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Tolkien Illustrated: Fan Art III--Movie-Based Fan Art
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Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea

Mar 2 2007, 10:43pm

Post #26 of 46 (384 views)
Every artist has their own reason [In reply to] Can't Post

for drawing something. Some do it for money, others do it simply because they really like that character. I know one artist who draws nothing but Orlando Bloom (which actually gets a bit boring after a while).

I draw to improve. I absolutely love Lord of the Rings, both the books and the movies, so I draw all of the characters. I have done mostly portraits, but I am trying to do scenes now from the movies. And I don't do just LOTR, but portraits of my classmates, or other movie characters.

The reason I don't do scenes from the books or the characters from the movies in original poses is simple: I don't have the talent for it. I am still developing quite a bit, and I am getting a lot better as the months go by. I *have* drawn faces from my mind... 100s of them. But they are just not good enough for my own expectations, so I don't make whole bodies for them, or don't put them in a scene, and definitely do not post them up on the internet.

And even when I try and do an original, I need a model to help me with all of the proportions. For that I use stock art, and even the Hildebrandt brothers used models.. I just can't afford models, so I use whatever resources I have on the internet. I have gotten scorned using references, though. It's fine; so many professional artists use models, stock art, and other such things, so it's not very discouraging.

I'm still in China, so I need to wrap this up... I suppose my point is that I love LOTR, and that my skill level only goes to that I can look at a picture and produce it perfectly and add life to it. I am still developing my own mind-hand cordination, and I am still developing my use of models or reference pictures. But, in the future (perhaps after high school) I'd like to draw some actual, original Tolkien scenes.

BTW, thanks for adding me to your discussion, Sandicomm :)

My art site
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Mar 2 2007, 11:19pm

Post #27 of 46 (341 views)
Agreeing with WG [In reply to] Can't Post

By the way, WG, I agree with everything you said. Except for Frodo and Aragorn, everyone--even Sam--looked just as I imagined them. And that made me happy.

P.S. Re: to what Laire said about using references. There's nothing wrong with using references. But when you simply trace a photograph, then that's not art, it's theft. (CoughGregLandCough)

And you're welcome. :)

In Reply To
But I have to say, when I first saw the movies, I was stunned to find how exactly, in almost every case, the cast fit my own perceptions of Tolkien's characters, which I had loved for over 30 years. Oddly, one exception was Frodo. He'd always been my favorite character, but I'd never settled on a visualization of his face. I did have several sketches in my mind to choose from, though. One of the first things I did when I knew the movies were coming out was to pick up a magazine and turn to the cast. I didn't look in the order they were given. I turned to Gandalf first. I was very impressed. Legolas second. I was amazed. Aragorn third. WOW! They were so very close to how I'd pictured them. Then, I turned to Frodo. I was blown away. He was younger than I'd pictured him, but he exuded the beauty of Frodo's soul.

So, it's a bit difficult to draw the line between Jackson fan art and Tolkien fan art, for me.

Oh, and Sam was the big exception. Sean Astin was far better than my visualization. I'd always pictured a short version of Gomer Pyle. :)

(This post was edited by Sandicomm on Mar 2 2007, 11:23pm)


Mar 3 2007, 12:01am

Post #28 of 46 (382 views)
I'm not quibbling with Jackson's choices per se [In reply to] Can't Post

I quite liked his Gollum/Smegol especially, as I could never ever get Gollum to sit right in my head. I would try to imagine an old hobbit-like creature the way Tolkien described him, but in my head he would end up looking like Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair.


I also take the point someone else made in this thread, that Jackson himself based a lot of the settings, clothing, etc, on other artists' rendering of Tolkien themes. In particular I think of the interior shots of the Bag End front door...

Yet I still think that when I see drawing after drawing of "Frodo" who is clearly Elijah Wood, it's fan art based on Peter Jackson's work, not Tolkien per se. It's art that is the result of the powerful emotions engendered in the fan who is responding to that particular actor's portrayal of a Tolkien character, and not to Tolkien's writing itself.

And yet, I think of Jackson as a Tolkien illustrator, even when his art is clearly based on another artist's. So the line does blur a bit, I admit.


