Treasures of Middle Earth Design Contest-- EEEP!

December 05, 2012

From the Dragon's Hoard by Shaylynn Rackers. Winner of Weapons category.

Most people use the phrase "bouncing off walls" in an entirely figurative manner, but I honestly did bounce off walls the day I got the news. Specifically, I couldn't stop jumping up and down and squealing with my siblings, and while lifting my five year old brother into the air to spin and jump with him, I promptly banged my shoulder into the wall!

I am... speechless, honored, overwhelmed, blessed, exuberant, proud, humbled, excited, surprised, and any number of other things.

I'm going to say this with an attempt to not sound boastful or anything, but my parents and I were joking that instead of doing all the dubious things that you are legally allowed to do when you turn 18 (such as buying cigarettes, legally eloping, getting a permit to own a monkey, and bungee jumping-- okay, the bungee jumping sounds really cool--) I won an honest-to-goodness art contest.

The judges were Alan Lee and John Howe and Richard Taylor, you know? Artists and creative geniuses I really admire... It's weird to think that they judged my art, ohmygoodnessgracious!!! Geeking out here!

And yes, there are some epic prizes and when they arrive I'll have some epic photoshoots up here on my blog. :)

I think my brothers and Dad are much more excited about prop weapon replicas than the artwork (Okay, Dad was more excited about the artwork but with my brothers it's a full out tie between "Shaylynn won a LotR art contest!" and "OMG we are getting weapons!). They keep calling dibs on who gets to keep which sword in which bedroom when I leave for college!

If you want to see behind-the-scenes for "From the Dragon's Hoard"that blog post is here.

I also wanted to share some of what I personally consider the coolest pieces in the entire contest:

The Unexpected Party by dstoreystudio. Winner of Characters category.

Graphite Pencil & Photoshop CS5. Thorin Oakenshield elaborating on "our plans, our ways, means, policy and devices" before the long journey to reclaim Erebor.

Without a doubt, this is my favorite entry in the entire contest... THE DETAIL. THE COLOR. THE AWESOME.

Also, the artist's name looked google-able, so I searched her and found her website and blog, which have some seriously impressive pieces.

And a sketch and a larger version of the digital painting!

(both images from danielle storey illustration)

Ok. This is where I sort of freak out. Something I made won a prize in the same contest as THIS ASTONISHING ARTWORK? AND THE AMAZING ARTWORK BELOW, TOO?!

The Great Debate by Glaib, Winner of Creatures category.

William, Tom, and Bert are trying to decide what to do with this wayward Hobbit. Rest assured, however... it won't be pleasant.
This is just so beautiful... I especially love the colors and layout and shadows... I just can't think of a word to describe it except for beautiful, even though beautiful isn't a word you'd normally use to describe Trolls...

The Hall of Durin by GlaibY. Winner of Location category.

A king he was on carven throne In many-pillared halls of stone With golden roof and silver floor, And runes of power upon the door. This poem inspired me to show Durin's Hall before darkness fell.
Again, beautiful stunning colors and obsessive detail! I've only ever thought of Durin's Hall as a gloomy, mammoth relic of older years, filled with musty air and echoes of memories. But "The world was fair in Durin's day..."

Be sure that you are clicking on the pictures to see them full size on the contest website.

Esgaroth "Laketown" by Tina Marie. A Runner-Up in Location Category.

Bilbo's first time seeing Esgaroth. The town constructed entirely of wood and stands upon wooden pillars sunk into the bed of the Long Lake. How large and tall a human town would look to a Hobbit.
There were so many good entries that I'm sure the judges had a very hard time picking the winners, but I imagine the choice between this and "Durin's Hall" was very tough. Personally I would have tied them. :) This is just such a lovely imagining of Laketown and I aspire to be able to paint like this some day.

Wait, this one is bigger, too! (The contest called for a square picture, guess most of the artwork was not drawn specifically for the contest.) I love Google Image search. Lookie lookie lookie at the brilliance!

(image from Alanise at DeviantArt. Her full gallery is here.)

An Unexpected Party by J. Storms. A Runner-up in Locations category.

This is my interpretation of Bag End, how I pictured it as a child. It focuses more on imagination and less on detail, similar to how I felt the first time I read the story.

I really like this one because it's so creative and different.

Tools of Radagast by V. Giordano. A Runner-up in Weapons category.

Ink on Pipe Tobacco stained paper. His tools include a small dagger, a briar pipe, a belt holding herbs, Old Toby & birdseed, & his animal-friendly staff, complete with plenty of perches and nooks!
This one is really clever!

Wargs on the Prowl by Kate Pfeilschiefter. A Runner-up in Creatures category.

What is that Lamp Which Lights up Men, But Flame Engulfs it, And Wargs Grasp after is Always? My idea of Wargs has always been inspired by the Norse mythological wolves of the same name.
Creepy Wargs are creepy but also hauntingly beautiful...

The Greedy Rage of Smaug by Jonathan Moore. Entry in Creatures category.

When one of Smaug's treasures is pilfered by the invisible hobbit burglar, the ancient dragon erupts in a jealous fury, exits the Lonely Mountain, and alights upon its summit.

Shadow of Mirkwood by Kevin Keele. Finalist in Locations category.
I love this part in the book. Bilbo and the dwarves come to rely on Gandalf so much, yet when they're entering the most sinister and dangerous place so far, he abandons the group.
Several of the drawings are very purple-and-yellow, which is interesting because the colors I primarily think of when I consider The Hobbit are cheerful gold and green and a creepy dark brown. But I'm really loving these pieces... And this cartoony style is really neat.

I could go on and on sharing the amazing artwork that was entered but I'm running out of time here. Go visit Treasures of Middle Earth Design Contest and feast your eyes. :)

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  1. Your picture is absolutely amazing! And congratulations for winning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. AHHH SHAYLYNN YOU WON IN A CONTEST JUDGED BY ALAN LEE. *prostrates* I'm so excited for you! That is just so unbelievably awesome.

  3. Congratulations again! What I think I find most interesting is that your piece is the ONLY winner in pencils/without color. I think that's a high tribute to your pencil skills (which I've always been in awe of).

  4. I am so crazy, geeky excited for you!!!
    I can only imagine!!! Super crazy congratulations!

  5. Congratulations!!!! That's so exciting!!
    And I can't wait to see the pictures of what you won as well!

  6. Congratulations!!! Well deserved for sure. :) I'm off to check out the link.

  7. Holy Cow! I'm blown away! Congratulations! :D

  8. What Victoria said. :-)
    We are so very happy for you! Don't hurt yourself whilst you bounce off the walls!
    As Elenatintil said, it's very impressive that you won with a graphite drawing - yet, clearly the simplest of mediums lets your skill and thoughtfulness in composition shine brightest. (and naturally Alan Lee would approve)
    Three cheers for Shaylynn! Hip hip hooray!

  9. You won a contest that was being judged by John Howe, Alan Lee, and Richard Taylor? THAT IS SO CRAZY AWESOME AND I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!! Not that it surprises me. Girl, that drawing is absolutely fantastic!
    Ah. It is the great tragedy of my life that I have such feeble drawing skills.


  10. You go girl! Imagine winning a contest where THAT kind of art is entered!! OMgosh!! They were all really good and I personally love your drawings. CONGRADULATIONS ON THE WINNING! I would have jumped off the walls too.

    God Bless


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