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By The Light Of Narbondel-drow by PaleDrow By The Light Of Narbondel-drow by PaleDrow
Menzoberranzan is a drow city that lays deep underground in the underdark. The only lights that break the pitch darkness regularly are luminous fungi farms, the fairy fire that covers many buildings, the many candle-lit studies of clerics and wizards studying arcane writings, and Narbondel.

Narbondel is the only pillar of rock in the 2 mile wide and 1000 foot high cavern untouched by the drow artisans. It lays right in the center of the cavern and streches from the bottom of the cavern to the top.

Each day the arch wizard of the city travels to Narbondel and casts a spell into its base igniting a light that slowly travels to the top over the period of a day. As the light travels upward, it fills the pillar with light and when it reaches the top it fades away signifying midnight.

Narbondel is how the drow of Menzoberranzan tell time in thier otherwise timeless cavern. To human eyes Narbondel is but a small glow like a campfire. But to the eyes of the drow, who are accustomed to seeing quite clearly in total darkness, Narbondel shines like a small sun.

This particular scene shows a young wizard of sorcere visiting a priestess in Arach-Tinilith at her command.

P.S. Yes that is a small glimse at Melee-magthere off to the far left.

Colored Pencil/watercolor
16 x 20 black matboard
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:iconhighpriestsatanis:
HighPriestSatanis Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
You captured the Drow aesthetic.

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:icondejesusscott:
dejesusscott Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
Very well done yo. Great works........ Hoping you have more coming soon. Love da works yo...
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:icondinhj007:
Dinhj007 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2011
Wasn't this watercolor painting done by Jeffrey T. Lowe ?
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:iconbabypizza:
BabyPizza Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
This is great. I'm currently on the 2nd book of the Dark Elf Trilogy & it is great to see someone take the words of the book and put it into imagery. It perfectly depicts it, and I applaud you!
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:icongrakhor:
grakhor Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
right mood, nice work ;)
Reply
:iconawesomewolf123:
awesomewolf123 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2008
she doesnt look evil enough, or demanding....but its really amazing. i attemped menzoberranzan only once, and it failed....horribly.
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:iconhumanofprey:
humanofprey Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice coloring/lighting work and nice details on the scene and characters, especially the female drow :thumbsup:
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:iconsubuday:
Subuday Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2008
Bla-bla-bla... How I hate all this RPG-ic naked, long-eary girls...

Boring...
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2008
Long, pointy eared chics are hot :)
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:iconmistressiniquity:
MistressIniquity Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2008
One of my favorite characterizations of Menzoberrazan I have seen yet. Beautiful!
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2008
Thank you :)
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:iconhaikeakissa:
haikeakissa Featured By Owner May 24, 2008
Nice !! i like the atmosphere.
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:iconpchanpiggy:
pchanpiggy Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2008
I love your depiction of Menzoberranzan.
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:iconjadespider:
jadespider Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
This is gorgeous! Such a fantastic illustration of my favorite Drow city! ^.^
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:iconpromiscuriosity:
promiscuriosity Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2008
very nice
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:iconlithieu:
Lithieu Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting... ; ]
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:iconplushkraken:
PlushKraken Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007
I always wondered what Narbondle would look like. This is a great portrayal of it :clap: The rich colours and the detailed stone formations give good credit to the drow's grandeur and megalomania.

And even if you know that you aren't likely to survive a longtime relationship with a drow priestess (except for those who worship Eilistraee), it's just so effin hard to resist x)

