This was done for ArtOrder's Eowyn and the Nazgul challenge. The prompt was pretty simple. Take the scene from the book, and make an image of it. There were more triumphant moments in the story, but I wanted to give Merry his due credit. Most of this part of the story is told from Merry's point of view, and there was one part of it that really stood out to me:
"Pity filled his heart and great wonder, and suddenly the slow-kindled courage of his race awoke. He clenched his hand. She should not die, so fair, so desperate! At least she should not die alone, unaided."
It was a challenge to try and convey that, and I didn't really succeed as much as I would have liked. But I learned a lot while working on this. I read the other day in Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" (the most helpful book for painting, traditional AND digital, that you will ever find) that you should never leave anything on a painting unless you are completely happy with it. Which means if you hate a pose or a character, you have to just bite the bullet and redraw it.
I copied a former classmate and now have a little note on my computer now that says, "Just fucking redraw it." That is the best advice I can give with my limited experience. If the drawing isn't right, the painting can't be right. Draw, draw, draw. "A really shiny piece of shit is still a piece of shit." I went through five Merry's, four Eowyn's, and three backgrounds before I settled on these. I don't consider the time I spent on those wasted anymore, because the end product is something that I am proud of.
Even if I didn't really capture what I was going for.