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Let yourself be inspired! (or what is this about)


"I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds, and hands, wielding paint and music and drama."

Most authors dream of having their stories illustrated.
- Linda Hoyland, fanfiction author


We are a group that unites those who write fanfiction stories for the big and wonderful world of professor Tolkien, and those who draw or paint their visions of it. Our goal is to encourage artists to read and illustrate fanfiction, and collect such stories and illustrations.

We closely collaborate with the fanfiction archives Naice a Nilme and The Silmarillion Writers' Guild and fanfiction contest Teitho



:bulletgreen: fanfiction stories

:bulletgreen: poems

:bulletgreen: humorous and crack fanfics

:bulletgreen: fanfiction illustrations - the picture should have a link to the story or at least its title in the artist's comments. We also accept illustrations for roleplays, the Black Book of Arda and for fan movies (Born of Hope and The Hunt for Gollum)

:bulletgreen: Between the lines - here we accept pictures which themselves tell a story that is not in the books, or just hinted at, it doesn't have to have a link to a story (It can be an AU, original characters, or illustration of the characters before or after the events in the books/movies, a scene that was not showed but logically had to happen, etc.)

:bulletgreen: Teitho pictures: Teitho is a monthly fanfiction challenge, which gives you a theme to write about. Here, we challenge you to take the same theme, and draw a picture for it. It doesn't have to feature Aragorn and/or Legolas, like the written entries do. Your best pictures will be featured at the Teitho site as well.

:bulletgreen:B2MeM: Every year in March, the The Silmarillion Writers' Guild organizes a Back to Middle-earth Month. This folder is for the entries created for it. (You can submit also entries from previous years)

:bulletgreen:NaN illustrations: Every month, the Naice a Nilme archive helds a poll for the Story of the month. We will post the links to the competing stories in our journal, and you chose the story that inspires you, and draw an illustration for it. The best illustrations will be featured in the Naice a Nilme archive together with the Story of the Month.

:bulletred:ABOUT SLASH: We do not accept slash fanfiction and illustration in our main gallery. However, we have a special folder for slash art and fanfiction in our favourites. That way, people who do not like it, can watch the group safely, but if you like it, you know where to find it.
We accept illustrations for slash stories that don't depict slash itself in the gallery, but the link to the story in the artist's comments should be marked as slash.

:bulletred:Please, no Mary Sues in pictures or stories!



:bulletgreen: - Lord of the Rings section and Silmarillion section
:bulletgreen: Stories of Arda
:bulletgreen: The Silmarillion Writers' Guild


Gallery Folders

humourous and crack fanfics


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Group Info

We collect art inspired by Tolkien fanfiction, and encourage artists to illustrate fanfiction stories
Founded 3 Years ago
Jan 27, 2012


Group Focus
Fan Club

171 Members
201 Watchers
12,576 Pageviews
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"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." That is a beginning of a tale that fascinated and inspired so many people. And our theme in November is about Beginnings.

Do you remember how you first met the wonderful world of Tolkien? Was it with a book? A movie? A picture? You may still remember that feeling it brought you, and maybe that feeling can inspire you in creating the story or art for this theme.

It should be about a beginning, about something happening for the first time: the beginning of friendship or love, the first day in a new country or position, the realisation that something changed in the character's life - for some time only, or maybe forever.

The deadline for this challenge is November 30th after an extension.

For writers: send your stories to The contest is anonymous and the story can't be posted publicaly until the results of the challenge are announced. Aragorn or Legolas don't have to be main characters, but at least one of them must be mentioned in the story.

For artists: Submit your picture into the Teitho gallery folder of :iconarda-inspired:. The picture should be new, drawn specifically for the challenge. It's shouldn't be an illustration for your story! State that you are submitting it to the contest in the artist's comments. The 1st place winner will receive 100 dA points from MirachRavaia!

Happy writing and drawing!
Your Teitho-moderator,


Talks with Tolkien artists: TolmanCotton

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 20, 2014, 1:40 AM

If you know a bit about hobbit genealogy, Tolman Cotton is the husband of Lily Brown and father of Rosie Cotton, who married Sam Gamgee in T.A. 3020. But :icontolmancotton: - TolmanCotton is also the nick of a talented Italian artists and art teacher, who illustrates the scenes from Tolkien as they are depicted in the books. So if you want to see some unshaven dwarves with the right beard and cape color, he is your man (or hobbit).

Rauros by TolmanCotton Ghan-buri-ghan by TolmanCotton
Ori by TolmanCotton Fili and Kili by TolmanCotton
 Grey havens by TolmanCotton Mormegil- color by TolmanCotton

1. Hello! For the beginning, could you tell us something about yourself?

Well, I'm an art teacher, an art history lover - Renaissance, Caravaggio and the Academy in particular - and a costume maker who happens to like also the world of illustrations. I live in Tuscany, so I've a great deal of art and beautiful sights around me for inspiration. Oh, and a Tolkien fan, of course.

