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Harry Potter: Book 2, Ch.12 Long by TheGeekCanPaint Harry Potter: Book 2, Ch.12 Long by TheGeekCanPaint
35 x 22
Gouache with coloured pencil on watercolour paper

The official title is: “One thing was certain: of all the teachers’ offices Harry had visited so far this year, Dumbledore’s was by far the most interesting.”

But I also refer to it simply as: “Dumbledore’s Office”

Finally! After nearly four months of no painting, I’ve been able to start again. And I can’t begin to explain how good it feels. Once we knew we were going to move, I made it my goal before hand to at least get to the point that this painting would be the first I did in the new house, and it worked. It felt fitting being in the new studio working on the painting I’ve been looking forward to doing since I started “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.

Over all I’m happy with the way it turned out. I think my least favorite thing about it is my usual complaint. If you really pick it apart, there is some really bad perspective drawing going on; I’ve never been good with backgrounds. Fortunately, I know enough and can pull off enough to get by. And I think the slightly quirky backgrounds work well with my slightly quirky style, giving the piece a whimsical look and feel, which goes pretty well with the Harry Potter stories.

That said, I had a lot of fun with this painting. All the different things in Dumbledore’s office, both mentioned in the books and the things I added myself. I tried to make sure everything that’s been mentioned as being in there is there... with the exception of things that aren’t there YET of course. I took a couple liberties adding things I think Dumbledore would have, some things that foreshadow the future books and assume Harry just never noticed it all since there is so much there in his office to take in. And lastly I threw in a handful of things I thought would be funny/cute but not too distracting from the over all piece.


Due to popular demand, I've made a list of everything in the painting.

Things I “had” to include. Meaning, these are items that are described as being in Dumbledores office at one time or another, but most importantly this scene.
1. The portraits of former headmaster/mistresses. You can only make out 5 of them:
a. Dilys Derwent (far upper left)
b. Armando Dippet (the largest, which I assume whom ever is the most recent will always be the largest... until Dumbledore dies)
c. Phineas Nigellus Black (to the upper right of Dippet)
d. Phyllida Spore (lower right of Dippet)
e. Ambrose Swott (farthest right)
2. The Sorting Hat (on the shelf by Dippet’s portrait)
3. Dumbledore’s desk (large a claw-footed)
4. A number of spindle legged tables with *silver instruments* on them (more about the silver instruments later)
5. Fawke’s perch is lokated by the door. You can’t see the door in this picture, but it’s plotted out just off of the scene on the far right. And of course in this scene where Fawkes has just ignited into flames and baby Fawkes is popping out of the ashes on the ground.

Then I put in some other things from the Potter world, that are mentioned later, or just made sense to me they'd be in there:

1. The Pensive is kept in a black cabinet by the door, next to Fawkes‘ perch. You can only see the side of the cabinet in this illustration.
2. On that same side of the room, behind Dumbledore I put what in my mind is a collection of artifacts and books in his search for the Deathly Hallows. On the very top of the cabinet is the symbol of the Hallows.
3. Next to the Hallows symbol is Dumbledore’s edition of “Beedle the Bard”. Which I made look like the special edition books J.K.Rowling made. This will also be how the book looks that Dumbledore eventually leaves to Hermione in his will.
4. Dumbledore likes knitting patters, so I put in a basket of yarn by the window, assuming he also knits those said patterns.
5. Very hard to see are the Deluminator & Dumbledore’s pocket watch on the tall bookshelf behind his desk.
6. Above the fireplace I decided to put in a portrait of Ariana. Originally I had considered Gellert Grindelwald, having been the love of Dumbledore. But ultimately, I figured having had his heart broken by him, Dumbledore wouldn’t hang a portrait of him so prominently. But in my head one of the frames on his desk contains a photo of Gellert and him from their youth.
7. According to his chocolate frog card, Dumbledore is a fan of tenpin bowling. So I put in a pin at the far left.
8. Next to the bowling pin is a shield. On the shield, it’s not very noticeable, but I designed a logo for the Order of the Phoenix. So it’ll be seen more often and better later.
9. Bowl of Lemon Drops (or Sherbet Lemons) on Dumbledore’s desk.

