Here is something interesting. This piece happened quite without any plan, I just started drawing out of a whim and let it take its own course. I did it fast and in a very unconcerned manner. It was a lot of fun for sure. The results were kinda bittersweet. Some things come out very nicely, for example the dragon's scales. Others, not so much, as for the anatomy on Azaghâl. I think I messed this one up and it is difficult to understand what is happening there. If you good friends have any opinion on how would you have drawn this one I will be very glad to hear it. You know it is too much info in one spot. The strange position of the body, the beard, the armor and the blood/smoke. All getting in the way. If you know how to make it better please tell me.
The scene depicts Azaghâl's glorious death:
“Last of all the eastern force to stand firm were the Dwarves of Belegost, and thus they won renown. For the Naugrim withstood fire more hardily than either Elves or Men, and it was their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle hideous to look upon; and those stood them in good stead against the dragons. And but for them Glaurung and his brood would have withered all that was left of the Noldor. But the Naugrim made a circle about him when he assailed them, and even his mighty armour was not full proof against the blows of their great axes; and when in his rage Glaurung turned and struck down Azaghâl, Lord of Belegost, and crawled over him, with his last stroke Azaghâl drove a knife into his belly, and so wounded him that he fled the field, and the beasts of Angband in dismay followed after him. Then the Dwarves raised up the body of Azaghâl and bore it away; and with slow steps they walked behind singing a dirge in deep voices, as it were a funeral pomp in their country, and gave no heed more to their foes; and none dared to stay them.”
I always wondered how a beast massive enough to squash a hard Dwarf to death could be wounded by a mere knife. Well my answer is that in his rage Azaghâl carved his way into the beast's belly shoulder deep, in between the softer scales on the dragon's belly.
The dwarven King lost his helmet and part of his gear including his weapons in the struggle against the terrible beast. He wears a very nice shirt of heavy Mithril mail, which even the dragon's fangs and claws cannot pierce. So Glaurung decide to crush him to death inside his shine armor. He crawled over the wounded king with his pale slimy and soft belly and dragged his monstrous body over him crushing his bones. As Azaghâl started to be crushed blood sprouted from his nose and mouth, but he did not feel fear of death, only hate and anger, the only thing in his mind was to strike back. In a last effort he searched for a weapon on the ground among his dead bodyguards and found a knife. Even with a broken spine and being trapped under the beast the waist down, he managed to lift his body with his left arm and using each ounce of his fading strength he gritted his teeth and drove the knife deeper and deeper, hacking and slashing as it goes down to his shoulder. Black boiling blood started to flow profusely, scalding the king alive. Smoke raised from the ground where the blood hits and also from the king's skin.
The Dragon felt the pain, a feeling to which he is not used to, and snapped the king with his jaws and tossed him away. The broken and lifeless body of the king hit the ground among his warriors, who laid down their weapons and started to mourn their beloved ruler. The Dragon himself fled the ashen field leaving a huge trail of hissing blood behind and crawled into a forgotten pit deep on the ground to heal his wounds.
The design for Glaurung was inspired by the Blue tongued Skink, a very interesting animal. I think it fits my mental image for Glaurung. A huge flaccid fat beast like an old crock, dragging his swollen body slowly with short legs. The scales are very thick and hard, of a glossy black color, being the underside of a smoother and lighter kind of plates, like a crocodile or snake belly.
The rest is very straight forward and not thoroughly thought but I hope you can enjoy the image by what it is anyway. I'll be drawing a complete design for Azaghâl soon too.