2. When did you read Tolkien's books for the first time, and what impression did they leave in you?

I first met the works of Tolkien at a cub scout camp, at ten, and I was hooked. I found the Fellowship of the Ring at the local library, unfortunately the other two books had been stolen (!) so I had to wait for Christmas, when I found a rather bulky package under the tree... needless to say, I loved it. When I read "the choices of Master Samwise" I think I cried.

3. How extensive is your knowledge of Middle-earth? Do you consider yourself Tolkien expert?

Well, sort of. My knowledge of Quenya, Sindarin, Westron etc. is laughable, comparing with actual Tolkien scholars, but I think I have read or studied most of the published material about Middle-Earth and the composition of Tolkien lore, plus a lot of extra material by scholars like Helge Fauskanger or Michael Martinez (in fact, I translated in italian most of his "Parma Endorion" essays). I had to do it, since my thesis was on the clothing and accessories of the LoTR characters. Every *single* one of them.

4. When the movies came out, many of the inner pictures of characters and scenes in the mind of the readers have been replaced by actors and settings from the movie. Did it happen to you as well? Did you try to prevent it?

My thesis involved a lot of drawings and sketches and it took me almost two years to complete it. During that time, the first movie came out. I don't know if Ngila Dickson and I had a sort of telepathic bond, but many characters looked very similar, even in colours (for example, both her Boromir and mine wore reddish and blue clothing, and I'm quite sure there's no hint about colours in the book). Others were quite different, but having read (and re-read...) the book so many years before had helped me to form a definite setting in my head. My Sam is NOT Sean Astin, even if his acting is exceptional.

5. Now, could you tell us something about you and art? Are you a professional artist, or is art just your hobby? When did you start doing it, and who or what influenced your style?

Art is my job, but more as a teacher than as a performer. It's not easy to live exclusively on art nowadays - in Italy at least - and I love too much working with children to leave it.
I started painting as soon as I could grab a pencil! My father was a painter himself, so he helped me a great deal. I'm a great fan of Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith, but I love also the works of Norman Rockwell and his acute portrayal of people.

6. How do you choose which scenes and characters to illustrate?

Sometimes I choose... sometimes it's the scene to beg "please, draw me!" But I have to say that I like drawing hobbits the best. Their simple, down-to-earth approach to life appeals to me far more than elves.

7. What art technique is your favourite? Do you rather keep to the art techniques and styles you are familiar with, or do you experiment with new ones as well?

My favourite medium is pencil and sometimes watercolour, but I have tried most techniques - even simple charcoal found on the beach. It's amazing what you can achieve with the right software nowadays, such as Painter or Artrage Studio.

8. Do you have some tips and tricks you would like to share with the other artists?

Looking at the works of other illustrators I always feel awed and humbled, so I don't feel I'm the right person to give tips... Anyway, first of all you have to think thoroughly about the scene you want to depict and visualise it. If you find it difficult, or elusive, probably it won't work. Then draw a rough sketch to find the right composition and search for reference images to help you with the details. You can find it on the web, or art books, or going outside with a camera, or even looking at the mirror. I use to go to the pub with a notebook and sketch people around me. I found that sometimes hasty sketches give great results.

9. Could you give us a link or thumbnail from your gallery of
- a Tolkien illustration you are most proud of?

Sam in the garden by TolmanCotton
I'm a hobbit at heart!

- a picture from other fandom or original picture you are most proud of?

cry over Ezri - colour version by TolmanCotton
Scott Lynch is very, very different from Tolkien, but his characters feel really alive.

- a picture that fits your current mood?
the choices of master Samwise by TolmanCotton

- a picture that was hardest to paint?
The Crowning of Elessar by TolmanCotton
It's still unfinished!

- any other picture you would like to share with us and why?
A long discussion by TolmanCotton
I drew the first version of this picture when I was fifteen, or sixteen, and then left it in a drawer that I seldom opened. It's amazing to see how one's style changes and evolves. It's like meeting a childhood friend you haven't seen in years.

10. What key people in your life, (on or off of dA) have been inspirations to you, or has supported you, as an artist? You can also tell us why, if you want.
As I said before, my father. He passed away last week and I miss him sorely. He was the one to teach me how to hold a paintbrush. But for what little I gleaned from the other students at the Academy, I owe him everything I know about painting and drawing.

11. Is there some artist(s) at dA you know, who doesn't have as much attention as they would deserve? If yes, could you give us some thumbnails from their gallery?

:iconyudaev: - Yuri Yudaev. His eclectic style is astounding.
Esquisse of Decoration DOLPHIN 1989 by Yudaev Medieval Motif. Glass painting. 2009 by Yudaev Before the City Gate. 2004 by Yudaev

12. Is there something else you would like to tell to the fans of Tolkien and your art?
I hope that all the hype for the movies will make more people curious about the actual books, and that after it fades away there will be still people able to appreciate them as they are. Without shaven dwarves! rofl

Thank you very much for your time and answers, Tolman!