It’s Christmas time, so there’s a handful of decorations. Most are on the fireplace. I figured Dumbledore would do some decorating, but saves most of it for his bedroom, which is up the stairs:
1. Mistletoe is hard to see, but hangs from the rafters, just beyond where the entrance is (it’s right by the Pensive cabinet)
2. Holly is at each corner of the fireplace mantel
3. A Santa figure holding a Christmas tree is at the base of the fireplace
4. Albus’s stocking is hanging from the fireplace
5. At the center of the fireplace mantle, bellow the portrait of Ariana is a nativity scene, the angels floating just above it.

It was very important to me to also include a Bible (which is on the stand in front of the fireplace) because in my mind, Dumbledore is a Christian, and I would think he’d have his Bible ready to consult regularly. Also I wanted a cross, which is upon the far left of fireplace mantel

I threw in a number of “Geekory” items as well. Some from movies or TV, and couple from other books.
1. The Silver instruments on the spindle legged desks, I took some liberties with. Some of the stuff I made up, just to look interesting, but strewn with in them are:
a. Lightsabers and a training sphere from Star Wars. Specifically, Qui-Gons, Obi-Wans, Anakins, Darth Vader’s and half of Darth Mauls
b. I’m not familiar with the show, but Doctor Who is british, and I’d seen his “Sonic Screwdriver” devices, so I threw them in
c. Then there’s a Phaser, Communicator and Tri-corder from Star Trek
d. And just because I was getting carried away, I put in a small replica of Robby the Robot
2. At the top of the tall bookshelf behind Dumbledore’s desk, is Jeannie’s bottle, from “I Dream of Jeannie”
3. On the other end of the shelf the sorting hat is on is, the idol Indiana Jones finds at the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
4. On the far left just going off the page, you can see a Green Lantern lantern & ring
5. Dorothy’s Silver slippers from the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” are seen at the lower left side of the page
6. Alice in Wonderland’s “Drink Me” bottle is seen at the lower rleft side of the page
7. The “Vampyr” book from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is at the far left as well
8. Speaking of Buffy, her scythe is hanging above the right window
9. On one of the foreground shelves we are seeing the backside of is Aladdin's Lamp
10. A model of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is flying around the room
11. The hourglass the witch uses in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” is to the left of the fireplace
12. On the far right side of the fireplace mantel is a golden ticket from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
13. Mary Poppin’s carpet bag and Umbrella can be seen in the lower right side of the page
14. And I just bet Dumbledore enjoys musicals, so I put a few posters following up the back side of the stair case. You can see “Les Miserables”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “The Phantom of the Opera” which I slected because of their simple basic looks that could be identified at that size. But I bet there are more leading up to his bed chamber

And lastly, I filled the room with a bunch of other stuff I thought looked cool and fit in.
1. A Trident (not from any book, but possibly Neptune’s)
2. A Shield (another one besides the one with the Order of the Phoenix logo on it, behind the trident)
3. A harp (which I like to think is the one from Jack and the Beanstalk)
4. Scales
5. A Gramophone
6. The skull of a dinosaur
7. A Telescope
8. A Globe
9. An old fashion camera
10. An old fashion radio
11. Other models are flying around the room besides Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, like a Blimp and an early design of airplane
12. A suit of armor
13. A mortar & pestle
14. Plenty of books, bottles, scrolls and papers all around.

And lastly. So far I’ve finished the illustrations for the first Harry Potter book. Once completed, I assembled a few mock ups using my illustrations. I put one on the tall book shelf behind Dumbledore’s desk. If you want to see what the books look like go here: [link]
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-06-24
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
(I stumbled upon your illustrations for the chapters of the HP books through Membership and later Foundership at Potter-Watch her on D.A. Congratulations on your deviation being a DD! Here is my feedback.)


While your attention to detail certainly gives a magical feeling to the piece, I feel that the amount of detail and color in the whole design is overwhelming, when the focus should be on Harry, Fawke's perch and Albus Dumbledore.