"an seileachan"

Everybody's wondering what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worried 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
No one knows for certain, and so it's all the same to me:
I think I'll just let the mystery be.
~~~~Iris DeMent

Eowyn of Penns Woods

Mar 3 2007, 12:35am

Post #29 of 46 (347 views)
Years ago [In reply to] Can't Post

I started a notebook with names and pictures of people who triggered an "Ooo...that's what my [insert character name] looks like!" It didn't have to be the spitting image, but just have that certain something to inspire me. Sometimes I copied the entire face just the way it was, because that's how I 'saw' the character. I was drawing for my own pleasure, so copying wasn't and shouldn't be an issue. I developed my own mental images, but used photos to help me capture them on paper. Some things can only come from within, but everybody learns by copying something. A live model is just a living, breathing reference photo...and can be twice as difficult to work with. ;) There are settings pics in there too.
Keep at it! I wish I could get back into it again, but I can't talk myself out of my slump *sigh*.


Mar 3 2007, 2:22am

Post #30 of 46 (339 views)
I am trying to imagine an anime Puddleglum... better stop there! :) / [In reply to] Can't Post


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)

Beren IV

Mar 3 2007, 2:24am

Post #31 of 46 (336 views)
Yes- [In reply to] Can't Post

DoN and Ainu Laire are certainly better than many of the movie-inspired Tolkien fan-artists I have been exposed to!

I will admit that part of my aversion to movie-based fan art is because of some disagreements that I have with the casting of some of the characters in the movies. In particular, I see Frodo as being equivalent to a human in his early thirties rather than late adolescenet teens to early twenties, and also I do not see Aragorn as having much in the way of facial hair. And these are the two characters I see the most fan-art of: Aragorn and Frodo. As a result, among DoN's pieces that I have seen, my favorite is her portrait of Frodo kissing the crying Sam on the forehead, and my favorite of Laire's is her 'Elf in the Woods', which has nothing to do with the movies except perhaps in being inspired in the clothing.

But anyhow, I should broaden my statement: fanart needs to have something that we have not seen before in order for it to be interesting.

Grey Havens

Mar 3 2007, 5:41am

Post #32 of 46 (313 views)
LOL! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just saw a photo of Liv on a magazine cover in the grocery store, and I almost didn't recognize her, because her lips were noticeably thinner than they were in the movies. Yeah, I know who her father is; that explains the wide mouth, but not why her lips fluctuate so much!

Grey Havens

Mar 3 2007, 5:44am

Post #33 of 46 (346 views)
Ouch! [In reply to] Can't Post

That scene with Elrond is one of my favorites in the entire movie Trilogy!

Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens

Mar 3 2007, 6:16am

Post #34 of 46 (331 views)
I'm sorry [In reply to] Can't Post

Tell me what your like about tht scene, what it mans to you... perhaps that will help me to see it differently and cringe. I would like that. Smile

Websites Directory, my drawings, Aloha & Mahalo

Nienna: “those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta

White Gull

Mar 3 2007, 5:43pm

Post #35 of 46 (332 views)
*chokes on tea* [In reply to] Can't Post


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens

Mar 3 2007, 9:50pm

Post #36 of 46 (304 views)
links to a good film artist [In reply to] Can't Post

Art of Charlie Song -Fellowship of the Ring

and The Two Towers

Websites Directory, my drawings, Aloha & Mahalo

Nienna: “those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta

White Gull

Mar 3 2007, 11:33pm

Post #37 of 46 (335 views)
I had to post this one by Goldie [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll just link the url, but it's her "Iorhael." She had a lot of others, that are well worth viewing at her website.



Grey Havens

Mar 4 2007, 2:13am

Post #38 of 46 (336 views)
Well, I love the portrayal of Elrond [In reply to] Can't Post

as a vigorous man (elf?) of action and a strong leader. The movies transformed my view of Elrond even more than they did my view of Boromir. In the book, Elrond seemed to me to be very bland; he never "came alive" on the page, and I envisioned him as elderly (even though I knew elves weren't supposed to show their age, that's how he came across to me).

For starters, I think Weaving has just the right look for the part (given how PJ envisioned the elves) (and I had the advantage of not having seen "The Matrix" before seeing FOTR.) I loved seeing him as a warrior in the flashbacks and as a wise, strong, and decisive leader in Rivendell.

In the scene in question, I think many viewers don't understand where Elrond is coming from; this has been much discussed on the Movie board, but I'll be glad to recap my argument. Accusing Elrond of "hating men" is simply wrong, and even accusing him of being "too negative" seems to me not to take into account everything that Elrond knows and has seen in the past. To me, Elrond is the ultimate realist and pragmatist, and those are qualities I admire, especially in someone in a position of power.

