I had previously posted this on LiveJournal. I am in the process of reposting material on my own site (independantly hosted database). But since I am planning on posting more of my artwork for Mythlore, now that I have finally scanned it all, I thought I would start with pieces that were already completed.
“Ungoliant Drinking the Light of the Two Trees” (from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion) was done when I had put in about 10 years of service as Art Editor for Mythlore. That duty had frequently included doing head pieces for specific papers, and many full page illustrations, because “we needed some.” By the time I came to this one, I was getting a bit burnt out on the duties, which led me to make more stylized choices for the drawing.
I had previously done two illustrations which had featured the Two Trees, so I had already made decisions on what they looked like, particularly the flowers. I certainly drew from Tolkien’s own description of them. But because I had previously done them, the preliminary sketches focused less on the flowers of the trees and more on figuring out what to do with the giant spider.
Looking at the sketch now, what interests me is that compositionally, I had originally intended the arc of still lit flowers to sweep leftward, away from Ungoliant. But when it came time to do the actual drawing, the “arc of light” moved inward on the page, toward the center.
I had previously done a drawing of Glorfindel fighting the Balrog (from the Fall of Gondolin in The Silmarillion) and had gotten intrigued by the concept of trying to render “radiating darkness”. Here I chose to try it as ripples moving out from Ungoliant.
All in all, I was fairly satisfied with the picture. I didn’t think it was a great effort, and the web looks rather mathematical. But it was okay.
Recently, after scanning the picture, I experimented with some computer coloring of the image. You’ll see the results in the next post.