The angle of the image is what interests me the most.  How Harry is in the right of the frame, with the perch and Fawkes' ashes almost not in frame. It gives the impression that your main focus is the room at large rather the scene from the book which you sought to isolate.  While I understand that's due to some rules for what had to be in the image, I think it detracts from the overall focus of Harry and his reaction to Fawkes catching fire.



Once the focus is drawn to Harry, everything comes together. His drawn-back posture, even his robs being slightly open to reveal torn jeans, lends itself to the emotional impact of Fawkes catching fire. However, there is no reaction to Albus at all, Harry's attention is completely captivated by Fawkes' now empty perch.


While there is detail in Harry, it's very hard to read Albus because his eyes aren't even visible. His attention, too, is not on Harry but on Fawkes perch. And while he is clearly attempting to comfort there is such a busy scene around them, crammed with color, objects, and portraits that it's very difficult to focus on the main event and Albus' reaction to it.


It's like stepping into the Headmaster's Office, despite the overwhelming clutter and color of the image. It speaks right to my heart as a fan and I am awed by your talent. Very fantastic contribution to the fandom of my life.

TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, I appreciate you taking the time to look over my painting and give me such a thought out critique. Not every piece is going to speak to everyone the same way (one of the many joys of art) so I understand some of the issues you pointed out, though a couple of them were actually intentional on my part. Mostly, I'm happy that the overall impact of the piece was a positive one for you.

Thanks again :)
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! I have been on a quest for two years now which invovles writing a critique or comment for all the art in my favorites gallery.

And yours was next. I am really impressed with your dedication and the facf that you worked chapter to chapter.
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
I'd considered for half a moment skipping around, but knew right away that some chapters would get skipped if I did. While I love it all, there are some chapters I enjoy more than others, and I wanted to make sure the "others" got their due as well ;)
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Would you consider taking a commission to do cover art for fanfiction or original fiction?

I really enjoy your style.
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
I try to be a never say never kind of guy, so I'm willing to hear requests out to begin with. But to be completely honest and up front, I have a hard time scraping together time to do the art I want to do, so I don't usually do commissions unless it's for a price I can't ignore. 

One note though is, the one thing I do say never to is fan fiction. While I appreciate it for what it is and what people get out of it, I just have a personal preference for only illustrating from original sources.

All that said, I at least appreciate your interest in my art. I take it as a very high compliment. So thank you :)
H-A-Cooke Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay no worries! I thought I'd ask and I totally understand your preferences. Good luck with your art in the future and I look forward to seeing more from you!
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Cool, and thanks :)
ElderElderWand Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015
Hello! What do you think on Hermione Granger/Gellert Grindelwald?
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. What about Hermione and Gellert?
ElderElderWand Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015
Like a ship.
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Sorry, but I'm still not understanding what you're asking.
svolden614 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015
WOW!  I want to laugh and cry at the same time, this picture is so awesome!  LOL (I take my Harry Potter very seriously, you know)  I thought it was amazing at first, but then reading through your lists of the items you included... so much thought and geekiness went into this painting, and I did notice some of it before reading your lists (like the genie lamp, gramophone, and sparkly slippers) but other things I never would've realized what they were, even if I'd noticed them (the book from Buffy, umbrella and carpet bag from Mary Poppins!!).  It's just awesome that you've done so many of these beautiful illustrations, and I think they really do fit the whimsical feel of the Harry Potter stories so well!  The whole picture has a cluttered and well-loved feel to it, and I agree with someone else, who said you really should be doing this professionally!  I hope to see more of your art in the future! =) 
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! I words are very kind and I'm happy you enjoy the painting :)

This scene was one I was looking forward to illustrating for a long time after I began the project of illustrating the Potter books. It makes me happy that folks are getting a kick out of it and all the details.

And I very much appreciate your compliments! If you go to my website ( there is a section devoted to my Potter art where there is also a link to a petition to have illustrated editions of the books made using my art. Please take a look, sign it and pass the word to anyone who may be interested.

