Talks with Tolkien artists: rennavedh

11 min read

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By MirachRavaia

This week, I would like to bring some spotlight to the Russian artist :iconrennavedh: - rennavedh, who paints both characters and landscapes from the First Age of Middle-earth, and her gallery is diveded accordingly: Landscapes of Arda and Silmarillion. Here are just a few examples:

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

Hi! My name is Rina, I am 21 y.o. Presently I am studying at the university and drawing is just my hobby: I was in art class at school, but it did not really affect my abilities. In fact, I acquired all skills personally over a period of years.

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

I started to draw in digital style and want to share my work. I need audience that can assess me and DA is the most appropriate for it. My username was invented for Instagram’s account and later I used it for DA’s account too. “Rennavedh” is name of one character from “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” (it was so random :D (Big Grin)), but the “dh” is allusion to name Tolkien’s characters.

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

I was 14 when I first read all Tolkien’s book and watched movies. What impression did this world leave in me? Hm. I «closed» myself in Arda about six months, was going through a tough time. All beauty, power, unimaginable elaboration of the world became an impulse not only for achievements in drawing - it gave birth to incredible pictures in my mind, but also for overcoming some complexes. Nothing wrong with a bit of escapism, despite what anyone may say.

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?

I have always been very inspired by the works of Elena Kukanova ( and Maria Filatova ( Their works are the level for which I always strive and which inspired me to show my vision of this world. The film has never been a model for me, because at the time of reading the books I was not familiar with Middle-earth (I did not even know if the hobbits would get to the volcano :D (Big Grin)). However, Arda has never changed in my mind, it only grow and is complemented by details. In addition, I draw inspiration from nature; sometimes it is still the greatest impetus to the new work.

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?

In fact, it was the main reason for my passion for Arda. There are many events, detailed moments of culture, language and characters, whose actions affect the whole world. My problem was to find a competent translation into Russian, because some of the names, surnames and names of places were distorted. After three translations, I read “Silmarillion” and “Children of Hurin” in the original. By the way, the Tolkien language is incredibly magical.

6. Who is your favourite Tolkien character and why?

I have several favourite characters, but I can especially highlight Maedhros, Fëanáro, Lúthien from “Silmarillion”, Turin from “Children of Húrin”, and Sam from “The Lord of the Rings”. I appreciate the diverse behavior, ambiguous actions in characters and the development of them. The heroes of Legendarium are similar with heroes of ancient sagas (their actions are generally unchanging and monolithic), despite that their experiences, growth and overcoming the difficulties are noticeable. All characters going through trials, adventures and battles, which make them stronger and develops their attitudes and behaviours, some of them had to sacrifice so that the others could live.

7. Are there some topics in Tolkien's works that you are particularly passionate about?

I like the ideas from “Athrabet Finrod ah Andreth” most of all. The conversation of these characters make to reflect. I always have the feeling as the sand is slipping through my fingers: the truth is out there, but there are no answers to many questions about our life, death and meaning of life.

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

An idea for the drawing usually appears suddenly, I never figure out my work in advance. It is like an insight. I can see clearly the composition, the light, the emotions, and it helps a lot. Drawing takes from several days to 2 weeks, but in general, it takes about 50-80 hours. I start from a sketch, of course. Then I draw all the objects to verify the composition and then work the details. There are no features of creating drawings, except the fact that I carefully selected the name of the work (also to name the .psd file) - I can finally get to work only when it has a title.

9. You paint both landscapes and characters from the Silmarillion. Does your approach to these two kinds of pictures differ?

The approach is the same. But landscapes with characters are painted worse, because I simply have no strength for them after work on all figures and details :D (Big Grin)

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

I really love fantasy books like “The Song of Ice and Fire” or “The Witcher” (also the series of games), novels of Hugo, Remarque, Lem, Marvel’s movies (suddenly), but now I draw only scenes from Silmarillion.

11. 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 am self-taught artist and each drawing represents a new drawing scheme for me. I use the skills, which were acquired earlier, but in general, it is endless process of learning. I also often try different brushes and effects: it helps in digital works to work faster and more accurately and gives textures and volume.

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

Remember. There are no miracles in our world. Work, time, effort – there are layers behind each beautiful drawing. Nothing just happens and every event has some meaning.

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

- picture fits your current mood?

No comments.

- picture was hardest to paint?

Do not ask me why, please :D (Big Grin)

- other picture you would like to share with us and why?

Finrod got very little attention from the audience :с

14. 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.

I want to thank my Mom and friend who always happy with my crooked sketches and is ready to discuss with me «The Avengers Initiative»... ahem, new drawings.

Thank you for your time and answers!

Coding by Felizias Drawings by ebe-kastein Borders by PhoenixWildfire
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