In this scene, Elrond simply tells it like it is. Gandalf tries to convince himself (and Elrond) that the necessary course of action (taking the Ring to Mt. Doom) might still be avoided, but Elrond brings him back to reality.

We come in in the middle of a conversation between Elrond and Gandalf; it becomes evident (at least in retrospect) that Elrond has suggested that Frodo would be a good candidate to carry the Ring out of Rivendell. Gandalf says "We can ask no more of Frodo," but Elrond then spells out the direness of the situation (one of my favorite line deliveries in all of the trilogy is "Our list of allies grows thin"). Gandalf acknowledges that the situation, and the threat to Rivendell, is even worse than Elrond thinks. Elrond points out that if the Ring stays in Rivendell, the elves will not be able to conceal or defend it; moreover, the Ring poses a danger to all races, not just the elves.

When Gandalf suggests turning to men for leadership, Elrond notes that it was the weakness of Isildur that got them into this situation in the first place, and his characterization of men as weak, scattered, divided, and leaderless is completely accurate. (Arnor is destroyed, Gondor has been in decline under the stewards for years--Osgiliath, the former capital, is in ruins, Minas Ithil has become Minas Morgul, and Ithilien has practically been ceded to the enemy--and he doesn't even know yet that Rohan is under the dominance of Saruman.) This state of affairs is especially bitter for Elrond, because he has raised Aragorn as his son and groomed him for the kingship, but (movie-)Aragorn has rejected his birthright and the responsibility it carries. If Aragorn had been willing to step up as a leader of men, Elrond might have been more optimistic about the possiblity that men could save the world, but under the present circumstances, he has no reason for optimism.

In the movie, of course, the uninitiated viewer doesn't know yet that "Strider" is the heir to the throne of Gondor, so the scene ends with a hint, by segueing from Gandalf's comment about "one who could reclaim the throne of Gondor" and Elrond's comment that "he turned from that path a long time ago" to the scene between Aragorn and Boromir with the shards of Narsil. (This is such a great transition, not just because of the segue about Aragorn, but also because we have just seen the flashback in which Isildur fails to destroy the Ring, and then we see Boromir admiring the mural of Isildur.)

We don't see the rest of the conversation between Elrond and Gandalf, but by the time the Council starts, Gandalf clearly has come to agree with Elrond that the Ring must be taken to Mordor and destroyed and that Frodo would be the best one to do this. When Frodo volunteers, Gandalf's expresson is a wonderful mixture of relief and regret -- relief that Frodo has spontaneously volunteered, but regret for what he knows Frodo will have to go through.

Grey Havens

Mar 4 2007, 2:18am

Post #39 of 46 (320 views)
And here's a bonus — [In reply to] Can't Post

Widfara (RIP) was another admirer of this scene (in particular, Hugo Weaving and how he said "thin"); here's the parody she used as a footer for a while:

Gandalf and Elrond watch Wídfara and Sam from the balcony in Elrond's study
Elrond: Her strength returns.
Gandalf: That belly button piercing will never fully heal. She will carry it the rest of her life.
Elrond: And yet to have come so far, still bearing the belly button ring, the quizmistress has shown extraordinary resilience to its evil.
Gandalf: It is a burden she should never have had to bear. We can ask no more of Wídfara.
Wídfara, overhearing and shouting up: Hey, G! *waves* What’d you want to ask me?
Gandalf, confused: N...Nothing. *attempting to stick to the script* Go on, Elrond, with what you were saying.
Elrond, startled: Um, er... Oh! Gandalf, the enemy is moving. Sauron's forces are massing in the east — his eye is fixed on Rivendell. And Saruman you tell me has betrayed us. Our list of allies grows thin.
Wídfara, moving toward the balcony and shouting up: Hey, Ronny! I love how you say "thin." Say it again!
Elrond, pleased, looking over the railing: Thin!
Wídfara, to Sam: Hot dang!
Elrond, coming to his senses: Gandalf, that belly button ring cannot stay here.
Gandalf: *snort* Ya think?

Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens

Mar 4 2007, 3:59am

Post #40 of 46 (330 views)
Thank you for your wonderful rendition of the scene [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sorry I missed all the great movie discussions.

I did not mean to imply that Hugo Weaving is wrong for the role. I did see "The Matrix" before FotR, so my experience was colored by that, I actually like him as Elrond most of the time.

I get everything you say. And agree with most of it, especially the virile "warrior in the flashbacks and as a wise, strong, and decisive leader" part. I have at least two 6" Elrond action figures, one as a warrior Sly (one of my favorites). I too love the flashback scenes and the tender scenes between him and Arwen.

It makes sense that Elrond is arguing for the ring to Mordor, I just have trouble buying that at that particular moment that he would be arguing that *Frodo* must be the one to go. He doesn't say those words, but they are said immediately and in response to what Gandalf had just said about not asking anything more of him, so the implication is there that he is pushing for Frodo.

