queens property

A lesser known tiara that once belonged to the Romanian royal family, probably to Queen Marie, now a property of country’s Central Bank. Queen Marie of Romania was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. 

The tiara (platinum, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds,) is exhibited at the National History Museum in Bucharest. The Royal Family had a relatively large holding of jewels and other precious artifacts, most of them unfortunately lost because were stored in Moscow during the WWI and fell into the hands of the subsequent Bolshevik regime.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to draw the queen

I have two main methods of art production
Sketching and then immediately painting said sketch
Or lining the sketch and then adding color

Though I’d try and test out both side by side!
I did not realize how similar they would be…

Feel free to let me know which one is your favorite!


Sargent’s Boston View by Bart Foster

Father’s Day Fic feat. Oliver Queen

Whew, I just typed this up in the last two hours. I hope it’s not awful. Unbeta’d.

The overgrown grass and weeds crunched under the weight of Oliver’s steps, having already dried out in the June heat.

The familiar feeling of guilt washed over him as he took in the overgrown landscape around him, evidence of his neglect towards the Queen property.

Today he had bigger issues to deal with than guilt. Today he had to deal with fear, all-consuming fear and unlike anything he’d felt since the Gambit went down so many years ago.

So Oliver went to the only place, the only person, who might be able to help him, relate to him in the slightest.

Oliver sat on the ground and pulled his knees up to his chest as he leaned his head against the tombstone over an empty grave.

With a bit of venom in his movements, Oliver tossed aside an old, dried up bouquet and watched it land on the gravesite next to his father’s, anger towards his mother bubbling just under the overwhelming fear that had been mounting for the past few weeks.

His mother had taken another secret to the grave with her, one that Oliver discovered three and a half weeks ago when a social worker showed up at his and Felicity’s flat in the city, a ten year old boy, with his blue eyes, in tow.

Felicity had been a saint since then, playing the middle man and helping smooth out conversations between him and Connor.

And when he did see her waiver, the anxiety of being someone’s quasi step-mother peeking out beneath her collected exterior, she would turn to her mother who had become more and more of a presence in Felicity’s life since the past year’s debacle with Felicity’s father.

Oliver didn’t have that, and he had come to believe after years of fighting and surviving, that he would never need to hear the comforting and reassuring words of a parent.

But he was wrong, so wrong.

What he wouldn’t give to hear the deep tenor of his father’s voice, even if it was in the form of a reprimand for screwing up again, because behind every lecture was the sure and steady message that he could be more, do more, be better. For a moment, he would be able to feel like a child again, unburdened and calmed by the knowledge of his father’s ability to catch him if he fell.

He was envious of that, especially today when Felicity was doting on her mother for playing the role of mother and father, worthy of both days set aside to celebrate parents.

Now he was in the role of father. Now he had to be the comforter and the calm presence to a frightened ten year old.

Except how could he parent when he was the one frightened? How could he be somebody’s entire world when he’d allowed the world of his friends, his family, and his city, to be upturned repeatedly?

The answer, he sought from a man long since gone from this world.

“Dad…tell me what to do, dad.” Oliver pleaded, his eyes locked on rough and calloused hands folded together in his lap.

Those hands had brought so much death, feeling the life source drain from a fellow human’s body on more occasions than he could count now.

What good were these hands?

“How do I hold him? How can I tell him that everything will be alright when there are more and more monsters in this world, when I watched half the Glades fall, when the city was almost nuked and destroyed by super soldiers, when a single man almost killed the entire city with a virus, when I almost lost her to her own father…her own father?”

Oliver’s thoughts spiraled as he waited for an answer that would never come.

“You just have to be present, Queen.” Came a voice seemingly out of nowhere.

Oliver startled, searching for the voice. When he looked to his right over his shoulder, he could see legs covered by the dark blue of a pleated uniform belonging to the police captain.

“How’d you know I was here?” Oliver asked, clearing his throat and trying to push down emotions that were swirling just below the surface as he stood.

“Well, at lunch when Connor tried to wish you a happy father’s day, it was obvious you were scared shitless. It was written all over your face. How you managed to conceal your identity all those years, I’ll never know.” Quentin said with the shake of his head.

When Oliver didn’t have anything to say to that, the police captain continued.

“Felicity knew you’d probably be here and I thought, heck, maybe this old father of two might be able to help Starling’s very own hero with something other than a drug bust.” Quentin offered with the shrug of his shoulder.

Oliver scoffed at his words, at the very idea of Quentin Lance, of all people, calling him a hero.

“I think we’ve both established I’m not a hero, Detective, much less a father.”

“That’s the thing, Oliver, being a hero and being a parent are more alike than you may think.”

“Yea, and I’m not a hero.” Oliver ground out stubbornly.

Lance put his hand on Oliver’s shoulder, squeezing it in that patented fatherly way.

“I may not have always been able to see it, but you have been present, been here for this city ever since you got off that god forsaken island. You’ve called the city out when it was allowing injustices to occur. You’ve been a steady reassuring voice in times of chaos and fear. You’ve been a protector, a guardian against those wishing to do this city harm.” Quentin paused, letting his words sink in.

“And you did all of this for thousands of people. Parenting isn’t much different, except it’s just for one person, or in my case two. All you have to do is be there, and right now there’s a timid and shy ten year old across town waiting for his father to be there.”

