1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?
In this issue of "Talks with Tolkien artists" I talked to a very talented artist - EKukanova
Enjoy a sample from her gallery:
Enjoy a sample from her gallery:
Ok then, my name is Elena, I’m a professional artist, graduated from Ilya Glazunov Academy. At the moment, I’m an in-house official portraitist at Russian Army Academic Theatre, and there is a whole actual gallery of the theater’s actors, all painted by me. Sorry for an extra-bold start
2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?
I’ve started reading Tolkien (in Russian) when I was 16. As for an impression, I must say, his literature has made a truly notable impact on my personality. At that moment, I didn’t want to read anything else, and that classical Russian Literature school program went down the drains. Please get me right, I was 16
3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien nerd?
At the moment, quite lousy, I must confess, I was 16 like 16 years ago . At the moment, I’m re-reading the texts, but this time in English. And it’s a challenge, as I’m primarily Franco-phonic.
4. When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie. Did it happen to you as well? Did you try to prevent it?
I truly like the movie, and Peter Jackson is the Man, no doubts here. The actors – they have my admiration towards their splendid work, but it does not overcome my own vision. The settings were spot on, once again, Peter is great. And the costumes! The costumes were right in my opinion.
5. 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 pro, and I don’t separate work from hobby. Jokes aside, I’ve started at around 3 year old, ruining my parent’s wall papers, thanks to them, I wasn’t punished for that
My inspirations originally came from the Nordic Renaissance, like Dürer, Holbein, etc.
6. From a look at your gallery, it seems that the Children of Húrin is your favourite part of Tolkien's work. What influences the choice of what part of the books will you illustrate?
Memories, maybe? Basically, this book touched me the most. The dramatic story, what puts Romeo and Juliette way less of a story, in my humble opinion.
7. Where do you look for inspiration for your painings, not only from contentual, but also artistic side? Do you use references?
I must say yes, but actually I don’t. All my artworks are coming from my head. For all my female characters I’ve been posing myself, and my husband has played the male characters. I use photos intensively, but 90% of those are done in house. Except lizards Of course, I have plenty of inspirations from multiple sources, but it is a way too long story to describe.
8. Your traditional paintings look really amazing. Is there some secret in the way how you use the mix of gouashe, watercolour and colored pencils for them?
To work in this technique, I’ve been inspired by Somov and Benois works. No pride here, but it’s a long thorough work and a VERY long practice.
9. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?
- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?
Sorry, too hard to say, but usually it’s the last work complete
- a picture that fits your current mood?
- a picture that was hardest to paint?
- the water was a tremendous issue to execute
10. 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, for sure, my Dad, who’d copied and kept a piece of that first drawing of mine (some funky rabbits that was). Tolkien illustrations were driven by some works I’ve seen at DA.
11. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?
I have to agree with that! Sadly, she is very hard to catch on dA, and does not approve any group requests although I would love to have her works in our gallery! So go browse her gallery instead!
12. There are many Tolkien-themed groups at dA. Do you have some favourites which you would recommend watching/joining? What about other art and fantasy groups?
Hard to favor, hard to separate, all of them are about the favorite theme But I can surely recommend: and
13. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
Here I’ve found a circle of like-minded fellows, and I score lots of energy from you, my friends, …not vampire, as I do my best to pay back All the warm words of feedback – these are priceless to me, they truly are! Thank you indeed
I hope I've managed to answer your questions
Thank you very much for the interview, it was a real pleasure to talk with you!
Talks with Tolkien artists: saphir93
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Teitho: January and February theme *Relationships*
"No [one] is an Island, entire of it self; every [one] is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main." - John Donne The theme of fellowship and friendship is one that plays throughout The Lord of the Rings. From Merry, Pippin and Fredegar plotting to help Frodo, to Elrond forming the fellowship, to the three hunters refusing to abandon their friends to the Uruk-Hai, it is clear that they all knew the importance of depending on one another. For January and February, our theme will be Relationships. In addition to the friendship mentioned, there are also examples of romantic relationships in the stories. Aragorn and Arwen loved for decades
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J.R.R. Tolkien was born 128 years ago, on January 3rd 1892 in Bloemfontein. Together with the Tolkien Society, we invite you to celebrate the birthday of this much loved author by raising a glass at 9pm your local time (or when you can, it's past 9 here already, but I just put my dauhter to sleep). The toast is simply: "To the Professor!", or if you prefer Quenya, "Alasse merendenna i Carmo!"
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Again the time has come for a Joker theme in December & January. Like in a game of cards you can use the Joker card to replace any other, now you can pick any of the past challenges that stir your imagination and write a story or create art for it. You can finally write that story you wanted to write for that challenge once, but didn't have time for it, or write a story for some of the challenges that Teitho had before you even knew about its existence! Please include the title of the challenge you used with your story. If you would like to illustrate for this challenge, you can take part in our special all-year-round artistic challeng