Talks with Tolkien artists: a-shipwright
|14 min read
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Published: February 18, 2019


David Lee, :iconashpwright: - ashpwright is the creator of a wonderful visual representation of Ainulindale (be sure to click on the link to see the whole tale) and several other pictures that would please a Tolkien fan. You can find them in his gallery:

Ainulindale 1 by ashpwright Ainulindale 3 by ashpwright Ainulindale 6 by ashpwright
Ecthelion vs Gothmog by ashpwright Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! by ashpwright
Earendil was a mariner by ashpwright
Pale Kings of the Unseen by ashpwright Tilion protecting Moon from the spirits of Morgoth by ashpwright

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

I'm an artist working on traditional illustrations, and considering to become a comic artist someday (maybe).

2. What brought you to deviatArt and how did you pick your username?


I can't recall the memory of first time i've met deviantart, but my username came from the term Earendil the shipwright. I don't know why, but the term caught my mind.

3. How did you enter Tolkien's world for the first time, and what impression did it leave in you?


I first read the Lord of the Rings when i was in elementary school, and of course i didn't understand what's going on. Since i was a great fan of the movie series from very long long time ago, maybe since juvenile, it didn't take much time to fall into the affection of book.

4. What creates the image of Middle-earth in your mind? Is it more influenced by the books or movies, or maybe other artists, and did it change over time or remained the same?

The movies were the first media that i came across with the world of Middle Earth, its visual creation influenced me the most.

5. Some of Tolkien's books can be hard to read, being more of history annals than fiction. Do you enjoy the scholarly side of studying Tolkien's world as well?

Well, as the one who even enjoyed reading college books, it wasn't that hard for myself to enjoy those things. It only need little preparation.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

Frodo Baggins. Many people hate him of becoming too passive, but i love his characteristic of sacrifice.

7. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

I'm a professional, but only uploading hobby drawings on the online.

8. What's your creative process from picking the theme to finishing a picture?

I'm not sure on that even by myself.

9. You created a visual representation of the whole Ainulindale. Was it difficult to illustrate something so abstract? Would you tell us more about the process?

Well i was interested in the idea of making webtoon version of Ainulindale for a long time, by an idea to express the whole process of world creation with a 'line'. The abstract concept of line was appropriate with the media webtoon for you have to scroll it up and down unlike the other style of comic.

However it was pretty hard to bring a mere concept into the real form of visual art, and many of representations didn't really work as i thought. Moreover i wasn't used to do it with digital painting. It left me so much regret but it was meaningful of making me realize my limits, and extending my own style of drawing. Without this project, i would never try drawing on abstract things.

10. Some of your pictures are arranged into stories, like The Story of the Boy and The Log of the Traveler. What comes first here? Do you have a story in your mind that you want to illustrate, or a single picture that grows into a story?

In the case of the Log of the Traveler, the single picture grew into a whole story. But in the case of the Story of the Boy, it was part of the artwork called the Story of Irvine Family, creating a whole record of the group of documents relating the family of Irvine.

11. Another of your gallery folders, The Wood Tales, contain concept art made for an RPG. Can you tell us more about this game and world?

The Project Wood Tales began to visualize the TRPG session i played with my friends. So its world has no deep foundation and was created without much consideration.

12. What other book or movies (or anything else) inspire you to create fanart, and why?

Every movies give me inspiration, for anything can be recreated into a fantasy idea. Even meme or children's cartoon gave me inspiration of doodles.

13. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

I'm used to the traditional style of art technique, especially with ink pen. However, i'm still interested in digital painting too.

14. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Well, i don't know about that. I don't think i'm professional enough to share or teach some stuff.

15. Could you tell us, which
- Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?


Ainulindale series will be my favorite for I put so much time and effort in it.

- original picture or picture from other fandom you are most proud of?

Celestial by ashpwright

Combination of abstract and realistic came together to create a fantasy visual.

- picture was hardest to paint?

The Voyage by ashpwright

it took me a month to draw with the size of the paper, and with the technique that takes long time to finish.

16. Would you like to thank somebody here? What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.

My parents were always great supporters of my life and i'm thankful to them all the time.

17. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?

Well i'm always thankful for them who like my works even though i lack in skill. I promise them i'll be more good at it and bring you better works day by day.

Thank you for your time and answers!


Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
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Artist's Toolbox: Watercolor equipment II
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Comments (4)
greenapplefreak's avatar
wow, this is really cool *skips to check artists entire gallery*
Reply  ·  
Mellaril's avatar
Mellaril|Hobbyist General Artist
The ink pieces at the end are so impressive! Good luck to you. I'm so thankful to my parents as well <3
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Wyzzel's avatar
Wyzzel|Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I would never have discovered this fantastic masterpiece of Ainulindale illustration!
Reply  ·  
MirachRavaia's avatar
MirachRavaia|Hobbyist General Artist
That's great!
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