With that he sprang forth nimbly, and then Frodo noticed as if for the first time, though he had long known it, that the Elf had no boots, but wore only light shoes, as he always did, and his feet made little imprint in the snow. 'Farewell!' he said to Gandalf. `I go to find the Sun!''
JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Book II, Chapter 3: The Ring Goes South
Painted in watercolour.
This was created on behalf of The Tolkien Society for their 2015 Christmas Card.
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I can't believe this turned up without me even searching for it - I was literally just having a little chuckle to myself over this exact quote. I love book Legolas so much; I love Jackson's movies to death but there's something about the cheerfulness of Elves in the books that really captures my heart. Especially Legolas, he's such a light-hearted person even in the midst of trouble.
Regarding the painting itself, your style is so gorgeous! I especially love the way you've painted the mountains. You've really captured Tolkien's vision here.
EDIT:Just realized I've already commented on this, but have been rereading the books and trying my hand at a few small illustrations myself and wanted to look through yours again.
But yes, your qualms are certainly well-founded. I've now been staring at this piece for a long time trying to make sense of what I was doing here, and I think you've presented me with a bit of a problem! Or rather both you and Tolkien.
Firstly I'd say that we're looking SW rather than full-South in this piece. Nevertheless, the scene takes place in the morning so in actual fact the sun SHOULD be more or less positioned on the left side of the canvas, which means I've placed the shadows wrongly here (from W to E, i.e., late afternoon-evening). In turn, this begs other questions. If the Fellowship are trying to go back Westward (i.e., rightwards in the direction that Boromir and Aragorn are 'shovelling', and which Legolas will turn to shortly), how can can the Elf be 'going to find the Sun' in the morning? I guess the answer is that this was just a jesting 'figure of speech' between he and Gandalf.
In my mind, the storm clouds would be covering the morning Sun/approaching from the East, hence why I chose to make the right side of this piece brighter. The question then becomes, would the light in the West be strong enough - given that the Sun is hidden in the East - to create the shadows I've placed here? I guess the answer is probably a 'NO'. But oh well! I wanted to make the storm seem dark and ominous, and this was the only ay I could do it, I think!