Mermaids of the Deep: Antarctic Volcanic Octopus

This monstrous little she-creature is part of a small, on-going series inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and different sea creatures.
This one takes after an astonishing ghostly white octopus found a mile and a half under the sea, in the frozen black and crushing depths at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean. There they survive on the vents of volcanically-heated water erupting from under the seabed. That’s about as extreme as it gets. If we tried to visit we’d be simultaneously boiled, frozen, and pulped.
So my Antarctic Octopus mermaid is a force to be reckoned with: pictured here resting sweetly on the skull of a much larger foe that she vanquished before breakfast.

21x29cms, acrylics and gold leaf, digitally-added frame.
Prints and pretty things available here!

Antarctic volcanic Octopus mermaid, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Mermaids of the Deep: Egyptian Starfish

My deep-sea monster ladies are inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft and various sea creatures; this one a starfish – specifically the ‘Egyptian sea star’, which then suggested a sunken (or sinking) Egyptian temple for her to haunt.
(The statue is based on a particular pharaoh, extra points if you know which.)

Prints and shiny things available here!

Egyptian sea star Starfish mermaid Soni Alcorn-Hender

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)

Elves at the border

I wanted a border for my Elf portraits, and I couldn’t find what I wanted so I drew it.
But designing it was a long-winded affair, and with so many changes that the best way to show it was with an animation (scroll down).
Above it is a photo of the work in progress, impasto gold paint on black drawing paper.

 

Designing a leafy border, Soni Alcorn-Hender

 

The design process for an Elf border, Soni Alcorn-Hender

Curufin

Curufin son of Fëanor coloured sketch, Soni Alcorn-Hender

20×30 cms, pencils and acrylics.

“Curufin the crafty … who was of perilous mood.”

From JRR Tolkien’s ‎Silmarillion

Sketch of ‪Curufin‬, favourite son of ‎Fëanor‬ (who made the Silmarils and started lots of trouble), and father of Celebrimbor (who made the Elven rings and ended in lots of trouble).
Called ‘the Crafty’ – possibly because he was good with his hands, possibly because he was a devious git.
Also tried to shoot Luthien, twice.
Fëanor had many gifts, apparently parenting wasn’t one of them.

And the un-coloured sketch:

Curufin son of Fëanor sketch, Soni Alcorn-Hender

 

Legolas sketch

I had a sketch of Legolas that I’d started a decade ago (literally) and it was fantastically awful. In that version he looked like a constipated horse in a particularly murky pond.
So I excavated the sad-looking thing to see if I could make anything of it – and lo, I made this!

If you want to see the transformation from constipated pond horse to woodland prince, scroll down for an animated gif of the journey.
Mixed media on 8.5×11″ paper

Legolas sketch, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Legolas sketch, work in progress animated, by Soni Alcorn-Hender

Legolas sketch, work in progress animated

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.

Rohan finished~

Éowyn and Éomer among the simbelmynë flowers, in memory of their uncle.
9×11 inches. Painted with acrylics and gold media and pencils and inks and *everything* and the horse they rode in on.

Rohan Meduseld

Rohan Meduseld det1

And a rough animated gif of the progress of the painting from start to finish:

Rohan