The DreamWorlds Gallery

This is where where my designs turn to fantasy inspired by the various fan forums I've frequented. Tolkien fan sites are amongst the more compulsive and absorbing nutty, nerdy, role-playing forums and I'm actually quite a normal elf erm... person on there. The creative communities naturally include art fora and let your imagination take flight - here's some of my better stuff that has gone up over the years anyway.

DreamWorlds - is the place that has become a home from home for me and where I've found kindred spirits and forged some truly amazing and supportive friendships. However bad I feel out in the real world, this is the place that makes it all right again and is, in truth, my sanctuary. So whilst some of the work below isn't my 'best' or slickest, the images are close to my heart and were made with love (to be corny but accurate). At the end of this section I've now included some banner art as one of my duties as a moderator is to create 'identities' for the threads I put up in my own realms, and also make them for other people.


These are more or less in chronological order and mostly mark my return to 'true' art I suppose. This was different to what I had been doing at Art College in the 90's in that I was choosing what I was or wasn't going to draw - although the forum threads did focus on themes or have distinct criteria in the contests. So elements of 'life' drawing here, but using stills from Peter Jackson's films and then, as I got 'into' fantasy again, from my imagination as well.

IMPORTANT~ some of the work below features collages that include material from image searches on Google. All these either appear under the 'fair use' clause on the forums or with the original artist's permission. Where not stated in bracketed italics the image is hand-drawn or created from my own personal photographic stock.

Couple of sketches to start off with. Above is where it sort of all gets started in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - from a still in The Return of the King, a study of the hapless Deagol as he catches a fish and falls into the Anduin...



Again sketched from a still, this time from The Fellowship of the Ring - Odo Proudfoot displaying his best features.



Illustration of a poem 'Horse and Rider' from Book 1 of the Two Towers - Chapter 6 The King of the Golden Hall (collage of Googled images and Terragen for the mountain background)



Portrait of Bernard Hill as Theoden



Rivendell falls in a memorial tribute to a young Venezuelan artist




And two studies of horses that I used 'in the falls' - not too successful really but the drawings are nice



Different treatments for the Two Trees of Valinor - Telperion and Laurelin (The Silmarillion) (Mix of Terragen and photoshop manip of web search tree image)



Fantasy of the Vala Manwe (The Silmarillion) - (Mix of Terragen and photoshop manip of googled eagle image)


Fantasy view of Lothlorien and down the Anduin to Rauros (Terragen backgrounds with Googled forest)

and a re-working with the forest from my own photostock - taken in Turkey!


Made for an Art/Writing contest where you had to imagine unlikely LotR couples and what their kids might have looked like... Seven-owyn-Ine - offspring of Eowyn and an Orc I chose to call Slash. Lot of fun with this one! (In this I used a pic from one of Miranda Otto's battle scenes and blended in the nastier elements from one of the better looking Orcs...)



A non-specific 'Simplicity' contest entry - Birds was the theme



Illustration from the Flies and Spiders chapter of the Hobbit - Entirely mouse-drawn in Photoshop



Heavy 5B pencil treatment for Elrond at one of the most powerful moments in Peter Jackson's first LotR film ~ this is where the Peredhel (beautifully played by Hugo Weaving) first loses his faith in Men and watches in horror and anger as Isildur refuses to throw the One Ring into the fiery volcanic depths of Orodruin...



More strong stroke technique for Fëanor, one of Tolkien's less squeaky clean Elves, whose passionate but ultimately flawed and selfish gut reactions to the first Dark Lord Morgoth's theft of the Silmarils led to a catalogue of disastrous conflicts, dishonour and exile for many of the Noldor in Middle Earth. Morgoth also murdered Fëanor's father Finwë, king of the Noldor and the Two Trees, thus plunging all of Arda literally into dark chaos and the equally black and bloody deeds that form the heart of Tolkien's seminal background for The Silmarillion that so eruditely lays the way for his later more accessible novels (in case you are wondering - yes that is Sean Bean I've used as my model - Fëanor was one genius of a badass elf so needed a tough guy's attitude!)



Galadriel the great lady of the Noldor and of Lothlórien, the Golden Wood. A very strong and interesting character shown here at the end of her time in Middle Earth (ME) where the strain of keeping her woodland realm safe and trying to guide the free peoples of ME through the final conflict with Sauron begins to tell. I like my Elves to be less than perfect to be honest - very boring if they're well-behaved and serene all the time...



