and brought about the creation Dagda and Brighid. So...Dominu is her evil sister.) All that to say, Bres a half Formor/half Tuatha De Danann ruling over the Children of Danu. This brings about the second battle of Maige Tuired. The Second battle is what the majority of the illustrations depict. This battle is against the Formorii (or the Formorians, or the Formors, or...whatever other spellings have been brought into existence.) They are a different race than the Fir Bolg. The Tuatha De Danann became opressed by the Formorii and things got ugly.
The Tuatha De Danann are deities/supernatural beings. They CAN die though, in battle or by being forgotten by Man. Dagda/the Dagda is basically their equivalent to Odin. He is the All-Father. Some versions say he is Nuada's son, but I grew up with the version stating that the Dagda came first, and Nuada was his son. Don't let Wikipedia lie to you. Technically, the Dagda dies in the second battle of Maige Tuired, but I...changed it a bit due to make illustrations make more sense. If I do more, the Dagda will have a bigger role.
Also, I'm glad you like the colors! I struggle with color like you wouldn't believe. I don't like bright colors, so outdoor scenes are really...comfortable to illustrate.
Oh okay, that makes more sense. WAY TO GO CONFUSING MY POOR NOT-KNOWING IRISH MYTHOLOGY BRAIN OVER ALL THAT. GEEZ.
Hahaha, I totally noticed the whole "Argetlam" thing and I started bristling with indignation before you even said that. GAH. CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI WHY???!!!
Okay, well, if it is difficult to explain over the internet I fully expect a detailed explanation in person. I'm always game for learning new stories. So...question. If Bres is the crappy leader who gets the Tuatha De Danann in the mess of a second battle why does Nuada (who is not the king) the one who gets to duke it out with the Formorii? And what is the relationship between the Fir Bolg and the Formorii?
"They CAN die though, in battle or by being forgotten by Man."
Heh. Okay, I have to admit, when I read that I kind of thought of fairies. You know, that whole, everytime-you-say-you-don't-believe-in-fairies-a-fairy-dies thing. Kind of sucks to be a supernatural being whose entire existence depends on the less-than remarkable memories of men. Alzheimer's anyone?
Also, for my curiosity's sake, who is your favorite: the Welsh, the Irish, the Vikings (of both the Danish and Norwegian variety), the Scots or...well...the English (that's not a choice who am I kidding! HAH).
I struggle with colors too. I'm always like, "Oh crap, I have to color this now. WELL, I hope this comes out okay..." *randomly starts throwing colors at the paper* I've ALWAYS sucked at coloring. I loved drawing pictures and I despised coloring books.
Thanks. Breaking through the borders was a thing I was really excited about because it combines the idea of intricate medieval manuscript borders with the powerful frame-breaking shots in modern graphic novels. You really should try it sometime; it adds a lot more dimension to whats going on, kind of a pleasant surprise to the eye.
This is so cool! I am in love with the border (is that creepy? I try not to be creepy, but sometimes I just am ), and I really like the effect of the cloak and the banner overflowing onto the border. And I like all the detail work - the wrinkles on the woman's face are pretty cool and give a definite sense of character. Very neat!
Thanks so much. No, border love is not creepy. I have border love too. I also have border hate after spending so long on this one, but I'm happy with how it turned out. Glad you like. (:
Overflowing into the border was definitely something I hadn't seen a ton of, and if I did it was very regulated...I wanted something naturally flowing and closer to the viewer, so it changes in each illustration as to where and what breaks through. I'm so glad you like Brighid's face; I worried she looked too caricature-like, but I couldn't get in and do more detail because of the size. Glad you caught the wrinkles; I always get so happy when someone notices the little things like that.