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Leaf-Wrapped Lembas

Hello Again,

So this time I will be showing the process of painting the latest card of mine that has been released.  The new Lord of the Rings LCG expansion pack from Fantasy Flight Games, "The Road Darkens", has become available, which has my "Leaf-Wrapped Lembas" card.

When I received the assignment, around this time last year, I was immediately excited.  I had been wanting a good excuse to do a highly detailed bread still-life, in the tradition of 18th c. Spanish painters like Luis Meléndez.  I then researched what Tolkien was intending his Lembas bread to be similar to; it turns out he was thinking of Bannock bread.  Luckily enough, I told my wife about this, and she instantly whips out her obsession: Yvette van Boven's Cookbook, Homemade Winter.  She has a great recipe for Bannock bread.  So we quickly fried the bread that night; fried, because it is cooked on a pan over the burners.  It looked great, I was quite happy with the outcome on a purely aesthetic basis.  We both highly recommend it, it turned out great!

The next day I went into Central Park and photographed them in some nice natural light, under a tree, with some big leaves I found along the way.  This is how it turned out:    

Lembas Reference
 I then started drawing the piece on some Strathmore 80lbs. Drawing Paper and just a graphite pencil.  I sent it to the AD Zoë Robinson at Fantasy Flight Games.  She very quickly sent me an emailed telling me I have the go ahead for the final painting.

Lembas Sketch
The painting stage went fairly smooth, since I had such good reference.  I kept the background fairly painterly, and focused in on the detail of the bread.  Painting organic forms does have it's challenges, though.  Since there is no standard form for this bread, one has to look at everything in a very abstract way.  I kind of looked past the detail of the reference and tried to find general forms and colors that I could block in, but even this was difficult.  Eventually, it all worked out.  When one finally gets to doing the highlights, it gets a lot easier to make the bread look like something.

Leaf-Wrapped Lembas, 8"x8", Oil on paper on Masonite, 2013. ©Fantasy Flight Games
And here is the final product.  Hope this was fairly informative.  It was a fun project to work on, especially because it came with great food to munch on, but much like Pippin, I could not get my fill.

Final Card


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