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Thornbrake's Fan Art and Other Goodies

Thornbrake

Like so many of us, as a child I was inspired by Elfquest to pick up pencil and paper and teach myself to draw. My first attempts were very earnest, but as you'll see, I had a long way to go. I studied Wendy's art and with that as a foundation, I went on to get formal training and art remains a hobby for me today, almost 30 years later.

This is a thread to share some of my Elfquest fan art.

Thornbrake

One of my first attempts at drawing Cutter. I was about 10 years old. What is up with those hips, lol?!

EQ Cutter 86

Heather

That is so cute! I love it!

Thornbrake

This one is a Wolfrider hunt, drawn just before the Siege at Blue Mountain series kicked off. Note what I thought Windkin would look like!

EQ Wolfrider Hunt 86

MrsGrizzley

Well, since you were 10 years old at the time, I guess that negates the comment I was going to make about not being the ONLY one to have issues with drawing by hand... that's pretty good for a 10 year old.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

Thornbrake

This is another one from early 1986. In what can only be considered an example of the collective consciousness, this beast was supposed to be a magically mutated wolf that was shapechanged by Winnowill to hunt down and kill Wolfriders. Peace Hounds, anyone? I'm not making this up!

EQ peace hound 86

Heather

You were tuned in @Thornbrake! Fantastic!

Thornbrake

MrsGrizzley said: that's pretty good for a 10 year old.


Thanks @MrsGrizzley! I spent A LOT of time practicing. Sometimes copying Wendy's art, but more often studying and picking up techniques.

Thornbrake

Here's one from when I was around 11. As a typical boy, I was obsessed with the battle scenes and thought the troll ambush battle was awesome. I drew many scenes from that battle. Here's one of them.

EQ snow fight 87

Thornbrake

Here's one of Kahvi. A very busty Kahvi. LOL. I remember thinking that this was supposed to be a young Kahvi taking up leadership of the Go-Backs, and that her father was someone important.

Again, collective consciousness at work (read the Kahvi miniseries if you don't know what I'm talking about).

EQ Kahvi 87

Thornbrake

Another one from 1987 when I was 11 or 12 years old. The story here was that it was a rough winter, and this Wolfrider's wolf cub starved to death and the fellow in the background was reaching out to comfort her. Again, being a boy, I had to draw everyone with weapons on hand.

EQ Snow Tragedy 87

Thornbrake

Fast forward to age 16, during the Kings of the Broken Wheel storyline. I drew this Venka in 1992.

EQ Venka 92

Heather

I love this Venka a little more each time I see her.

Thornbrake

If I recall correctly, I was experimenting with working in mixed media. This was graphite pencil, colored pencil and India ink. You can see where I dripped some ink when I was doing Venka's hair.

Thornbrake

This one of Timmorn and the wolf pack was from around 1995, when I was in college.

Timmorn Wolves 95

Thornbrake

Some preservers in marker.

Preservers

Rob

@Thornbrake That deer up there is in trouble if you ask me. :)

Great stuff! You were creating stories before you were even a teenager, not only drawing characters.

Tavie

@Thornbrake LOVE every one of these and love seeing them all collected in one place. They may be funny now but you were drawing better at 10 than I was drawing at 14, so... yeah ... you've got a gift, bro.

Thornbrake

Rob said: That deer up there is in trouble if you ask me. :)


Indeed! If you look closely, I think I first drew a wild boar, then erased it and drew a deer.


Tavie said: LOVE every one of these and love seeing them all collected in one place. They may be funny now but you were drawing better at 10 than I was drawing at 14, so... yeah ... you've got a gift, bro.


Thank you. Your art is pretty awesome too (hint hint, let's see some more!). And I have a TON more that I just need to scan and post. In time....

MrsGrizzley

PRESERVERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*loud squee and glomp of said bugs*

So cute!!!!!!!!

Thornbrake

I made this Petalwing on posterboard with acrylics to watch over my niece's (and now my nephew's) crib. What are preservers for if not to watch over the babes, right?

But I'm posting these here just for you @MrsGrizzley. ;-)

Petalwing in Nursery

Crib with Tree and Preservers

MrsGrizzley

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE IT!!!! I especially love the idea of Preservers looking after babies and protecting them! That's such a wonderful interpretation of their role!!