Thank you so much again! :)
hpmarocsvp Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Amazing! So many little details!!!
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you like the painting :)
hpmarocsvp Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! I seriously don't know who wouldn't :) Oh, and I loved all your other work, you're amazing. 
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
You are too kind! Really, thank you :)
daPatches Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2014   Digital Artist
This is INSANE. Omggggg
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
I hope that it's insane in a good way ;) In all seriousness, thank you!
daPatches Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015   Digital Artist
In a very good way! I really want to paint Dumbledore's office but man, it's just so "interesting". Very daunting!

Applaud fella (Reactions) 
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
I know what you mean, I knew Dumbledore's office would be a challenge before I even began work on it. I was afraid of it because I'm not very good with backgrounds. But I guess sometimes, we gotta just go for it ;)

~ Thanks again!
Nellie92 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad you like it :)
MizzTimeLord Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014
I hope you realize how absolutely AMAZING that is! Seriously, I can't put into words the respect I have for you and this painting.  Absolutely amazing. Fantastic. BRILLIANT. :D 

Full round of applause to you!
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm so glad you like the painting. I've done a  number of Potter-Paintings now, but this one was particularly special to me. It's very nice to hear when someone else is enjoying it. Truly, thank you!
MizzTimeLord Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
I will definitely have to take a look at the others. :) You can bet someone else is enjoying it-- every view you've gotten on this piece means someone else was sitting and thoroughly looking through and enjoying this piece. And it's greatly deserved. Truly, you're welcome! ;)
ForeverDreamer12 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the compliments! I'm glad ya like the painting :D
ForeverDreamer12 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oddball99 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Hey, Keith! Also, how do I follow you?
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm not entirely sure... I think on DeviantArt it's called "watching" someone. I believe there's a button to click if you want to do that.
Ramya-k Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
This is amazing and so much detailing,makes me remember the small details from the books even though it's been long since I read them!
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! I'm glad you're enjoying the painting :)
Ramya-k Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome and am happy that I chanced upon this :)
tangerinewarning Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013   Photographer
The detail the...everything, I could spend ages just gazing in wonderment.
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist

I'm so glad you're enjoying the painting!

Thanks for the compliment :D

pigletsmall Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks :)
hwilki65 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow, this is absolutely amazing! I really hadn't noticed it up until now, and I feel very foolish for overlooking it.
I had a lot of fun going through the picture myself and identifying all of Dumbledore's little possessions and things, and I must say, you've done an excellent job. His office has just the right amount of meaningful clutter that makes Dumbledore such a unique character, not to mention all of the little nods and references here and there to other movies/shows/books etc. I also like that you took the time to assess his character and determine exactly what he would have in his office. That definitely adds a lot to the picture.
A lot of the items you included made me wonder: is Dumbledore friends with Mary Poppins or Willy Wonka? Somehow or another he must have arrived in both book and movie-verse Oz and taken some possessions for himself as well. Not to mention that he must be a Jedi, and a time Lord, and Starfleet Officer and must have visited Wonderland too. Haha!
I also think adding some of the other items from later books establishes Dumbledore's history with the objects, and that Harry just hasn't taken much notice of them all that much (for example the Deathly Hallows symbol and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.)
All I can say is that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this painting. Excellent job!! :D
I know we talked a few months ago about your endeavors of getting the books published, and I still hope dearly that everything works out well for you. Honestly, I know quite a few people who would love to see thoroughly illustrated copies of Harry Potter on the book shelves. Also, I might add that I've shown quite as many people your illustrations and they've all given your art great compliments. :)
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
No worries. I think because alot of my art is a bit more detailed than most other fan art, when it's a thumbnail, it just looks like a blob or blur. Nothing to really draw anyone one in to want to see it larger. But I'm glad you took a closer look, and even more glad you are enjoying what you see :) This was easily the painting I most looked forward to working on when I started work on Chamber of Secrets. I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to accomplish, and I think the passion shows in the painting. I'm very proud of it.

