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February 3, 2013
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Story of Tuor, Part 3: The Message of Ulmo by neral85 Story of Tuor, Part 3: The Message of Ulmo by neral85
Beneath the long slopes of Mount Taras in bygone days Turgon had dwelt in the halls of Vinyamar, eldest of all the works of stone that the Noldor built in the lands of their exile. There it still stood, desolate but enduring, high upon great terraces that looked towards the sea. (...) Tuor went up the wide stairs, now half-hidden in thrift and campion, and he passed under the mighty lintel and entered the shadows of the house of Turgon; and he came at last to a high-pillared hall. (...) Then Tuor marvelling saw that on the wall behind the throne were hung a shield and a great hauberk, and a helm and a long sword in a sheath. The hauberk shone as it were wrought of silver untarnished, and the sunbeam gilded it with sparks of gold. But the shield was of a shape strange to Tuor's eyes, for it was long and tapering; and its field was blue, in the midst of which was wrought an emblem of a white swan's wing. Then Tuor spoke, and his voice rang as a challenge in the roof: 'By this token I will take these arms unto myself, and upon myself whatsoever doom they bear.'
Now Tuor felt his feet drawn to the sea-strand, and he went down by long stairs to a wide shore upon the north side of Taras-ness (...). And Tuor stood upon the shore, and the sun was like a smoky fire behind the menace of the sky; and it seemed to him that a great wave rose far off and rolled towards the land, but wonder held him, and he remained there unmoved. And the wave came towards him, and upon it lay a mist of shadow. Then suddenly as it drew near it curled, and broke, and rushed forward in long arms of foam; but where it had broken there stood dark against the rising storm a living shape of great height and majesty. Then Tuor bowed in reverence, for it seemed to him that he beheld a mighty king. A tall crown he wore like silver, from which his long hair fell down as foam glimmering in the dusk. (...) And thereupon Ulmo lifted up a mighty horn, and blew upon it a single great note, to which the roaring of the storm was but a wind-flaw upon a lake. And as he heard that note, and was encompassed by it, and filled with it, it seemed to Tuor that the coasts of Middle-earth vanished, and he surveyed all the waters of the world in a great vision: from the veins of the lands to the mouths of the rivers, and from the strands and estuaries out into the deep.
He awoke at length in the grey light, and arose, and left the high seat (...). And Tuor looked down from the lowest terrace and saw, leaning against its wall among the stones and the sea-wrack, an Elf, clad in a grey cloak sodden with the sea. Silent he sat, gazing beyond the ruin of the beaches out over the long ridges of the waves. All was still, and there was no sound save the roaring of the surf below. As Tuor stood and looked at the silent grey figure he remembered the words of Ulmo, and a name untaught came to his lips, and he called aloud: "Welcome, Voronwë! I await you."
The Unfinished Tales (Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin)

watercolor pencils, soft pastels

Third part at last of my series of illustrations for the story of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin (in the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales), which I drew last summer as a commission for certain Tolkien-fans.
Tuor had come to Vinyamar, found the armour which had been left there long before by king Turgon and he encountered first the Vala Ulmo and then Voronwë who then took him to Gondolin. It is really a powerful part of the story and it wasn't easy for me to decide, how to illustrate it. Ulmo appearing to Tuor is one of the most popular scenes from the Silmarillion, if I can judge from the number of illustrations (I saw at least six versions of it, including of course famous illustrators such as Ted Nasmith) so I chose a slightly different approach, showing not the meeting itself, but rather the vision of waters of Arda. As for the lower panel with Voronwë, you may have seen my older illustration of Vinyamar, so here I took the liberty to use a previously established setting. :-)
As for the heraldry, there are of course two of Tuor's swan wings again, and then two elven heraldic devices I had to imagine myself. In the upper left corner there is the device of Turgon (many months ago when I was drawing it, I asked my fellow illustrators here on dA what should Turgon's emblem look like with four possible versions I imagined. Final version isn't identical to any one of these, but mostly it takes from #2 and #4). And in the lower right there is the device of Voronwë (a lot of blue and green because of his connection to the sea).

Part 1: Tuor in Hithlum
Part 2: Journey to the Sea
Part 4: Coming to Gondolin
Part 5: The Fall of Gondolin
Part 6: A New Beginning

I hope you like it and I'll appreciate your comments. :-)


If you like my Tolkien-related art, look at my related journal or gallery folder.
But you can find even more of my pictures on my website It's in Czech, but you can still look at the gallery of illustrations. Enjoy! :-)
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talullahred Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014   Writer
This is perfect. Love it.
neral85 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks! :thanks:
Tindome-Art Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
To say I appreciate your art is a bit of an understatement. It is most wonderful, in itself, as an illustration of a story and as the story itself. Your choice of colours, your choice of composition and, well, to be crude, just about everything, is lovely and an ease to the hear, mind and soul to look upon. Fantastic, every single one of them, but I comment here because of my special fondness for Ulmo.
neral85 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for such a nice and detailed comment, I am so flattered! :blushes: I'm really glad you like my pictures. :-)
This series was indeed a great achievement for me personally so I'm glad to see you appreciate it. :nod:
Tindome-Art Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You are most welcome! It is a great pleasure to look through them all, and find again and again the beautiful details, colourings and subjects depicted.
neral85 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, you're so kind! :aww:
kar7 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
Your Ulmo is great....very the lode of water.
He must be so,I think.
And thank you for the text from The Unfinished Tales.I've been looking for its english one.
neral85 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for your comment! :-)
kar7 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
You're welcome!
kar7 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
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