*faints with delight*

Thornbrake

It fills me with delight that you are delighted. ;-)

Mkal

Very nice. I had some charcoal pictures of Dart, Newstar, Wing, Suntop and Petalwing, as well as a pastel of Leetah from when I was 15, but I cannot find them. I might have pictures of them someplace. I hope to find them...

Thornbrake

Mkal said: I hope to find them...


Me too! Somehow I had the foresight as a kid to save and organize all my stacks of art.

Mkal

I had a dark patch in my life and I cannot remember if they were saved, and if they are, where they could be...

Thornbrake

Here's another oldie, but one of my favorites: Foxfur from 1986 when I was 10. Clearly I needed to practice drawing boobs!

EQ Foxfur 86

Thornbrake

This Moonshade is from a couple years later in 1988, after much practice. I think I improved on the boob-drawing from the Foxfur above, lol!

EQ Moonshade 88

Embala

Embala said: WOW ...
... for the fact that you still have the drawings from your beginning!
... for being ready to show them - and they are fun to look at (first Cutter, busty Kahvi) Wink
... for showing what great developement can be achieved with patience and practice!
... for the feeling for action and mood (showing through even in the beginning)
I really like the later ones ... Newstar, Strongbow, Venka, pretty Moonshade with the silky locks and dre3amiy crescent eyes ... and last not least alien Timmain.

And I remember your splendid Preservers at the nursery wall! More?
Do you remember your old thread? ;)

Stops kidding. It's always fascinatiing for me to see art developement, be it the WIP, the increasing skills through the years or change of style.

And you were ambitious - not only aimed for characters but whole hunting and battle scenes. That Winnowill-changed monster wolf reminds me of the twisted tuftcat. You've captured the grief of the mourning Wolfrider so well in expression and body language, amazing approach vor a young boy. Must admit that I like this so much more than the "typical" battle scenes. ;)

I still love this Venka ... the hair floating free, the pensive, seeking eyes ... and I still see her leaning in the strong wind.

Timmorn within the pack is awesome - great artwork and perfect in it's symbolism. It really shows how he was when the Wolfsong took over.

Yes, I remember these colorful and cheerful Preservers on the framed picture, the flock around the cradle and Petalwing's friendly watch and care. So perfect for a child's room.


EDIT: Moonshade turned out fab. Just the right mood. I love the "easiness" (lacks fitting vocabulary) in the drawing style.

btw: Foxfur's wolfcub drooling for the chicken bone is hilarious!

Thornbrake

Embala said: Do you remember your old thread? ;)


Yeah, I know I've posted this stuff on the old forum, but to be honest, the old gallery system was so karked up that I decided to just go ahead and start a whole new thread in this new shiny, streamlined forum. ;-)

I have a lot more to share than I've posted previously, so this'll be an ongoing thing.

And thank you for your kind words, both then and now!

Embala

I was simply too lazy to look for words again so I looked up the old thread. XD

Stefan

Great stuff, it's like walking down memory lane of your creative childhood. Now i wish i had saved my old drawings.

Thornbrake

Here's Moonshade again, this one from 1994 when I was in college.

EQ Moonshade 94

Thornbrake

Stefan said: Great stuff, it's like walking down memory lane of your creative childhood.


Thanks Stefan!

Thornbrake

As I said, I was slightly obsessed with the troll ambush battle scene. Here are three more illustrations from '89, which would've put me at 13 years old.

EQ Snow Fight 89-2
EQ Snow Fight 89-3
EQ Snow Fight 89

Dark_Serval

Always interesting to see how we've progressed over the years, isn't it...? :3

Heather

I think your Moonshade is one of my favorites.

MrsGrizzley

I agree @Heather that Moonshade is *gorgeous* and I love the way the two moons are reflected in her eyes.

Excellent work!!

Embala

Your Moonshade is great. Very elfquesty! You were skilled already as a young teen - these battle scenes work well.

I love the oldfashioned color pencil look.

Thornbrake

Embala said: I love the oldfashioned color pencil look.


Thanks! Yeah, my mother was wise to not allow me to use paints in my bedroom, so I focused on colored pencils for color. But the paper was just typing paper, and way too thin. You can see how it buckled up.