This piece was originally intended for some visuals for one of the HR events on disability at work )see the main gallery). It kind of fitted in with one of the themes on the art threads and as soon as he saw it my co-runner said 'that's Eru!' So that's who he is now - I've now shaped the continents into a more ME configuration quite soon. All done in Photoshop this was inspired by other illustrations out there depicting similar astral beings such as Rhea, Maia or Mother Earth - and why the figure is of ambiguous gender and purposefully not of traditional proportions or perfect shape.



Gimli, son of Glóin of course. Again from the movie (I think from the Council of Elrond). I like this one 'cos of the bolshie expression - why are Dwarves so grumpy?



This is me! Well not really, but I RP him a lot and this how my best friend and I see Glorfindel. Face is a very gorgeous male model but his hair 'belongs' to another guy - just the right tousled mane look for our resurrected golden warrior elf-lord!



You see a lot of this waterfall as I use it all the time around Imladris. Actually a photo I took in Norway it makes a great Falls of the Bruinen - the River Loudwater. The bird is a nightingale and I combined them to make this in honour of a really gifted writer and bard who once 'ruled', and very well too, as Lord Elrond. Her main character was a 'little bird' who loved to sing...


Another 'bad boy' Elf! This is Maeglin and I used a pic of Oliver Tobias as Arthur from Arthur of the Britains from the early '70s TV series because he has just the right brooding quality. Poor Maeglin had an awful disfunctional childhood, his father murdered his mother (whilst she tried to shield him from his father's spear) and then fell for his first cousin Idril who was definitely not a kissing cousin even if she'd fancied him and that led directly to his betrayal of his kin and the city of Gondolin. Not a popular elf therefore but fascinating and starved of affection so I feel rather sorry for him in lots of ways.



Highly romanticised collage of Elwing bestowing the Silmaril on Eärendil after their reunion. The boat's from a photo of a viking ship - not sure whether the background's Terragen (or a search image probably as I'm not so good with waterscapes in Terragen) and the couple are mousedrawn. A great love story anyway and one of my favourites.



The Witchking of Angmar. The leader of the wraiths and the enemy that 'no man could kill' - so said Glorfindel who couldn't get close enough to do just that ~ as the witch kept running away from him...



The 'Round Table' of the Eleidan College - the artist's group a good friend and I set up in Rivendell. Eleidan means artist in Sindarin and literally translates as dream-smith. The dragon's a tattoo motif and my friend lets me use it. The woodgrain is from my dining room table and then filtered and colour-changed and embossed with ME-ish typefaces - lots of fun!



Unmistakeably Treebeard and charcoal is one of my favourite materials - so apt for an Ent!



The following were an early body of work 'Through the eyes of...' - concerned with how the various races of Middle Earth view their world about them. I add to it periodically....


First of all the Elves - these are impressions of their intense experience of life force with their heightened senses.

Tree bark



The eastern door of Khazad-Dum and the Mirromere



General landscape - the white areas near the centre of the image are supposed to represent a homestead with living beings within.



Next one for the Dwarves - showing their 'seeker-sense' for precious stones and metal



And for the Hobbits - a romantic view of an edible plant?



Lastly (so far) the Nazgul - how a dead evil witch-king would view a sunny day in Hobbiton?

(All of these are from personal photostock save this one above which is taken from the beginning of the Fellowship film and heavily manipulated)



Time for some more personalised work and more recent banner or promo work for the forums...



. .

Jano (my elven roleplay alter ego) in various moods - the rainbow's something that goes with the barding as their main hangout is by the falls in Rivendell and hence the rainbow link that play at the base of the falling waters. Flamethrower - don't ask *smiles*. Just don't think Jano'll take anything - she's a great girl but you diss her or her family once too often you might just get burned... (Jano was scanned from modelled pictures in a magazine and then I added my own eyes to the pic, ditto the flamethrower and flames and the rainbow I added myself)





And this is the Bard's HQ in question...








Bit of medieval type branding here with piece of combination heraldry ~ water, silver and purple are for both Silen and Jano, the dolphin's for Jano (her father's emblem) and the Moon's for Silen (it forms part of his name in fact) (knotwork from a free source art book)




Betrothal and wedding portraits respectively ~ we're lagging behind in the RP a little and are only up to the betrothal (Jano and clothes as above; Silen is taken with permission from his creator's commissioned painting by Ebe)




Here's where Silen and Jano will live - a talan or house in the trees by a lovely forest pool and a secluded glade that not too many people get invited to.



