13 posts tagged illustration
“Silmarillion Chapter 4: Of Thingol and Melian”
“Then an enchantment fell on him, and he stood still still; and afar off beyond the voices of the lómelindi he heard the voice of Melian, and it filled all his heart with wonder and desire. He forgot utterly all his people and the purposes of his mind, and following the birds under the shadow of the trees he passed deep into Nan Elmoth and was lost. But he came at last to a glade open to the stars, and there Melian stood; and out of the darkness he looked at her, and the light of Aman was in her face.”
Thingol and Melian are the High King and Queen of Beleriand, and functionally all of Middle-Earth in their day. Melian is a Maia, the race of spirits that include Sauron. Tolkien gives very little description of her, so I decided to keep a slightly otherworldly appearance, with horns like a faun or forest spirit. She’s actually much wiser than her husband and much more joyful, so I wanted to make sure that imagery held.
Thingol is the King of the Sindar, the “Grey Elves” who stayed in Middle-Earth (though Thingol himself made the journey to Aman once). As the tallest of the Men and Elves and one of the mightiest in battle, I wanted to keep his form larger and imposing. Older Elves can grow beards, and I’ve decided that any male Elf who was among the first to awaken (this includes Thingol) will be sporting a beard.
Previous Silmarillion entries:
- Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
- Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
- The Monsters of Middle-Earth
- The Free Peoples of the First Age
- Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
- Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
- Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
Silmarillion Project Part 5: Chapter 1 - “Of the Beginning of Days”
- Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
- Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
- Part 3: “The Monsters of Middle-Earth”
- Part 4: “The Free Peoples of the First Age”
We’re finally into the Silmarillion proper! Chapter 1 deals with the details of the shaping of Arda (Earth). In the beginning, the Valar attempted to assemble Arda, but were constantly at odds with Melkor, who warred against them to a standstill. This persisted until the last of the Valar, Tulkas, descended into Arda as well, and together they managed to scare Melkor off for the time being.
What followed was an era of peace, and to light the world (in addition to the stars), the Valar constructed two titanic lamps at opposite ends of Arda. In the middle, they resided on the Isle of Almaren, which I’ve illustrated above, along with one of the lamps. In the foreground is Tulkas himself, ever vigilant.
Melkor ultimately returned while Tulkas slept and toppled the lamps. The destruction was so devastating that Arda itself was deformed, and the Valar retreated to the Western continent of Aman, leaving Middle-Earth to the dark powers.
Notes: I find the character of Tulkas pretty fascinating, as he’s initially the only member of the Valar who entered Arda because there was a conflict, not to contribute to the building of the world. He is also one of the only Valar never to be duped by Melkor, as he seems to have at least a moderate understanding of evil (a rare trait among the Valar). Here I’ve depicted him mostly in silhouette, along with some vaguely humanoid Valar in the distance.
Silmarillion Project Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
This is the beginning of a side project I’ve been working on, where each week I’ll be posting an illustration that corresponds with a different chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion.
The Music of the Ainur is essentially the beginning of Tolkien’s creation myth, where the Earth is slowly formed into being by ethereal song. Nothing too fancy just yet, but tune in next week as things heat up!
I painted my sketch earlier because I can. Vonnie’s got season tickets to the gun show.
Warmup drawing: did you know that Vonnie was buff? It’s true! She has a very high fitness score as determined by the Department of Kilter.
Some creatures who will appearing very soon in Dark Science…
Note: Kim is just there for scale.
Various aristocrats from Nephilopolis. Can you guess what department each person works for?