Songchaser

Just the hips, @Thornbrake?! What's up with Cutter's giant coconut bra?! lol J/K this collection is so amazing, I'm so glad you shared these. I discovered EQ around the same age, and this is making me regret not keeping some of my stories and drawings. These are really special!

Thornbrake

Songchaser said: What's up with Cutter's giant coconut bra?!


Hahahahaha! Right? lol

Tavie

Hahaha! Can't - unsee - coconut bra--

Thornbrake

Here's a Glider that I drew in pencil in 1988, at age 12 or 13.

EQ Female Glider 88

Embala

You got creative with her adornements ... not simply "redrawn" items. Well thopught out and drawn.

Thornbrake

Embala said: You got creative with her adornements ... not simply "redrawn" items. Well thopught out and drawn.


Yeah, I never did much tracing or copying in my studies of Wendy's art. It was more looking at what she did and trying to recreate it. That's what pretty much all of what I've posted so far is.

Mkal

@Thornbrake it takes more talent to create your own character or to take an existing character and position them into poses than it is just to recreate what's already been done. and I love the costume on this character. It screams more Erte then Wendy, which is where she drew her inspiration from.

Thornbrake

Thanks @Mkal. I thinking tracing can be a good excercise for beginners, but when people trace someone's work and then post it as their own, it's lame.

Mkal

@Thornbrake (in 80's valley girl voice) Like, TOTALLY lame....

Thornbrake

Lol

Thornbrake

Here's a quick sketch of Windkin from 2013. image

Rob

Like the expression on that one particularly. From before or after we got reacquainted with the character?

Thornbrake

Hmmmm, I don't know. I just doodled this while watching TV one night after the Final Quest Special came out. So maybe after?

Thornbrake

Mkal said: It screams more Erte then Wendy, which is where she drew her inspiration from.


Yeah, I can see that now. But interestingly when I drew this way back when, I'd never heard of Erte or seen any of his work. So if there's an Erte influence, it's via Wendy.

Mkal

when I saw the gliders of Blue Mountain at first there was something about them that looed familiar to me and I didn't know where. Then, then I saw some Erte work in an artbook and I put the pieces together

Thornbrake

@Dreamcat just revived her awesome fan art thread and it reminded me I haven't posted anything here in a while, so...

Here's my envisioning of Venka's Kahvi-Quest, in which she discovered Windkin wandering the wilds. Things didn't quite work out that way, did they?

Kahvi Quest

Thornbrake

Here's a rough of what I imagined Venka's experience meeting the Go-Backs after the Palace dropped her, Aroree and Two-Edge off in the Frozen Mountains after the Shards war.

Venka and Gobacks

I based this largely on the incredulous expression of one Go-Back in the last issue of Shards. I named him Vek and imagined that he wasn't too impressed with this desert-skinned, Wolfrider-raised maiden who claimed to be Kahvi's daughter.

Vek

Thornbrake

I took the rosy-cheeked female Go-Back from that same issue of Shards, whom I named Mirka, and invented my own Go-Back character, Gref, to be background characters in Venka's Kahvi-Quest.

Mirka and Gref

Thornbrake

Here's another rough layout for a comic page showing Windkin being a little judgey towards the rough-around-the-edges Go-Backs, and Venka calling him out in her stoic fashion yet still cutting to the bone.

Venka and Windkin

Rob

Nice work! That top-right Venka panel's my fave on the last page!

Wouldn't mind seeing more Mirka.

Vek is presumably angry because his hat has gone smurfy.

RedheadEmber

Nice drawings.

Thornbrake

Rob said: Vek is presumably angry because his hat has gone smurfy.


Hey, talk to Wendy, she designed that hat! :bz

Thornbrake

Rob said: Wouldn't mind seeing more Mirka.


Me too! I forgot to mention that I named her Mirka after my college landlord, who was of Eastern European heritage. Such a cool name!

Moonmoss

Beautiful drawings! Please post more.

Thornbrake

Moonmoss said: Beautiful drawings! Please post more.


Thanks Moonmoss! I have a lot more, both old stuff from when I was a kid, and newer stuff. I need to find the time to scan or photograph it all.

