Wee, another painting! so soon! isn't that exciting! \o/
I have to admit that I have my problems with Elwing. The problems are mostly based on that she's obviously meant to be one of the Supremely Good Guys (or, in this case, Gals), but it only works if you accept the basic premise of "The Fëanorians must not, under any circumstances, gain a Silmaril". I don't. I don't really get it, I'm afraid. Yes, yes, they did a lot of horrible things in order to get their grubby hands on one, but shouldn't this rather be a motivation to just hand the bloody thing over rather than continuing to go "No, you can't have it, because you've been BAD!" Yes, and they'll be WORSE if you don't give it to them. Honestly. I think there was a lot of seriously irrational behaviour on either side of the conflict. Illiacum intra muros...
Anyway. If you don't
accept the "Fëanorians mustn't have the thing they've been hunting for for centuries" premise, Elwing's basically just a pretty obsessed character who'd rather kill herself than just give the boys their toy and be done with, dooming a good part of her people to death and abandoning her infant twins in the process. Way to go, Elwing. I'm really impressed.
But of course she still displays remarkable strength of character for all the irrationality. She decides for a course of action and sticks with it even when it gets tough, no matter what the cost. She takes the hard road, and she just happens to be successful by sheer luck (it's not like you can plan on being turned into a bird when you toss yourself into the ocean!). We can assume that Eärendil wouldn't have found Valinor without her timely appearance, and I don't think it's coincidence that he yields the decision between mortal and Elvish fate to her. Way to go, Elwing.
As you can see, the change-into-bird has already begun to happen in this picture even though she's still in the process of jumping. This is for purely compositional reasons, because I wanted to include the bird bit but didn't want to paint her underwater, and half-in half-out would've been too complicated, so this is sort of a compromise.
As always, ignore my inability to do anything useful with light and shadows.
The frame flower was difficult this time! I was convinced that there was some mythological/folkloric plant with berries that supposedly could turn you into the bird that best fitted your personality, but unfortunately the only reference I found at all was in the third book of the Inkworld
trilogy and it doesn't name the plant.
For some reason I always thought Elwing was turned into a crane, so eventually I had the choice between cranberry (so called for its flowers, which apparently resemble the shape of a crane's head) and juniper (one of the folkloric names in German is kranewitt
, "crane-wood", so I suspect this might actually be the plant I've been looking for). Both also have medicinal uses. As you can see I went for juniper; it's got the longer "magic" tradition (afaik).
Sometimes I'm just too lazy to do more research. >_>