Tolkien Week: Day 6 – Aulë

Hello again! It is day six of Tolkien Week. Tomorrow is sunday and the last day of the week. I have not yet decided what I will draw tomorrow. Today however, I wanted to tackle a Vala. I choose Aulë and while I am not satisfied with how he looks (like, even I do not think it looks like Aulë) I am overall pleased with the image. Any of the Valar is impossible to depict and I refuse to make them look exactly lika a human/elf and have them wear regular clothing. Very diffiult.

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Illustration of Aulë. Made by the author of this blog. Do not use without permission.

Aulë is a Valar and one of the Aratar. He is The Smith and is attributed with the skills of crafting. He is concerned with rock, metal, nature of substances and works of craft. He is incredibly helpful and recourseful. He rather solves problems and fix things than fight with others. He is the husband of Yavanna.

Aulë is a bit special, because he actually created the dwarves, this was against the will of Illuvatar, but Illuvatar actually allowed them. So Aulë did not have to destroy the race. The dwarves were to live in Middle-Earth with the elves and men.

Now, about the design. I do not know what I was thinking, probably mainly about getting a muscled body-type there. Otherwise what I like about the design is just his stature and the hammer. I’m not sure why, but I made him look somewhat like Ganondorf from Zelda. He doesn’t look nice either, which is wrong, he seems to be of a pleasant personality.

Ok, so, obvisouly I struggle with the depiction of the Valar. I find it incredible difficult to grasp what they look like. I think that Ulmo is the one that is most well described. But it is still difficult, I seem to visualize them all differently each time I read about them and then I draw something entirerly different.

How do you consider the Valar? Humanoid? Elemental? More etheral? Often shapeshifting (like Loke of the Norse Mythology)? 

2 thoughts on “Tolkien Week: Day 6 – Aulë

  1. I have really been enjoying your drawings so far. I agree that the fact the Valar are abstract and “elemental” makes their physical make-up very illusive. If I remember correctly, the Valar and Maiar wore their appearances as people might wear clothes, and those appearances somewhat reflected that part of Illuvatar’s mind which they knew best. So perhaps, in the moment when Aule creates the dwarves, he resembled them to some extent. Not necessarily as we see in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit, because there was always an important difference between how Tolkien imagined dwarves and how PJ depicted them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is not illogical to assume that they would/could manifest an appearance that reflect the part of Illuvatar’s mind they knew and that this might change depending on situation and purpose.


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