Thornbrake

I'm often asked where my username, Thornbrake, came from. It's an interesting story. I invented the name not as an Elfquest character, but as I was trying to come up with a username when I created a hotmail account back in 1997. I couldn't find a name that wasn't taken, so I started randomly combining words until I got a match that was available.

It really was just a random stream-of-consciousness word combination. Yet, there was something familiar about it. Well, turns out it's a term used in one of the Blood of Ten Chief's anthologies (I think it's the one with Lonebriar and the swordfeet). It must've planted itself in the back of my brain and emerged at that moment when I needed it. So it HAD to become an actual elf.

Yet, I've never sat down to draw Thornbrake. In fact, the first time I ever attempted to visualize him was when I used the Avatar Maker here (which @Rob and @MKal both adapted).

Recently, I was struck with inspiration to actually think about and design Thornbrake exactly how I want him to be. So, I took advantage of being on a cross-country flight to do these quick sketches.

So here, for the first time, is Thornbrake!

I wanted him to look roughly like me. If you've seen me in person, there is nothing elfin about my stocky, thick body type. But I figured I could give him broad shoulders, a thick neck and a Treestump-esque body type--complete with the coveted elf waistline--and it would be a good blend of fantasy and reality.

Thornbrake 1

Thornbrake

Some notes on his face and hair.

Thornbrake 2

Thornbrake

Alternative hair and beard styles. The facial features are looking much more like me than the first sketch above.

I wanted a unique hairstyle. The short sides are something that we've not seen too much in Elfquest, but I also wanted big hair, 'cause that is VERY Elfquest. So this design has the best of both. Plus, it's similar to my real hair.

Thornbrake 5

Thornbrake

Thornbrake's summer and winter costume designs.

Thornbrake 3

Thornbrake 4

Thornbrake

Here are some more anime/cartoon-style illustrations.
Thornbrake 6


Thornbrake 7

Night_Tanem

This is great! Love the hair!

Tavie

Thornbrake is absolutely dreamy. Great blend of "you" qualities and classic elfin looks.

What a handsome fella!

Thornbrake

Thanks @Night_Tanem and @Tavie! You gotta have big hair if it's going to be an Elfquest elf!

It's similar to Krim's style, just with shorter sides. The alternate version where it's pulled back in a braid was inspired by the hair on one of my favorite TV Show, Vikings.




Viking-Hair-The-Belgravia-Centre_zps6450da1d

Night_Tanem

Thornbrake, you just might have become my favorite person! Niceness everywhere makes me a happy camper :)

Night_Tanem

And just now noticed a lot that I didn't see when I first checked it, the outfits are gorgeous!

Llannen

This is inspiring....when I was twelve I drew a bunch of the Elfquest characters...and they weren't pretty but I poured my heart into them. My neighbor, who had enviable natural drawing talent, laughed at them. It broke my heart in more than one way, she introduced me to Elfquest. I love that you posted drawings from that age until now and makes me want to dive back in! (I love the viking braid style the best). Fits the rugged style, methinks.

Thornbrake

Llannen said: My neighbor, who had enviable natural drawing talent, laughed at them. It broke my heart in more than one way, she introduced me to Elfquest.


Boo! I don't know how anyone could laugh at a child's drawing. Everyone has got to start somewhere!

Thornbrake

Night_Tanem said: And just now noticed a lot that I didn't see when I first checked it, the outfits are gorgeous!


Thanks! Wendy, fashion designer to the elves that she is, was a good teacher. B-)

Night_Tanem

That she must be but it looks like you've been an excellent student two. OK I'm gonna stop praising and let you get on with more drawings :p

Tam

Llannen said: This is inspiring....when I was twelve I drew a bunch of the Elfquest characters...and they weren't pretty but I poured my heart into them. My neighbor, who had enviable natural drawing talent, laughed at them. It broke my heart in more than one way, she introduced me to Elfquest. I love that you posted drawings from that age until now and makes me want to dive back in! (I love the viking braid style the best). Fits the rugged style, methinks.


I had a similar childhood experience...only just now getting back into drawing, 14 years later. Might start my own art thread some day...I really enjoy following everyone else's art threads. :)

Thornbrake

Tam said: Might start my own art thread some day...I really enjoy following everyone else's art threads.


You should @Tam! I love seeing everyone's different styles.