I think all (Gandalf & Erond) would agree that Frodo would be the best choice because he has demonstrated that "resistance to its evil". I just don't think Elrond would push it, that he would allow the choice to occur in its own time . . . wait for the council to reveal that importance to Frodo and let him have the opportunity to choose it freely,

I get the feeling sometimes that the scene may have been cut in some way right at that point, as though a sentence or two were missing. It seems like the beat is off. Actors have little control over what or how a scene gets cut or which take get use.

Maybe its the movie-makers pushing the audience to see how important it is that Frodo go, so that they are prepared when the choice is made (so they don't have to use voice-overs to explain things, considered a no-no in movie making).

I saw the movie with a friend, who, like you, did not see the Matrix, ever (not her kind of thing). She teaches a course in Tolkien so knows the books really well. She doesn't have a problem with the scene at all. So go figure. Maybe I have watched so many movies all my life, that I feel the beat of lines too well.

I thank you for that great bonus. That is really funny. And thank you for trying to help me see the scene through new eyes. We'll see if it worked the next time I watch the movie. I'm crossing my fingers.

Websites Directory, my drawings, Aloha & Mahalo

Nienna: “those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta

(This post was edited by Daughter of Nienna on Mar 4 2007, 4:00am)

Grey Havens

Mar 4 2007, 6:40am

Post #41 of 46 (325 views)
I don't think there's any conflict [In reply to] Can't Post

between this scene and the idea that Elrond would "wait for the council to reveal that importance to Frodo and let him have the opportunity to choose it freely." Elrond is already completely convinced that the Ring must be taken to Mt. Doom and destroyed (though Gandalf seems to need convincing), so for Elrond, the only question is how to get it there, and it seems perfectly natural (in fact, almost a no-brainer) for him to think of Frodo, who has, after all, safely carried the Ring from Hobbiton to Rivendell. But the fact that he suggests this to Gandalf doesn't mean that he intends to directly ask Frodo to do it. My impression is that after their conversation, they would both be hoping that Frodo would volunteer.

I know what you mean about the rhythm of a scene, but I don't get that sense, myself. Of course, I wouldn't mind if it were longer! (I'd like to spend a lot more time in Elrond's library!) It's possible there was more that was cut (maybe at the beginning of the scene), but I don't feel that anything is missing, and the movie flows very well into and, especially, out of this scene.

As long as we're admiring Elrond, I've got to say that my very favorite moment in ROTK is when Elrond confronts Aragorn with the reforged sword and tells him to grow up!

Beren IV

Mar 5 2007, 1:16am

Post #42 of 46 (378 views)
Supposedly [In reply to] Can't Post

and I'm not sure if this has happened or if it will happen or if it is even true, but...

There were, supposedly, a number of mishaps/jokes during the shooting. So, for that particular scene, rumor has it that somebody found some sunglasses. And so, when Elrond took his hood off, his words were: "So, Mr. Anderson, your Dúnedain disguise does not fool me!"Sly

Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens

Mar 5 2007, 10:35am

Post #43 of 46 (289 views)
I am glad you popped in [In reply to] Can't Post

I messed you here this week.

Congratulations again to you and your family on th new little sister from China. I love your story. And I wan tto see more of yoru art.

Websites Directory, my drawings, Aloha & Mahalo

Nienna: “those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Mar 5 2007, 10:37am

Post #44 of 46 (284 views)
The Matrix [In reply to] Can't Post

I had the advantage of not having seen "The Matrix" before seeing FOTR.

I think this is key. I had seen The Matrix a few times and I think that Weaving's portrayal, though excellent in many parts, lapses into his Matrix persona, especially when he's being serious and grave. Especially this line "The Hobbit has shown great resilience". It's Agent Smith talking, not Elrond, and it threw me out of the movie for a moment.

I do agree about his role in the Last Alliance, it was essential to setting up the elves as ancient and to seeing them as not just moping around in sanctuarys, which they certainly do in the books.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)

Goldie Took
The Shire

Mar 5 2007, 11:15pm

Post #45 of 46 (259 views)
different [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm probably a bit different because I saw FOTR before reading the books.. but then I read them all several times before TT's came out .. my first fan art pieces were attempts at getting my visions on paper before the movies came out (even though I love them they can overshadow)

and my very first piece was done to show a Torn sib what the fell beast looked like to me http://darklingwoods.com/...andtheWitchking.html

then I just couldn't stop!

Grey Havens

Mar 8 2007, 10:56pm

Post #46 of 46 (295 views)
When I saw the Matrix [In reply to] Can't Post

after seeing FOTR, I didn't see any particular similarity between Weaving's portrayals. He can't help being the same actor, but when I watch FOTR after having seen Matrix, I still don't think of Agent Smith at all. I think Weaving's line readings are absolutely perfect in FOTR.

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