Snake whips, yay!! :w00t:
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2007
Thanks again :D
Reply
:iconcrypticstar:
CrypticStar Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Hotness! I love the females pose! This is very well put together!
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2007
Thank you :D
Reply
:iconphoenix-rising-high:
Phoenix-rising-high Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007
beeeeaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuutiiiiiiiiffuuullll lllllllll.....
this is absolutely amazing! stunning and glorious really.
The buildings are gorgeous and detailed in a way that feels like it IS how Menzoberranzan should look, and, really, though the characters ARE in the foreground, and thus to an observant looker will become the focus, to one thats just glancing, Narbondel is actually the main focus the bright lighting acting like a dot on a plain sheet of paper, where, no matter where you look on it, your eyes are unconsciously drawn to it.
Truthfully, the nude drow priestess is rather plain compared to the rest of the scenery. You did a stunning piece of work here, though, I do have one question...
I'm not sure if I got it right, but I thought Narbondel worked through the Drows infravision, a fire being lit at its base, and the heat traveling up the column. When Noon is reached the column is completely heated, and the fires duration is expired, at which point the Narbondel will begin to cool, the cooling process taking the exact same amount of time as it took to heat, thus, when the column is cold, it signals midnight. Maybe I'm wrong, could you please clarify?
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2007
Thanks :)
That issue argued a bit but I decided to show Narbondel from a drow perpective, the heat creating a very bright light in their vision. :)
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:iconphoenix-rising-high:
Phoenix-rising-high Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2007
Aaaaahh.... Nice choice, because besides Narbondel being lit up like a pyre, the rest of the city does as well. Mortal eyes are entranced by the beauty they CAN see, but the full breadth of Menzoberranzans beauty is saved for those with "snake eyes."(infravision)
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2007
Thank you,
I wanted Narbondel to look bright mainly because its from a dark elves perpective, not a humans.
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:icondsil:
DSil Featured By Owner May 1, 2007  Student General Artist
Beautiful! I just love the way you light your scenes. It's particularly effective in this one, where it helps to emphasize the central importance of Narbondel. This scene is also so rich with color. Great background, very creative.
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner May 1, 2007
Thanks !
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:iconsergon:
Sergon Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2007
You got very very interesting style. And I mean it. I usually very brutal about artwork but urs strick me as charming. Reminds me of gothic icons.
However if you want it to look more pro you gotta streighten up proportions and on your figures. Or just come up with some styalization that look interesting. -)
Overall very nice work here.
Reply
:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
Thanks,
Yah I have been working hard on paying mre attention to anatomy, perspective and especially color composition. My next peice that will be complete in about two weeks hopefully will show the improvements :D. I like when people point these things out since it helps me to improve.
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:iconsergon:
Sergon Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2007
O_O oo so can you take it? Can you take the crit? Good I am waiting for your new peice -) The crit will be brutal ";..;" but helpfull in a form of a dicassion -)
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:iconsubdual:
Subdual Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2007
Since nearly everyone mentioned your brilliant way of lighting, I wont linger on it (it is great by the way)... What cought my attention was the size and body porportions; Many people think drows are just normal elves with different skin collor but ,probababy because of living in underground for so long, drows due to be slightly shorter than sun or moon elves and females taller then males (with the exception of Triel of course :) ) I'm glad someone finnaly captured the right build for drows...please keep up the good work
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2007
Thank you :)
I thought no one would ever notice I did that or that someone would complain that the female was too big. Kudos to you :D I don't always get details minor or major correct, but I try :)
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:iconarnoldfriend:
ArnoldFriend Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2007
Narbondel gives off heat, not light, ........and WHY is the girl posing like that?
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2007
Oh and Salvatore explicitly notes that Narbondel gave off a visual red glow. That is why he mentions the "Red glow of Narbondel" Furthermore, high heat objects will give off light as well.

...I looked at your activity on the ArnoldFriend account since this was the first non constructive critique I have ever received,. Lo and behold ,It appears you made the account so you could anonymously go around nit picking people for pretty lame reasons. With no gallery and about 50 posts or so, many of them being in the same time frame 100% of them are bashing people. That is kinda...well sad lol.
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2007
Drow "See" heat patterns. This is turned into visual pattern of light in their mind. Thus, the "light" of Narbndel.

The girl is posing like that because she wants too rofl.
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:iconricardofantasyart:
Ricardofantasyart Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2007
:clap: Sweet illustration! Very richly textured and detailed! Nice compostion and scenery layout, too... :)
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2007
Thank you:)
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:iconricardofantasyart:
Ricardofantasyart Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2007
My pleasure... :)
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:iconsighter:
Sighter Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007
Nice designs on the Underdark... getting to there, but close enough to get the point across.
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:iconnocturnalspirit:
NocturnalSpirit Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
This is awesome. I really love seeing how others interpret the books. Great job on this!! :aww:
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:iconsonicgod:
SonicGod Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
again stunningly beautiful. :D
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007
Thx :D
Reply
:iconblue-willow:
blue-willow Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay for drows!
This is awesome :D
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2007
Thankis:) Drows rule!
Reply
:iconblue-willow:
blue-willow Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, absolutely :D
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:iconlady-xythis:
Lady-Xythis Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2007
As a late comer to the commenting, all I can really add is AWESOME!!!
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:iconlluhnij:
Lluhnij Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007  Professional General Artist
ahem, am I going crazy, or you mirrored the image?
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2007
I mirrored it back to its original position. It is currently correct :) Melee-Magthere should always be to the left when looking out of Arach-Tinilith. ;)
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:iconlluhnij:
Lluhnij Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2007  Professional General Artist
Precise you are! ;-)
Reply
:icondarrkestdrow:
DarrkestDrow Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, very nicely done! The city is especially impressive, as is your ability to play with lighting. I can't think of a time when I've seen such intricate lighting detail used in a colored pencil or watercolor medium. This must have taken you forever to complete. It was worth the effort though. Nicely done!
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:iconpaledrow:
PaleDrow Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2007
Thank you,
It took me more time then intended :/ I am honestly not overly satisfied with the composition. I can see the pitfalls I fell into now that its finished. And even with all the time I invested , the overall composition is lacking in areas that I intended on improving.
When I first started, I wanted Narbondel to be the focus, so I made it detailed. 75% of the way through the composition I could see that no matter what I did, the characters would become the focus (they were more interesting to look at) . Drat! Thus, I attempted to switch the focus to the characters and ended up breaking some rules of composition such as over detailing unimportant areas. Sigh.... The colors are slightly off too compositionally ;(. I was happy with the lighting though and so here it is :) Its not perfection but practice makes perfect :D.
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