Tam

Perhaps when I get around to drawing Elfquest again. :) I have a Tumblr where I post my art currently, but it's not at all related to Elfquest...many artists, Wendy included, continue to say that life is the best teacher, and that we should learn from that instead of from Elfquest, so I am going that route first. :)

Mkal

Looking at your sketches, I might have to do a little 'reinterpretation'

*wink, wink*

Thornbrake

@MKal yes!!!

Dreamcat

Wow, he´s cool! It´s always interesting to see what comes out of people creating themsElves. Now that I see a face, I wanna know about his story. *nudge*
I really like his wild hair with the shaved sides. I think it´s rather uncommon for elves, but works great. Same for his braided beard (so I guess he´s an elder?). The trail adornments are nice too. Is it just decoration or is there a story behind them?

Thornbrake

C'mon @Dreamcat, it took me almost 18 years to design him, I need some more time to come up with the backstory! For now the answer to all the question is, "Because I think it looks cool." >:D

Mkal

Thornbrake said: @MKal yes!!!


That made me smile. Thanks so much for that.

Mkal

Night_Tanem said: That she must be but it looks like you've been an excellent student two. OK I'm gonna stop praising and let you get on with more drawings


Wendy taught many of us and we love her all the more for it.

Night_Tanem

Ok, I'm getting just a tad jealous there =P~ but more than that I'm happy she did because now I get to see that more great drawings

Mkal

Quick sketch...

20140723_133626

Mkal

20140723_133626

Night_Tanem

see, that's what I mean, those are awesome!

Thornbrake

Awesome!

Tehaar

I like your childhood drawings a lot. Very detailed and expressive, I think. Very impressive for that age too. :D

Thornbrake

Thanks @Tehaar!

WolfCandy

These are amazing! I love seeing more pencil drawings! You're SElf is so detailed and fleshed out! Very cool style too! Nothing makes me happier than when I see a character that has had lots of thought put in it :D

Thornbrake

Hey everyone, I've reactivated my Thornbrake Twitter profile to post about Elfquest. If you're on Twitter, feel free to follow me at https://twitter.com/Thornbrake.

Thornbrake

.

Thornbrake

Hey Everyone - Just changed the title of this thread to "Thornbrake's Fan Art and Other Goodies" because I have something SUPER cool to share that isn't fan art.

For the last several years I've been helping out Wendy and Richard at conventions. This past weekend I was with Wendy at Bent-Con. When things were slow at the Elfquest/Masque booth, Wendy did a sketch of my elf avatar Thornbrake!

It's based on my own design of the character (see sketches above in this thread) - with some of Wendy's own signature touches! All I can say is OMG!OMG!!OMG!!! I feel truly, truly blessed. I'm still breathless. Wanted to share him with the pack.

Thornbrake by Wendy

Some things I love extra-specially about this:

1) I am in no way built like an elf, so we decided that Thornbrake would have a Treestump-esque physique. So naturally I dressed him to show off those shoulders and biceps in a tank-top type shirt. But note how Wendy added subtle upward curves to the shoulder straps, which are a classic Pini costume design element.

2) Love the extra cut-outs in the shirt that Wendy added. They give Thornbrake an even more woodsy-wild look.

3) I have a downturned nose, just like Skywise, and Wendy nailed it.

4) My eyes have a slight downward turn to them. Elves have upward sweeping eyes. So Wendy gave Thornbrake a very subtle downwardness to his eyebrows to capture it. SO awesome.

5) I envisioned Thornbrake's wrist bracers to be made of seal fur - definitely still furry, but tight, close to the skin, and not shaggy. Again, Wendy nailed exactly what I envisioned in my head.

6) The hair this is kind of my real-life hair cut, long on top and shaved on sides and back. Wendy put that look right through the elf-filter and again, nailed the vision in my head for kind of a shaggy, wilder version of my real hair.

7) Even though Thornbrake is a burly, masculine type (as far as that's possible for a Pini elf) Wendy still worked in her signature line of beauty in his posture. This I love.

Even after almost 30 years of being a fan, I'm still in awe at Wendy's abilities and masterful control of line, expression and design. And this was just a sketch!

Heather

I sooooo love this! LOVE!

Eyeshigh

Again, fiiieeeeewwwwwiiiieeeet!

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