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March 3, 2011
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"The sword and the harp," said Dafydd. "The true bard must wield both. And where would one be without the other?"
"The sword can live without the harp," Aedan said.
"Can it? The harp cannot live without the sword, no. Of what would it sing, if not of the struggle of princes, the blood and dust of battle? But the reverse is just as true. The monk that sits in dusty, ill-lit scriptoriums, faithfully entrusting his histories to rolls of parchment, what, in the end, does he do? He only produces more dust as those faithfully recorded histories crumble and are forgotten. The harp that fills the halls and the hearts, that takes the dust and blood of battles and turns it into glory – the harp means immortality."

As you can see, I am fully embracing that new idea of Bard!Aedan. :D The snippet is not from the actual novel, but is a dialogue that might have occurred sometime during Aedan's training.


Inspiration: "The Mabinogion" illustrated by Alan Lee. This man is awe-inspiring. And plain inspiring.

Very loose reference (moved further and further away from it when I incorporated the harp): [link] from *SenshiStock

Harp loosely referenced from the 15th century harp of Brian Boru [link] (probably not accurate for the time I'm writing about, but what the heck, it looked so damn cool).

Watercolour, pencil. Harp strings touched up in Photoshop.

Tutorial for the painting process is here:

EDIT: Thank you guys so much for the DD! :woohoo: It's not my first, but it's the first I feel that truly and thoroughly deserves it.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-06-28
Suggester says: "I love how it looks. The colors are soft, and the image (of the middle) looks relaxing and quiet. I almost feel like I can hear the music of the harp. On the sides, a completely different image. It represents battle, war. You can see a sword and a horse. The artist used a different technique to do those two side images. This contrast gives a very good impact (and yet both middle and sides combine together to make a single image)."

The Sword and the Harp by *Gold-Seven ( Suggested by sebaselciclon and Featured by Mollinda )
Hairysandwich Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is frightening similar to my brother, the girl on the right even looks like his girlfriend.
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Student Writer
The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death ye may find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
With his wild harp slung along behind him;
Land of Song, the lays of the warrior bard,
May some day sound for thee,
But his harp belongs to the brave and free
And shall never sound in slavery!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Writer
The Minstrel fell but the foeman's chains
Could not bring this proud soul under.
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again 
For he tore the chords asunder.
And said "No chains shall sully the
Oh soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Writer
The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
And when we hear the new we will cheer it.
When all the trials of Man must cease
And every battle must be ended.

SerenaSCipi Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
reeeeally like this one!!!
GarlondGilesion Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I fell in love at once.
mingo95 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
great work
BiBiARTs Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Your beautiful work is featured in our group's weekly feature :iconsoulcollectors: [link] :hug:
KellasCradle Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012   Traditional Artist
I adore this, I love all of the details.
NoOneHasBoundMe Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Reminds me of a gentle version of gatts from berserk. if you haven't checked out berserk you should. its incredible. i think you would like it... at least the artwork. its quite dark
Wishingrain Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
wow! i play the harp, so to me this is extra amazing!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey cool! :)
Aikurisu Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
This is easily one of your best works and much deserving of the DD. The whole nature of it really draws me in and it's great seeing something so cultural from Aedan's side of things. Reminds me that I need to read your stories, too. =D
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Haha yes, Aedan got a definite culture boost while still remaining his old obnoxious self. The combination is great. Such fu to write. And draw. :D
Aikurisu Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
Understandable. =) One other thing I like about it too is how it makes him more human, since little things like this add another dimension that endears me more to any character.
Maeegele Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
TheyNamedHerRheulea Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Student General Artist
Beautiful job! I'd love to get my hands on a harp like that... the designs on it are great. :)
Lovely coloring and layout, as well.
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! (I'm getting to the bottom of my inbox pile, can you tell?) ;)
isfoss86 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Have you read the Riddle-master trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip? This could have been Morgon of Hed! Amazing work!! :)
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I've heard on numerous occasions that it's good, and I've started reading it - but it totally didn't draw me in, I'm afraid. I stopped after the first few chapters.
Deshipley Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad of the subdued color palette you chose to employ -- the balance of faded gold and purple-gray -- and the sketchy panels on either side. Even having no idea what the story behind this is, the sense of "epic story" is very much apparent.
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Great, that's what I hoped to achieve. Thank you!
Lawenta Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
He doesn't have much reasons to be happy, does he... Yet somehow I see also his reasons for living, and the turning points in his life. His mother, his lover that insufferable girl, his brother and his land, if I understand the flag correctly.

And then there are the little details that put the whole painting together: the arch of the knotwork behind him continuing with the branch, Branwyn's sword in line with Aedan's cloak, and the scene to the left leading the eye upwards just like the arch of the harp.

Also, I love the clean, warm feel of the whole picture, and thank you for the tutorial!
DarklyWhite Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011
Beautiful, very beautiful ^^.
BrandiShermanGermana Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011   General Artist
This one is literally bringing tears to my eyes. It's that stunning.
Veronica-Art Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
I also suggested this one a while back, but you had just gotten a DD, so they told me they`d have to wait... I came back today to suggest it! Glad it`s gotten the DD!!!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, that's so cool! Thank you so much for suggesting it as well. I wonder if they already felt badgered. "Aw c'mon, give her that damn DD already!"

Veronica-Art Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
There are a couple more of your works I`d love to suggest!!!! So watch out!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, so I've noticed!

:hug: Thank you so much.
Veronica-Art Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
If anything, God gave me the talent to notice good art and artists. Many of your works are simply amazing, I am glad I can contribute a little so the community can glimpse at your talent :rose: :hug:
Vemiant Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011
This is such a great picture. You rarely see Bards done right. I really like his expression, its like he is looking at you and you are the art!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Haha, thanks!
baiexa-btrfly Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautifully colored!
Raentrieve Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Belated Featurette! [link]
yurionna Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so beautiful! I especially like the concept. :heart:
strain70 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
Dude, It's tne best art-work I have seen for a month!
Wytewulf Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Student General Artist
Wow...gorgeous. :wow:
I love the detailing on the sides as well as in the background, plus the folds in the fabric are brilliant. ((Those give me the most trouble in my own work so I tend to notice them in other's. xD))

Congrats on the DD; you deserve it for sure. :nod:
MaddalinaMocanu Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Congradulations for the Daily Deviation :D You deserve it fully ^___________^ I guess I'll have to wait one of mine... If I ever get one >..> That'll be a long time from now. :faint:
heidinanookie Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Also, ich bin total beeindruckt von dem Dialog-Schnipsel. Solltest du unbedingt irgendwo unterbringen!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Mal gucken! Die Philosophie an sich wird sicher nochmal auftauchen. :) Von Dafydd haben wir nicht das letzte gesehen. Oder gehört. :)
A-Spanish-Rose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011
wow, i love your style
SPQR-FR Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
I love it ! What can I say mare ? :love:
JustAnInkling Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
Congrats on the daily deviation! Very well-deserved - I particularly love the sheer amount of story behind this piece. :)
puppeteer-for-kings Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
*dances* You know you're something special when you have an instantly recognisable style! :heart: Congratulations on the DD - I'm so happy for you!!
Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Yay ^^ Thank you!
Ely79 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
How beautiful!
I really like the ambiance of old Celtic tale that you were able to give the image.
I' like to read the story that inspired you, I hope to find it translated into Italian soon!

Gold-Seven Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
That won't happen anytime soon - it's a book I'm writing, and I have to finish it first :D

If you'd like to read some snippets, I posted several chapters on dA. Just follow the link in the description.
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