My latest canon character icon - Vairë the Weaver the wife of Namó whose home is Mandos. She weaves the story of Arda and its people through all Time. A combination of my Janowyn icon, Eru hugging Arda and the Two Trees. It has to fit in a 64 x 64 pixel frame so that's as far as Vairë's got in this picture....



And this is the 'thread runner' aspect with lots of banners illustrating what the thread's all about ~ set the scene for everyone anyway...
(Unless stated otherwise the characters depicted are taken from the movies and other elements from googled material ~ and other elements are taken from various googled or magazine sources)




Artwork background of Gondolin (and probably Nargothrond too) by Ted Nasmith and the sketch of Maeglin by a fellow member

This series of banners were to do with Celebrating or Remembering famous Elves and people posted stories artwork and poetry about the various characters as shown



An assortment of Opening Post banners...

An RPG (roleplay game) that grew out of a bar brawl that Jano's gwador (sworn brother) got her dragged into with several other friends - she ended up being nicked on the arm by a Nazgul knife just as a dragon set fire to the pub ~ a fairly typical night out at the bar in Mordor really.... The pub was called 'On the Rocks'.



A Bard's knees-up thread to celebrate the Summer Solstice ~ the background's from my Weathertop piece but the event was actually held in Rohan



Another Bard's thread situated in Tol Eressea which is part of Valinor ~ where Elves fade away from ME never to return



And this last one was done for a minion friend for an 'offie' or liquor store in Mordor's Black Market. The dogs are my spaniel Rowley and my sister's terrier Smudge.




Not banner's but motifs for our warriors which relate to different disciplines and roughly follow the classic elements of earth, fire, wind and water ~ the dark one in the middle is the 'masters' badge. The star is based on Tolkien's own artwork for the insignia of Eärendil. He took the Silmaril into the night skies after the Valar and the Eldar defeated Morgoth (Sauron's old boss). All done from scratch in Photoshop.



Standard banner for our official band of warriors in Imladris ~ not an army but a highly skilled response force based in Rivendell



And this is the 'stretched' version of the Misty Mountains for our serial RPG thread for part of the Guardians



The thread didn't really get off the ground but the OP banner looked good



Squidditch? The ME version of Quidditch with a vaguely squiddish goalie and a lot more squishing going on than there ever was at Hogwarts.



OP banner for Drabbles - a workout for writers where you have to write about something in no more 100 words



What it says on the banner and destined for our 'From Brush to Easel' art forum... You've seen the portraits in a larger format above and the rest was created in Photoshop



Held in Lothlórien just a nice romantic thread where you hoped it was the lover you expected who invited you there!



This one was for a Spring or Beltane festival in our Bard's thread. The hawthorn's from my own photo



Another one for an autumn festival in Rivendell



And for Yule using 'paperdoll' snowflakes from one of my homemade Xmas cards



Here's where we file our official character bios



This is a Tom Bombadil inspired room in my online House at Fooh Corner - foo is sort of pink and kitsch for ME but with the H added pays tribute to A.A. Milne's Pooh Bear stories - also sort of pink and kitsch but not for ME of course



For a riddle game thread hosted by the one and only Bilbo Baggins. Glorfindel and Elrond are reproduced with thanks from the Theban Bard's site



A more formal setting for the Bards. Glorfindel and Elrond as above



A serious RPG based on Tolkien canon ~ really an excuse to have a punch-up on a less well-known (to cinema audiences) part of the Hithaeglir.




Another serious RPG based on Tolkien canon ~ this time in the Shire and some liberties taken (but with care) on how Gandalf and the Elves make magic



And a return to our Middle Earth Bard's forum roots with a header for our editorial services on a more general venture.



With some of the above pieces I collaborated with others at times and perhaps you would care to have a look at an epic poem - The War of the Ring - that I illustrated for 2 Bardic friends, Saranna, a fellow Imladris Elf and BombadillTom, a hobbit of the Shire (now known as Stabilia). I loved the piece so much I wanted to put it in a place of honour within the Bard's Guild and because this would be something of a feather in our cap, I decided to try my hand at a kind of illumination approach to embellish the work



This is a growing body of work but if you've enjoyed looking at this, and would like to know or see more here's a link if you'd like to take the trip and see what else my fellow Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves, Rangers and Minions (the baddies) and many others from the Middle Earth 'races' get up to.



Live your dream at

A textual roleplay and leisure/pastime chat forum
founded by myself and some good friends

or ~ if you're an author or illustrator
then you're welcome to come and see us at


© Jan the Diva 2003 - 2015