I went through to crap recently, that pulled me away from the painting table, but am finally getting back on track. I am working on the last painting for Chamber of Secrets, and will be done shortly. After, I'll be making my second attempt at getting my stuff published, but I'll be asking for some help from folks like you. I'm still not sure on the specifics, but I'm going to put together some kind of petition for people to sign, that I can send along with my proposal to the publishers. Hopefully that will help this go round! Point being - stay posted! ;)

And truly, thank you very much for all the kind words and compliments about the painting. It really makes me happy when someone is enjoying my stuff.
hwilki65 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I don't know for sure... I think I might have just missed it, because I always get really excited to see your work. :)
The passion does show through into the painting, and I can tell that you had a definite idea starting out of how you wanted it to end up looking. Rather than being messy like some artists might have ended up, your painting is very distinct where it needs to be, and has a great amount of clarity. You definitely should be proud of it! It's marvelous. :D

I'm really sorry to hear that. I do hope that everything turns out alright for you (I've been dealing with tons of crap lately as well, so I can sort of understand how you feel). I am greatly looking forward to your last painting for the Chamber of Secrets, and I'm sure it will be spectacular. I would love to do all I can to help you in your efforts- be it signing a petition or e-mailing the editors personally. As I've said in the past, your artwork is very beautiful and more people need to be exposed to it. I could see you becoming a very popular artist, once your work becomes published and more widely-known.
I will be sure to stay posted for further news :)

Don't mention it! I absolutely love your work, and I wanted you to know that. All I ask is that you keep creating beautiful artwork! :hug:
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
No needs for sorries (though it is appreciated) but everything is back on track. My house was robbed, and computer was stolen, so I lost alot of reference and preliminary work for future art. The last couple months have been spent getting my house back in order, but now I'm able to start actually painting again and am wrapping up the stuff I had started before the robbery. I'll have to re-do some of the preliminary work I lost for future art, but I'm not going to worry about that till Chamber of Secrets is finished.

But once it is done, I'll be doing some of the stuff I mentioned and asking for "community help" ;)

Again I really appreciate the compliments, and support of my art!
hwilki65 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
That's really too bad about your things. Did you lose too much of your unfinished art? It's really a pity if you have to do everything all over again. Still, I'm glad to hear that everything is okay now, and I hope that you're able to get things back to normal.
I'm really looking forward to the next big painting! :D

would love to help you when you're ready.

No problem!! I really love your work :)
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Fortunately (and I use that word loosely) not much was stolen. More things were damaged than taken. None of my actual art was taken. The unfinished paintings just had to wait till I got the house back in order, which is why I haven't posted anything new the last couple months.

My computer that was stolen had a lot of my preliminary work and files on it. Those will take a while for me to re-create and regather the reference photos and whatnot. Including stuff for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".

I very much appreciate that you are interested in helping me out. Just stay posted. Once Chamber of Secrets is complete, it will take me a little while to get everything together and in order. But that is when I will be calling on people for help ;)
hwilki65 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm glad to hear that not too much was stolen, but it's a pity to hear that they were damaged. I don't understand why people have to do that. I mean, it's rather pointless, breaking in just to damage your property. I just want to let you know that you and your husband are in my prayers :hug:

I noticed on your website how your artistic process works, so I can understand what losing your computer would mean. Hopefully you'll be able to get everything back in order soon.

I will definitely stay posted. I think once you have the Chamber of Secrets finished, it will give people an idea of what the series would be like (i.e., more than one book, so as to get a feel for your work and style) and help it gain more popularity. Good luck!!
Also, I hope to see more of your Oz art. It looks wonderful! :)
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the prayers - I appreciate those very much! That said, things from the robbery are "fine" now. The only thing left, is to re-build what was lost on my computer. That will take a bunch of time, but it's small in comparison to the other aspects we had to deal with.

And yes, I agree. Once Chamber of Secrets is complete and I can have two of the books sitting side by side, it'll give a different kind of scope for what the series as a whole will be and look like.

And thanks for the compliments on the Oz stuff. After I finish Chamber of Secrets, the next Oz painting is probably what I'll do. It can't all be Potter ;)
(1 Reply)
Hobbitten Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
TheGeekCanPaint Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
millylove1098 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So suddenly Dumbledore's a Jedi, a Whovian and a Trekkie... works for me!
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Submitted on
June 17, 2012
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