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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Fan Art:
Mirkwood Elf Design - Need Help!

The Elf Artist
The Shire

Jul 19 2011, 4:26pm

Post #1 of 15 (1989 views)
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Mirkwood Elf Design - Need Help! Can't Post

 Salutations all!

In between jobs, I decided to satiate my ever-growing appetite for all things Lord of the Rings by trying my hand at designing a Mirkwood elf costume before the film comes out (and see how far off the design mark I get. Tongue). After re-reading The Hobbit, I wrote down some key notes on what I believe would go into a Mirkwood elf design...

  • Woodland colours - browns, greens (I think greys, although earthy, are predominantly in the Lothlorien elf designs)
  • Gleaming hair twined with flowers - Do you think they'd be real flowers or jewellery?
  • Green and white gems on their collars and belts
  • Not as wise or noble as the other elves, but highly skilled and dangerous
  • The Mirkwood elves are still very much part of the world around them. While the rest of the elves are fading and going to the West, the Silvan and Sindarin elves in Mirkwood still thrive, including interacting freely with men (Laketown).
With those things in mind, I set out to design the costumes. (Since I am female and actually hope to make the costume, these designs are for a girl) I tried to keep in line with what Ngila Dickinson and the Weta artist drew up for the original LOTR elves with their willowy appearance, floating nature, and designs evoking the nature arround them. No one design is pulling my heartstrings just yet. However, it's been a long time since I was a Tolkien nerd so I would love to have some sharper eyes pick apart these designs. Only one can win! (And feel free to ask questions. I have a design process behind each costume design and very specific reasons why I chose to draw each on the way I did.) Without further ado, here they are...

1


2


3


4


5 and 6


7 and 8


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jul 21 2011, 4:01pm)


enginemonkey
The Shire


Jul 19 2011, 10:01pm

Post #2 of 15 (1426 views)
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Splendid! [In reply to] Can't Post

These are so lovely! They have a lovely movement to them. Do you do this sort of thing in your professional life?

# 1 definitely does it for me. I especially like the arms and the neckline. And yes, I think the flowers would be real not jewelery. Honeysuckle and lilies would be my guess.

See my artwork here:
http://www.amandaclegg.co.uk
http://enginemonkey.deviantart.com/


Gimli'sBox
Gondor


Jul 19 2011, 11:23pm

Post #3 of 15 (1414 views)
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1, 3, and 5 are my favorites. You did an excellent job. [In reply to] Can't Post

I am also interested if you do this in your professional life. It looks like you do! And if you don't, you really should!Smile

Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing they evidently prefer.

That was just a bit of fun really. -Loki, Thor


Jonathan the Elf
Rivendell


Jul 20 2011, 12:47am

Post #4 of 15 (1395 views)
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Need help, Okay [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Character.htm

This is what I used to make My mirkwood cloak.

enjoy

Jonathan the Elf (fan)

“How shall a man judge what to do in such times? Yea ask. As he ever has judged, good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another thing among . It is a man’s part to discern them, as much as in the Golden woods an in his own house” said Aragorn


ByThorinsBeard
Rohan

Jul 20 2011, 2:55am

Post #5 of 15 (1482 views)
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1, 2 , 3 are wonderful, but 2 is stunning :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Elf Artist, what amazing work. These are lovely and very professional looking designs.

I quite like the (presumably leather) midsection. It gives an almost ethereal-woodsy armor vibe without distracting from the "willowy" flow of the first two designs. And the angles of broidery on 2 are particularly beautiful.

The 3rd design is very simple and plays down the elegance we normally associate with Tolkien elves, very well done.

If it were me (and gracious I wish it was), I'd go with #2.

A suggestion for one of your questions: Since Mirkwood elves are part of the world around them I think they employ real flowers for ornamentation rather than jewels.

Lovely, lovely work.

Please keep us posted.


The Elf Artist
The Shire


Jul 20 2011, 1:59pm

Post #6 of 15 (1417 views)
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Design Thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks everyone!

On note to inquiries, yes, I do do this for a living. I am mainly a storyboard artist, but I also dabble in costume design, concept art, and illustration. If you're curious, here is my website (though my apologies as I'm still working on it, there are pages missing)... http://www.wix.com/talkissheep/brianalamb

I think I might have drew myself into a bit of a design hole here. After re-reading certain passages in the Hobbit, there seems to be a few distinct areas that an elf could be in (and thus requires difference outfits). Ex: Elves at the moonlit dinners, elf musician, the raft elves, elves in Thranduil's court, elven jailers, elven warriors/scouts. I think I should probably settle on which one of those groups I'd want to the design to fit in rather than designing for all!

I feel like the first 2 designs I did with the layered midsection would lean more towards the raft elves (who I imagine to be slightly less ethereal than those in Mirkwood due to their labour and trading proximity to Laketown). I've observed that in the costume designs from LOTR, the female elves (Arwen, Galadriel, and the extras), actually have very simplistically designed gowns. The fabric is was makes them luxuriously ethereal. Eowyn's gowns seemed to have more structure. So I added in a bit more structure to these designs to possibly showcase their design influence from/with the men of Laketown.

