The Fellowship of the Ring- Drop Cap

Please keep in mind as you critique my project that this is my first ever drop cap. I just started in hand lettering about a month ago and I took this class for fun and in interest of becoming a better letterer, 

My process for this project was to first act as if my husband was my "client." Then after deciding on The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring ( the first book) by JRR Tolkien, I came up with this list:

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Sorry for the orientation lol:) But the words that stood out to me were the ring- gold- Gandalf's staff, Arwen's necklace, elf pins on the cloaks, and all elven smybols and aesthetic. 

.Then off to the land of thumbnails.  

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Again sorry about the orientation. I played with ideas from a "T" with Arwen's necklace as part of the "T." I focused quite a bit on this ideas because I'm a girl and the side story of her being in love with Aragorn and giving him this necklace that repersented her immorality and her giving that up for him was a theme that stood out to me. I then moved on to the actually ring looking as if it were hanging on the "T," I tried that idea with a scripty looking T and a san serif T. I then tried out The leaf pin that everyone in the movie has on their cloak as part of the T. Then the same idea with Gandalf's staff. Finally, I tired out some designs with Sauron's (the maker of the ring) finger with the ring on it being part of the T as well as his armored hand and this helmet.

Then off to my husband to ask what thumbnails he wanted me to see through to a more detailed sketch.

He choose the 3 that are circled above. ( Arwen's necklace, The ring hanging on the T. and Gandalf"s staff as part of the T).

Here are the more detailed sketches:

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I played with some serifs and celtic looking designs. My client also requested I try to include Gandalf's staff and the ring hanging designs together. We quickly agreed it was too busy. I also sketched the inscription on the ring but after remembering that you only see the inscription in the heat of fire we got rid of that idea. 

We then talked in length about the involvement of the Elves in this first book. (ie, the Elves supply the journey, The characters gather at the Elf Kingdom, Arwen ( an elf) saves the main character from danger and is part of a love story which is a side theme, and the elf warriors show up a bit as well). So in wanting to take my Elven thoughts deeper, I explored images of Elven pocessions in the movie (ie crowns, armor, their kingdowm, shields, horses, etc.) My client and i talked about how Elven possestions always are beautiful, and pristine. Their possesions are usally covered in elegant designs that have no real purpose other then looking nice. I found some pictures online of Elven shields and used then as inspiration for a design on the "T." As requested by my client i kept the hanging ring.

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I decided to use the cut out detail on the Elf sheild on my "T." I also played with the idea of using the dwarf character's axe as a kind of "serif" (as you can see on the left.) I then inked up this design to really see were the design was going. My client and I dicussed after the inking that the axe wasn't needed and we also agreed that the design in the "T" didn't look Elven enough and needed reworking. 

That reworking brought us here:

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I kept the cut out details, and revisited the design in the "T." I replaced the bulky lines with delicate lines that looked more Elven. After the okay from my client I inked it up. 

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Ta-Da. I don't have any fancy computer programs or anything so i worked on paper for the finished product. I used sliver and gold sharpie and black calligraphy ink with a fine brush for the black parts. Silver and gold are also talked about a lot in the books and movies so that is another link. The client is happy with the product:) Glad to share with everyone:)

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