The «Beyond Bree» calendars
have a set theme every year,
and their editor
sometimes suggests subjects
to interested artists, too.
That happened with this piece;
I made the final choice
from a list of possibilities on offer,
choosing the one
which interested me most.
This painting is c.39 x 26 cm (Japanese oban format,
as well as a simple and satisfying ratio of length to width).
It is painted on paper, but I used acrylic paints
rather than my usual gouache.
I wanted to bring out the emotion in the scene,
rather than make a detailed description,
so I chose the materials best suited to this.
For me, acrylic offers a wide range of uses of paint,
from thin washes of colour illuminated by light
striking back from the underlying paper,
to the heaviest relief and impasto,
whose subtleties may be visible
only in raking light from the side.
Using acrylic paints,
I can employ a free ‘painterly’ touch
creating entirely different qualities in my artwork.
Here, I wanted to capture something
of the wonder and strangeness of Eärendil,
sailing/flying towards his battle
with the great flying dragon Ancalagon
at the end of the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’.
There is a degree of realism in Vingilot‘s
construction and rig,
but it is rather less obvious than usual,
thanks to the steep perspective and free treatment.
The ship in midair, whose wake is also a contrail,
is set against a contrasting, active sky
to create the emotional ‘feel’
which I wished to convey.