A friend of one of my clients wished to commission a piece because she had seen my art in her collection and admired it. She wanted a Tolkien piece, and I offered a twist; the Elves were to be Black. There is no rule against multi-racial elves. The painting was done of two very tall and elegant Black elves, a man and a woman, dressed in grey and light green, watching in refined horror as Frodo, the small, stocky Hobbit, shows them the fateful Ring. The background is the Yellow Forest of Tolkien's elves; it was painted just as leaves were sprouting on the spring trees, and is that special green-gold color. Iridescent paints were used for the green border and the purple sheen around the Ring. The male elf was based on the appearance of famous basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Nowadays the "black" elves are represented by the "drow" or "Dark Elves" who have blue-black skin and pure white hair, not much like human coloring at all.
"Frodo and the Black Elves" is acrylic on illustration board, 11" x 14" June 1986. Click for larger view.