Oliver gulped and let his watery eyes meet Lance’s for the first time.

“What am I supposed to say to him? How do I talk to him?” Oliver asked with all the vulnerability of a child asking for guidance, unburdening himself and allowing Lance to shoulder some of that weight.

“It’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. All he needs to do is to feel your love and know you’re there, no matter what.”

Oliver felt his anxiety fall away, and some of his fear, but he suspected that that would always be there now.

Nodding his head, Oliver stuck out his hand to shake the Captain’s hand in gratitude.

The words were lost to him as the man who spent half of his life hating him, pulled him into a hug, speaking warmly into his ear.

“Let’s go see that beautiful boy of yours.”


Captain Lance and Oliver returned to the flat that the recently engaged couple had acquired in the city.

Lance made his way to the kitchen island and wrapped his arm around Donna’s shoulder, watching her watch Felicity and Connor duel against each other in a game of chess.

She murmured a soft thank you into his embrace when she saw the look of relief pass across her daughter’s face, a soft smile taking its place.

“Hey you.” Felicity said, meeting Oliver’s eyes with a kind and knowing look.

“Hey to you.” He said, her presence already soothing his apprehensiveness.

Upon hearing his father’s voice, Connor’s head jerked around, tears pricking at his eyes as he realized the last person on earth that was supposed to take care of him and love him, had returned and had not abandoned him.

He leapt from his seat and ran into Oliver’s arms, who despite his strength, staggered under the force of the young boy’s embrace.

Words of insecurity and doubt tumbled from Connor’s mouth.

“Dad, I mean Oliver.” He said tentatively. He tried to pull back from the awkward hug, but Oliver’s arms finally returned the embrace, holding him solidly in his arms, refusing to let go.

Oliver felt something click into place when Connor stopped resisting and curled into him, holding on to him with a strength that be-lied his true size.

Connor continued to mumble into his father’s torso, making it difficult for Oliver to hear him. He was able to catch the wary apology come from the young boy’s mouth.

Something fierce surged through Oliver at his words, so full of regret and guilt, and so similar to his own common practice of trying to shoulder the blame for everything. He never wanted his son to feel like he could do something that would lessen his love for him or his desire to be with him.

Suddenly Oliver was on his knees so he was the one looking up at his son, all the while clasping his small hands in his, feeling them dwarfed by his massive ones. Instead of being afraid that his giant murderous hands might harm Connor, he realized the opposite. They were big enough to comfort him and protect him. These once bloodied hands serve a new purpose now.

The same shades of blue met as the two stared at one another, seemingly in awe of each other’s presence.

“You never, ever have to say you’re sorry. And I mean it. Especially when you did nothing wrong today. Okay?” Oliver clarified in his best impression of his own father’s soothing voice.

“But I made you leave and I called you Dad, which is weird, we barely know each other.” Connor argued, just as stubborn as his father.

“You didn’t make me do anything. I’m the one that should be apologizing for getting so overwhelmed. I’ve never been someone’s dad before, and I definitely have never been wished a happy father’s day before. This is all new to me.” Oliver tried to explain, but felt like he failed to do so at all.

And then Connor said something that completely turned everything on its head and made him sound wise beyond his years.

“I’ve never had a dad before. This is all new to me too.” He confessed shyly.

Oliver realized then that they were in this together, for better or worse. They would need to take the time to learn from one another and grow into their new roles.

“Listen to me closely. I may not always know what’s going to happen. I may not always know the right thing to say. But I do know three things.” Oliver took a breath and looked over Connor’s shoulder to see Felicity staring back, her hand clasped over her mouth and her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. He gave her a light smile before he continued.

“I will do whatever it takes to always be here for you, no matter what, and I already love you unconditionally. Never doubt that.” Oliver proclaimed.

Connor sniffed lightly, his father’s words wrapping him up in a warm blanket of safety and security.

“And the third thing?” He asked skeptically.

“You can call me Dad whenever you want.” Oliver’s voice managed to choke out between stuttering breaths.

Connor threw his arms around Oliver’s neck. For the boy who had just lost his mother, who had been uprooted from the only home he had ever known, those were the most comforting words he could hear, and for the first time since his mother’s accident, the world didn’t seem to be spinning out of control.

Father and son held each other tightly, neither one of them wanting to let go of their newfound home.

Finally, Felicity’s voice broke them out of their emotional trance.

“Hey, you better get back over here kiddo, I was just about steal your bishop.”

“We can’t have that, huh Connor? No one bests a Queen man or a Hawke boy.” Oliver asked lightly, leading him back over to the coffee table where their chess match had been underway.

“No, she’s right. She’s totally about to steal my bishop. What do I do?” Connor asked as he tucked his legs under him in front of the game.

“First, we need to protect your queen. The queen is the most important and most powerful piece on the board. Are you ready to defend her at all costs?” Oliver said in a mock grave tone.

Connor erupted into giggles and got lost in the methodical world of chess once again.

Oliver watched him tease and joke with Felicity, a calm serenity settling over him as he gazed at the two most important people in his life.

He stared at the face of his son, full of light and happiness, and he discovered his new mission in life.

He would spend the rest of his days doing whatever it takes to love him, protect him, and to keep that smile on his face, on his beautiful boy.


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