Previous talks:Bullet; Blue with Gold-Seven
                            Bullet; Blue with steamey
                            Bullet; Blue with ekukanova
                            Bullet; Blue with Tulikoura
                            Bullet; Blue with AbePapakhian
                            Bullet; Blue with kimberly80
                            Bullet; Blue with jankolas
                            Bullet; Blue with jgilronan
                            Bullet; Blue with ebe-kastein
                            Bullet; Blue with MatsumotoSensei
                            Bullet; Blue with TurnerMohan
                            Bullet; Blue with ullakko
                            Bullet; Blue with batwinged-squirrel
                            Bullet; Blue with wolfanita
                            Bullet; Blue with marisoly
                            Bullet; Blue with kaijukid
                            Bullet; Blue with faQy
                            Bullet; Blue with hitogata / kittykatkanie
                            Bullet; Blue with spiegelscherben
                            Bullet; Blue with The-Black-Panther
                            Bullet; Blue with SceithAilm
                            Bullet; Blue with Candra Talks with Tolkien artists: Candra
                            Bullet; Blue with evankart Talks with Tolkien artists: evankart
                            Bullet; Blue with greensap Talks with Tolkien artists: greensap
                            Bullet; Blue with DonatoArts Talks with Tolkien artists: DonatoArts
                            Bullet; Blue with RobleskaZeppelin Talks with Tolkien artists: RobleskaZeppelin
                            Bullet; Blue with Brunild  Talks with Tolkien artists: Brunild

Rohirrim journal skin.

Horse head 2009 - Grinmir-stock
Texture by kizistock
Knotwork by gbrgraphix

Once in a while, we have a little different challenge, not giving you a theme to write about, but a form that the story should be in. In October, it's time for such a form challenge again and it should be an Alphabet Story!

The rules are simple: the first sentence of your story should begin with the letter A. The second with the letter B, the third with C, etc. The story can have exactly 26 sentences, but it's not a requirement - you can stop at any letter you want, or even repeat the alphabet a few times in the story. You can write about any topic you want, even about someone learning the alphabet.

It is primarily a story-oriented challenge, but you can also draw a picture of it - the objects of the picture should be ordered alphabetically. You can for example draw the Fellowship, or Feanor's sons standing in alphabetic order.

And the winners are:

A Birthday Cake, Decorated by Wynja2007
A common misadventure by sehellys
A Friend by Kiara Kay
Animalia by Sian22 2nd place
Aragorn's Bordeline Chaos by Telemachus
A Worthy Quest by Karri Neves
Cake Crumbs by BlackShaftedArrow
Ion Nin by Cassie Hughes 3rd place
Lovers Meeting by Darkover
One Second In Time by LegolasLover2003
T for Tinco by Palanotar 1st place
Wedding Bell Blues by Raksha the Demon and Linda Hoyland

Happy reading!

Your Teitho-moderator,

More Journal Entries


Add a Comment:
Brunild Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks for accepting my work :heart:
BranBolger Featured By Owner May 4, 2014

To anyone who reads this:

do you like to design fantasy characters, or do you simply like to draw digitally?

i need somebody that is willing to design the artwork for the cards and the other elements for the game that i’m making. i can’t pay you for it, because i’m only 14 years old, but if i ever get to publish the game, i will contact you to make arrangements. if you are interested in working with me, contact me You can also contact me on my facebook (…) or my google+ (…)

also, if you know somebody that would maybe be interested, send them there!

the game that i’m making takes place in middle earth, so the style would be similar to Alan Lee’s and Jhon Howe’s, although the characters are not those appearing in the books or films.

a couple of examples of the style that I’m looking for:elifsiebenpfeiffer.deviantart.………
HazelNutsandCream Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi!  I'm looking for someone who knows Tengwar to help me with writing a phrase in Sindarin, just wondering if anyone in this group is familiar with it or knows someone else who is?  Thanks! :D (Big Grin)
MirachRavaia Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's actually not that hard, there are a few nice tutorials that can help you:
TUTORIAL: How to write Elvish by snurtz A Guide to Tengwar by Akinyi-Mojiko
HazelNutsandCream Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D
legolaslover2003 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Soooo I tried to submit something for the December art portion of Teitho and it says I can't because I've submitted something in the last 30 days.
Any suggestions?

MirachRavaia Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The limit for the Teitho folder is 2 per month, but you apparently submitted the previous entry twice, and although it can be accepted only once, the submission counts towards the limit. Try it now, I set the limit to 3.
legolaslover2003 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow really?  Huh... though that's hardly surprising... my internet does strange things sometimes.
I've submitted it and didn't get an error this time so maybe it worked, hehehe.

LotROLaurelin Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am glad to be a member of this group.
Thank you.
Brunild Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thanks :heart: !!
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