Battle Under the Trees

An Elf archer shoots his way to his fallen comrade, and yet it seems he still arrives too late.

Battle Under the Trees (Elves & Orcs) by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Battle Under the Trees (Elves & Orcs)

Battle Under the Trees (Elves & Orcs) detail, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Battle Under the Trees (Elves & Orcs) detail,

Prints and shiny things available in my RedBubble shop here.

9×11 in acrylics, and gold and silver leaf, and a smattering of orc blood on primed canvas-board.
Original painting printed as a trading card for the set from Perna Studios’: ‘Spellcasters II, Enchanted Realms’.

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Hobbits in… Cumbria?

A Cumbrian landscape (Buttermere) becomes a scene from Lord of the Rings: Strider leading the Hobbits from the Midgewater Marshes to the Weather Hills (where Frodo will have an unfortunate encounter with a Wraith). But for now, the Hobbits greatest concern is getting that ‘fool of a Took’ across the stream without him bathing in it (and pulling poor Merry in after). Frodo intends to help, as soon as he can stop laughing.
Strider and Sam (with Bill the pony) are ahead.

Acrylics and pencils on hot-press pastel paper, 21×29 cms

Prints and pretty things available on RedBubble here.

Midgewater Marshes to the Weather Hills, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Midgewater Marshes to the Weather Hills

Sauron triptych

A Dark Lord’s Progress :
Friend / pupil/ follower / servant to Melkor.
Teacher / manipulator / traitor / torturer / murderer of Celebrimbor.
Prisoner / most trusted advisor to Ar-Pharazôn.

Sauron with Melkor, Celebrimbor, and Ar-Pharazôn by Soni Alcorn-Hender

‘A Dark Lord’s Progress’ Sauron triptych

To know more of the stories these are illustrating, or more about the artworks themselves, please see their individual pages:

The Seduction of Sauron

Sauron as Annatar, and Celebrimbor

Sauron and Ar-Pharazôn

Inspired by The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien.
Created especially for the Tolkien art exhibition: ‘Evil in the Shining Light’, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, through September 2015.
Acrylics on paper, digital colouring, 11.5 x 8″ Frame element by Stephen Clulow on Flickr.

Sauron and Ar-Pharazôn

Inspired by The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien.

Created especially for the Tolkien art exhibition: ‘Evil in the Shining Light’, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, through September 2015.
Acrylics on paper, digital colouring, 11.5 x 8″ Frame element by Stephen Clulow on Flickr.

Sauron and Ar-Pharazôn, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

 Sauron as prisoner of, then advisor to, Ar-Pharazôn

Sauron being fair and flattering as the hostage of Ar-Pharazôn, last great king of Númenor before the fall.
A fall engineered entirely by Sauron in fact, for by cunning he rose from prisoner to most-trusted advisor of the proud king, and convinced him to offer blood and lives to exiled Morgoth. (The smoke of their sacrifices can be seen through the window.)
Then as Ar-Pharazôn felt the weight of old age and death come upon him he listened to Sauron’s promise of life everlasting in Valinor, and how a brave man might take it for himself if he would only sail West to claim it…

Buildings of Númenor adorn the top left and right corners. Embedded in the frame to the left is the shining isle of the Valar to the left, Númenor’s holy mountain Meneltarma to the right. The Eye of Sauron overlooks all above and death awaits below.

‘To Signify My Claim’

The Gentleman With the Thistle-down Hair, from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
Pencils and digital colouring, 21×29 cms

“I should take something of the lady’s to signify my claim upon her.”

What he takes is a finger. Though just a little one.

Gentleman with the Thistle-down Hair, Strange & Norrell, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Shire Bridge

Prints and things available here.

I painted the original a couple of years ago: an idea of Frodo and Sam enjoying one of the Shire’s little rivers’, perhaps at the beginning of their journey when everything still felt enjoyably adventurous in a very safe way. I liked the parallel between these two by the river, and the earlier pair of Sméagol and Déagol, and how their river trip ended. And both of those pairs of friends are bound by the same ring.

This is a re-working made for the Tolkien art show ‘Evil in the Shining Light’, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, through September 2015.
Original was acrylics on paper, 10 x 7.5″ Frame element by Stephen Clulow on Flickr.

Shire Bridge, Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Ring is taken to Rivendell

Prints and shiny things available here.

A re-working of an earlier painting (The Hidden Valley), this new version has Frodo being carried to Rivendell by the Elves after falling at the Ford.  Made for the Tolkien art exhibition: ‘Evil in the Shining Light’, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, through September 2015.
Original was acrylics on paper 11.5 x 8″, added frame element by Stephen Clulow on Flickr.

The Ring is taken to Rivendell, Soni Alcorn-Hender

And a close-up of Frodo’s rescue party.
At the front are two pairs of Elf riders, followed by an Elven cart bearing the fallen Frodo; behind him is Strider on foot; then Glorfindel (not Arwen :p) on his white horse; behind him near the bridge are the three Hobbits on foot; then there are two Elves on foot on the bridge, and two more on horseback at the end:

2015 Tolkien show Rivendell re-worked-det

Funeral tree over Moss Oak

The (supposed) funeral of Arabella Strange, attended by her grieving husband, and (unseen) gloating fairy with Thistle-down hair.
The King’s raven watches, the trees spell out the truth, and the magic came from a single tear from a lady’s handkerchief.

From Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
Graphite and acrylics on pastel paper 21×28 cms.

The Funeral of Arabella Strange, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

The Funeral of Arabella Strange

Sauron as Annatar, and Celebrimbor

‘The Craft of Ring-making’ inspired by The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
Prints and goodies now available on RedBubble here.

Created especially for the Tolkien art exhibition: ‘Evil in the Shining Light’, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, through September 2015.
Acrylics on paper, digital colouring, 11.5 x 8″ Frame element by Stephen Clulow on Flickr.

Annatar (Sauron), Celebrimbor and the Craft of Ring-making. Soni Alcorn-Hender

Annatar (Sauron), Celebrimbor and the Craft of Ring-making

Sauron‬ disguised in fair form as ‘‪Annatar’,‬ when he taught the Elves the craft of ring-making. It wasn’t until he forged the One Ring in secret, planning that it should rule all the others, that his true identity and purpose were revealed.

Depicted here: Annatar guides the hand of ‪Celebrimbor‬, greatest of the Elven smiths. In the top left and right corners, Elrond and Galadriel shun him. They couldn’t see through his disguise, yet still they didn’t trust him.
The rings that were made in secret are embedded in the frame: on the left, right and bottom and the three Elven rings forged by Celebrimbor; and above Sauron’s head is the One Ring. At this time it was still just an idea.