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Greenwood the Great



Greenwood the Great (or Eryn Galen) was a large forest in Rhovanion, later known as Mirkwood throughout most of the Third Age. It may have once formed part of the vast primeval woodland which covered most of Middle-earth during the Years of the Trees. The Eldar passed through the area on their journey to Valinor and it was first populated at this time by the Nandor, unwilling to cross the Misty Mountains. They multiplied and were joined by wandering Avari, becoming known as Silvan or Wood-elves (they were later ruled by Sindar lords Oropher and then his son Thranduil). Early in Greenwood's history, the Old Forest Road was constructed by the Longbeard Dwarves to carry traffic between their territory in the Misty Mountains to Erebor, and the Iron Hills. Later, in the First Age, Men also came from the east and settled in the forest itself and in the surrounding lands, becoming known as Woodmen. They were likely responsible for some retreat of the forest's borders (Though it still remained vast).
Around the turn of the first millennium of the Third Age Sauron, under the guise of the 'Necromancer', returned to Middle-earth and built a fortress on the hill of Amon Lanc in southern Greenwood. The hill and the fortress together become known as Dol Guldur, the "Hill of Sorcery". Sauron's arrival caused a darkening of Greenwood, and at this point it became known as Mirkwood. Giant spiders, as well as bats and orcs in Dol Guldur's service occupied the forest and it became thicker, darker and covered in cobwebs.
It was not until the end of the Third Age and the defeat of Sauron, that the forest was purged of the darkness and renamed Wood of Greenleaves.

oil pastel, A2 paper. 2017.

Made for February 2017 'Green' monthly theme on Projekt ilustrace. I  haven't drawn any bigger piece in oil pastels for quite some time and I got a new set of Van Gogh pastels for Christmas, so to try them out, I wanted to make some large and richly coloured picture. With oil pastels, I really love drawing trees, bushes and landscapes in general. It is quite enjoyable, but this turned out to be more difficult than expected (drawing trees from below is always more difficult, as there has to be the illusion of light shining through the leaves) and I'm not completely satisfied with the trees, but I think it's good for now. :-) I also tried a new technique (inspired by Ffey 's oil pastel landscapes), scratching in the layers of oil pastel (it is especially effective for the grass). Anyway, I hope you like it! :-)
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© 2017 - 2023 MatejCadil
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Albion93's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Vision
:star::star::star::star-half::star-empty: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-empty: Impact

I really admire the serene atmosphere and attention to detail infused on every leaf, blade of glass and fold of bark on each of the trees. They way the shadows of the forest stretch on beyond line of visibility is also believable. It has a nice painterly quality to it while still imitating real life to a pleasing degree. The tall, flowing shapes of the trees are reminiscent to Tolkien's. In its final form, I would say the canopy of leaves is where the brushstrokes feel a little more obvious, while everything on the ground flaw and on the bark of the trees conveys a wistful fairy tale charm. You captured that sense of wildness and lack o corruption that Greenwood would have shown before Sauron's presence crept in. Overall, this is a very good painting, with excellent attention to detail and keeping in tone with J.R.R. Tolkien's illustration style