" ‘They do not like all that about ending and failing,’ said Merry. ‘I should not sing any more at present. Wait till we get to the edge, and then we’ll turn and give them a rousing chorus!’ "
---The Old Forest, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The first in a series of landscapes inspired by both Britain and Middle-earth - this one based on the forest of Padley Gorge in Derbyshire. Though I think the trees there are less likely to eat you.
Acrylics, pencil, pastel, gouache, tea, cat hair, and the withered deathless malicious and malignant soul of a really evil tree - on paper (also made from trees, maybe evil), and then some digital colouring and fannying about.
A3 / 12x17 inches
2018 Soni Alcorn-Hender
I've seen lots of versions of Fangorn but not so many of the Old Forest, so I wanted to have a go.
Eventually I'd like to try *all* the forests of Middle-earth, but that will take a while.
I thought they pretty much only walked in the old forest, having passed under the High Hedge through a tunnel-like passage. Then they were forced, by the trees, along difficult paths, until they were rescued by Tom Bombadillo. Also, your ponies look somewhat large. I think only one was a very fat pony, and the ponies got their names after Tom rescued them the second time on the barrow downs.
The precise part that inspired the image was:
"... every now and again the trees drew in and overshadowed it with their dark boughs. Up this path they rode. They were still climbing gently,"
Frodo sings his song, and is cautioned by Merry, only moments later.
In respect to pony size, the problem is if you have very small people riding very small ponies, unless they're stood by a normal sized person on a normal sized pony, you don't get the scale. So these are the small ponies, for us, which are normal sized ponies for Hobbits, so you can still see they (Hobbits) are small. But omg did you just bodyshame my ponies? You monster. They're not fat, they're fluffy.
I still think the ponies look too big; they are hobbit ponies not hobbit horses. People think of modern horses for scale. The Huns and Mongols rode relatively small horses, and in some places people ride donkeys which are barely enough to keep your feet of the ground.
But thanks, I haven't looked at the book for twenty years. It's just, when traveling long distances, one has to walk the horse as much as ride.
As to the ponies' size, I'm afraid what you see above is the finished thing, complete, done and done with. I shan't be re-drawing the ponies again, not even smaller (or thinner) ones, so we'll all just have to bear it as best we can.
(Though after a quick peek at your work, I'd be fascinated to your own rendering of this scene, should you ever create it.)