Thranduil in Winter

“But there was in Thranduil’s heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor and could not forget it. If ever he looked south its memory dimmed the light of the Sun.”
JRR Tolkien, Unfinished Tales

The Elvenking in Winter (book version)
Acrylics, pure silver leaf, and 22k gold leaf on paper; 21×29 cms.
Prints etc. available here.

Thranduil in Winter, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Work in progress:

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The Raven King

John Uskglass, the Raven King, Soni Alcorn-Hender

John Uskglass, the Raven King

“Even the Raven King – who was not a fairy, but an Englishman –
had a somewhat regrettable habit of abducting
men and women and taking them to live with him
in his castle in the Other Lands.”

The Raven King, with bird and book. Inspired by the character from exquisite Strange & Norrell by Susanna Clarke. (The audiobook is particularly good.)

Acrylics, pencil, liquid gold and silver, sterling silver leaf, and old English magic on paper 21×30 cms. Prints available here.

Fëanor, spirit of Fire

Fëanor with Silmarils, sword, and blacksmith hammer, illustration by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Brought to life with a little animated light and the influences of creation and destruction.

Treebeard

A tree-herder, or ‘Ent’ inspired by the Big Belly oak of Savernake Forest in Wiltshire, and the excellent walking (and talking) trees from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Mixed media on A4 200gsm paper, 21 x 29.7 cm, or 8.3 x 11.7 inches.

Prints and shiny things available here.

Treebeard, inspired by the 'Big Belly' oak of Savernake forest, painting by Soni Alcorn-Hender
Treebeard
Treebeard and Ent sketches, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Treebeard and Ent sketches,

Fëanor and Curufin

Father and son (one of them) with the border design I made especially for Elf portraits
(you can see it being made here.)

Fëanor, with border, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Fëanor whose name meant ‘spirit of fire’.

Curufin son of Fëanor, with border, Soni Alcorn-Hender
“Curufin the crafty … who was of perilous mood.”

Both from JRR Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

Thingol the Elf King

Thingol upon his throne, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Thingol, King of the Grey Elves, from JRR Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

“In Beleriand, King Thingol upon his throne was as the lords of the Maiar whose power is at rest,
whose joy is as an air that they breathe in all their days,
whose thought flows in a tide untroubled from the heights to the deeps.”

Thingol throned in his grand and secret underground kingdom The pillars were said to be sculpted like great beech trees, with golden lamps hung from all their branches.
In the frame, either side of him are symbols based on those for Melian (his wife) and Luthien (his daughter), and above him his doom: the ‘Nauglamir’ necklace with a Silmaril in the middle.

He can also ornament your own underground lair, with pretty printed things from my RedBubble shop here.

Thingol (work in progress) by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Thingol (work in progress)

Thingol (detail) by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Thingol (detail)

 

Eöl the Dark Elf

Eöl the Dark Elf, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Eöl the Dark Elf from JRR Tolkien’s Silmarillion.:

“But Eöl, though stooped by his smithwork, was no Dwarf, but a tall Elf of a high kin of the Teleri, noble though grim of face; and his eyes could see deep into shadows and dark places.”

If you’d like a print of his glowering suspicion, you can find them in all sizes and finishes here.

This glowering gentleman was painted in a different way (for me): sketched entirely in paint, no line drawing at all until the end for details.
An interesting exercise, though riddled with mistakes and horror and doom. :)

Eöl the Dark Elf (detail), by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Eöl (detail)

Eöl the dark elf, work in progress

An experiment in pencil-less sketching, where instead of drawing lines and then painting, the whole thing is sketched in paint with brushes, no pencils involved until at the end for details. It’s an interesting exercise to create something just using colour, shape, and brush-stroke.

The character is an experiment too, as I’m trying to get a clearer idea of how Tolkien’s (book) elves should look.
This particular gent is/will be ‪‎Eöl‬ the dark elf from the ‪‎Silmarillion.

Eöl the dark elf, work in progress, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Painting in the basic figure using a broad brush and big strokes.

Eöl the dark elf, work in progress by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Still just painted at this stage, no drawn lines. Using armour references from both Ancient Greece and early European Medieval (circa 13th c.) And also spikes.

Eöl the dark elf, work in progress by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Now the drawing stage begins to bring out the details, starting with his face.

Dream & Death

Sandman commission:

Two of the Dreaming (with Matthew the Raven). The frame includes white lilies for Death and her ankh below; and the poppies of Morpheus for Dream as well as his helm above. This was destined for a long-time Queen fan, so Death rests upon a gravestone in honour of Freddie Mercury (with his true name). Dream stands over the statue of a fallen angel…

9×11 inches, mixed media on treated canvasboard.
All praise, honour, and little cakes to Neil Gaiman for the creation of such interesting characters.

Dream and Death, The Sandman, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Dream and Death

Dream and Death detail, The Sandman, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Dream and Death detail