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Stranger in the Wilds: A Deeper Look into the Companions' First Encounter


Stranger in the Wilds: A Deeper Look into the Companions' First Encounter


“What do you want?” came a soft reply. It was almost a whisper and there was a hint of a strange accent....


The first meeting between Rowan and Torrin's company, was not just the first meeting between the characters, but also my first encounter with them as the author.


This scene in The Wilds, where they discover Rowan, was the first vision I had for the book. I fell asleep for three nights in a row with it playing out in my imagination. It was so intensely vivid, and filled with the depth and personality of these characters, that I had to write it down.


And that was it. I never looked back....

As I began to write, the door to the story, its characters and their world, swung wide open, and the tale for the first book unfolded without pause.


I read the pages as I wrote them.

Creating this drawing harkens back to the very beginning of where the books began. It was not only gratifying for me, but very powerful. When I first began to delve into the illustrations for these books, I didn't have the artistic vocabulary to portray them as I wanted, or match them to my imagination. Over time, as the style for the drawings evolved, so to has my ability to do them justice on paper.



Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night with a notebook handwriting, pen and pencil.


 

A Chance Encounter

Excerpts from The Messenger From Myris Dar, Book One of The Stone Guardians

  As he crept towards the campsite, Torrin studied the lonely figure huddled over the small fire. The flames of the fire were well concealed. Only the light it cast upon the figure hunched over it betrayed it. A larger pale form, highlighted against the deeper surrounding shadow, shifted beyond the camp – a horse. 


Despite the lateness of the season, the night air was still warm and although this was one of the most beautiful places to be traveling, it was also an extremely dangerous one. 


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night, early process image
Early Process: Stranger in the Wilds

Torrin stood and began to walk towards the campsite. It was time to solve this mystery. It was important to know how this stranger had traveled so far into this forbidden territory, avoiding the death that claimed so many others. “Ho the camp!” he called. Torrin watched closely as the figure rose smoothly, reaching swiftly to the sword over his right shoulder. 


“We are friends and mean you no harm. We simply wish to share your fire for a while,” Torrin called quickly. The figure hesitated but did not lower his hand from the weapon. He was cloaked and hooded such that Torrin could not make out a face in the darkness.


“What do you want?” came a soft reply. It was almost a whisper and there was a hint of a strange accent.


“We were passing by, looking for a suitable rest site and saw your fire. We have food if you have not already eaten. We would share it with you.”


 “How many is ‘we’?”


“There are five of us. It is safer to be with a few than with none, don’t you think?” 


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night, process image
Process: Stranger in the Wilds

The figure dropped his hand slowly and looked around at the shadows. He stumbled and caught himself, standing upright again. He reached reflexively to his left shoulder. The man was wounded.

“I do not trust strangers to share my camp.” Again a quiet reply and the unfamiliar accent.


Torrin resumed walking towards the fire. “You look like you are injured. My brother is a healer. He could take a look at your wound.” He stopped three paces from the stranger to avoid causing alarm, though from what he could see of him in the darkness this stranger did not appear to be intimidated, despite his condition.


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night
Stranger in the Wilds, progress (near complete)

Torrin observed the fine boned hands, one of which was resting comfortably on the hilt of an intricately wrought dagger sheathed at the belt. He saw the delicate fingertips and his eyes widened in sudden realization – even Tynithian hands were not that slim, at least not male ones. 


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night
Final finished drawing

“A woman!” exclaimed Borlin in surprise. The short, burly Stoneman had just come into the firelight from the right and was peering at the stranger intently. The stranger assumed an air of ready tension, hooded head turned quickly to the new voice. Torrin could now see the smooth features of her face. He wondered again if she was a Tynithian; the finely arched eyebrows and high cheekbones certainly could belong to a Tynithian. But when she moved her head to look at the rest of Torrin’s companions as they moved into the light, he caught a glimpse of her eyes. Human eyes. Torrin could sense her unease as the rest of his companions gathered around them.


He pitched his voice low, speaking gently. “Please, do not fear us; we mean you no harm. Your honour is safe among us.” 


She cast her hood back then and turned to look at Torrin, a dangerous glint in her eyes. She wasn’t afraid, only ready for whatever may come. 


page spread for The Messenger from Myris Dar feature the illustration Stranger in the Wilds by Kindrie Grove
Final illustration placed in the illuminated manuscript layout of Volume One for The Messenger From Myris Dar.


Concept drawing for a fantasy illustration featuring a hooded warrior and her horse in the forest by Kindrie Grove
Early Concept Sketch

 

About the Drawing


This piece was slowly layered with Faber Castell Pitt Matt Graphite pencils. I used HB, 2B, 6B and finally 10B and 12B, to get the final rich darks. White Prismacolor was used for the highlights, and subtle touches of Yellowed Orange to create the reflections from the camp fire.


The pale horse glows in the moonlight against the dark shadowy tree branches, and the rim light from the moon highlights Rowan's hood, sword hilt and hand.


I am working on Strathmore Toned Grey multi-media paper. Drawing time was about 8 hours.


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night, detail of horse
Stranger in the Wilds, detail


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night, detail of hooded figure
Stranger in the Wilds, Detail


Fantasy illustration by Kindrie Grove for The Stone Guardians book series featuring a warrior and her horse in a dark forest at night, detail of horse
Stranger in the Wilds, Detail

sword logo for Kindrie Grove studios
 

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Stranger in the Wilds: A Deeper Look into the Companions' First Encounter. Fantasy illustration for The Stone Guardians by Kindrie Grove All art work and illustrations by Kindrie Grove. All written content and characters related to The Stone Guardians Books by Kindrie Grove are protected under copyright law.

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Copyrights: ©Kindrie Grove Studios Inc.

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