Oh what to do, what to do...at least we have it settled that they would use real flowers! :P

A couple quick side questions as I'm new to this forum...

1.) Can you guys see my avatar? It's showing up on my profile, but not on any of my posts.
2.) Is there a "reply" all button for these threads or can you only hit the "Reply to this post" button?


Gimli'sBox
Gondor


Jul 20 2011, 7:45pm

Post #7 of 15 (1375 views)
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I really like you website. You are very talented! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
A couple quick side questions as I'm new to this forum...

1.) Can you guys see my avatar? It's showing up on my profile, but not on any of my posts.
2.) Is there a "reply" all button for these threads or can you only hit the "Reply to this post" button?



I can see you avatar just fine. (I like how you made the background color the same as on the forum.)

What I usually do is reply to my original post and say I'm replying to everyone. Some one else might have a better way of doing it. Not sure. That's just how I work.Smile


Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing they evidently prefer.

That was just a bit of fun really. -Loki, Thor


The Elf Artist
The Shire


Jul 21 2011, 12:42pm

Post #8 of 15 (1388 views)
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More Designs! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Gimli's Box!

After looking over my designs, I feel like I strayed a bit from the more rustic, rugged, and presumably more active lifestyle of the Mirkwood elves. So I studied Legolas' costume as well as the Galadhrim to sketch these next four designs. Design 5 from the previous post is the one I lean towards the most. It's a combination of Legolas' costume, Arwen's chase dress (as I liked the idea of Mirkwood female elves have shorter length skirts rather than pools of fabric dragging on the ground should they need/want to make a hasty retreat from distrustful strangers entering their woods), as well as an unused costume design from Ngila Dickinson for Arwen's riding dress. So here's the next 4 variations...

9


10


11


12



I think I can narrow it down a little more. #7 feels more like it would be more at home on Elrond's back or one of the Rivendell Noldor elves. #8 feels a little too complicated in structure for the elves. I could see it more in a Rohan or Gondorian design. #9 feels TOO close to Legolas's costume and #12 feels TOO close to Arwen's chase dress.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 21 2011, 4:04pm

Post #9 of 15 (1371 views)
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Sorry - your pictures are way too large [In reply to] Can't Post

I've removed them, so please resize them and re-post as a reply to your original message.

Here's the section from our FAQ on picture limitations:

The specific guidelines for posting pictures within the message body of your post are as follows: the maximum size of any picture posted should be 525 wide x 400 pixels high (or a better measure is: 210,000 pixels squared - width x height), but no wider than 670 pixels. The maximum file size per picture should be 45k. The cumulative file size of all pictures in one post should not exceed 225k (5 pictures of the maximum filesize of 45k, 10 pictures of a filesize of 22.5k, etc.). These guidelnes apply to pictures hosted on other sites as well as to pictures posted as attachments to your post. For more detailed help on posting within a message body, check out Magpie's step-by-step TORn Image Posting Guide.

And a link to Magpie's site in case it doesn't work in the above paragraph: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...tingImages/index.htm


terrymerry
Rivendell


Jul 21 2011, 10:17pm

Post #10 of 15 (1362 views)
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I got to see your designs... [In reply to] Can't Post

I got to see your designs...before they disappeared... and they were all really wonderful ... Cool


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jul 22 2011, 1:16am

Post #11 of 15 (1369 views)
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I liked number 3 [In reply to] Can't Post

and I think #7, but I can't remember for certain if 7 was the other one I liked (since now they've been removed).

the mid-sections on numbers 1 and 2 seemed too much like armor to belong on a dress that clearly isn't intended to see battle

I'm fond of #10 from this batch too


..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar


ByThorinsBeard
Rohan


Jul 24 2011, 3:28pm

Post #12 of 15 (1413 views)
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10 and 11 [In reply to] Can't Post

Like the willowy sleeves on 10.

But I'm still partial to the designs 1and 2, I like the armored look myself. Gives a more woodsy appearance, and definitely the look of an elf maiden who can handle herself.

That's just me, naturally. But your designs are stunning, I'm sure whatever you decide upon Elf Artist, it will be very beautiful and cool.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


The Elf Artist
The Shire


Aug 3 2011, 1:59am

Post #13 of 15 (1365 views)
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Resized Designs 1-8 [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh boy has it taken me a while to get back around to this post. I'm still stuck on trying to figure out which design is my favourite. With that being said, here's the resized Designs 1-8. (Moderators, let me know if this sizing is acceptable or not. I apologise for earlier!)

1


2


3


4


5 and 6


7 and 8



(This post was edited by entmaiden on Aug 3 2011, 5:04pm)


The Elf Artist
The Shire


Aug 3 2011, 2:37pm

Post #14 of 15 (1288 views)
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Last Chance! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hm, I posted last night, but this thread is still on page 2. Does anyone know why that is?

Last chance to cast votes before I start making one of these designs! I choose Friday!


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Aug 3 2011, 5:03pm

Post #15 of 15 (1572 views)
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Sorry - they are still too big. [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a link to our Image Posting Guidelines.

I kept two of the images since they are only slightly larger than our limits, but the rest had to go since they were too large.


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Aug 3 2011, 5:05pm)

 
 

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