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January 11, 2010
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Minas Ithil by sandzen Minas Ithil by sandzen
So anyone who remembers the five minutes in the movie that take place outside Minas Morgul (the evil, green, glowy tower where Sam, Frodo and Gollum watch all the black riders and soldiers march out) will have some vague idea of what this is a picture of.

The tower was originally called Minas Ithil (meaning, "Tower of the Moon") and was a way of watching over Sauron as he hid in Mordor. Eventually, in the year 3429, he takes over Minas Ithil, burns the White Tree there, and turns it into Minas Morgul ("Tower of Black Sorcery").

I've always wanted to do a Minas Tirith or a Weathertop. For some reason, those two have always captivated me. And I doodled this one without really aiming for either, but upon image searching the various Middle Earth structures I found that Ithil most closely resembled this design, so there it is. I just wish I'd used a white stone on top.

One thing that always fascinated me about Minas Morgul/Ithil is what happens to it after the film. It may very well say in one of the appendices I haven't read. But, you know, we get to see what becomes of the rest of Mordor, but not the Morgul Vale. Why not?

Perhaps it's because, like Orthanc, Minas Morgul used to be a source of goodness in the world. So, maybe there's no reason to destroy it. Maybe they just went back there, cleaned out all the ghoulies, re-erected the tower and made it into a real place again. Who knows?
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:iconaslibayrak:
AsliBayrak Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
:) Featured in tolkien
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:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014   General Artist
Awesome! Thank you. I should get all my LotR ones in there. Cheers.
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:iconjoshleemooney:
joshleemooney Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
Honestly I've never seen work like this before. It's very original and unique. I like it a lot. Good source of inspiration as well. :) Great job.
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:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010   General Artist
Nor have I, and honestly that makes me sad. Someone with more time on their hands could probably make some truly groundbreaking art. And although my sand works have been in art shows, I don't think I'm quite there, or close to being there, yet.

It's thanks to people like yourself that I continue making them at all. So thank you for your kind words. They made my day. Truly.
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:iconjoshleemooney:
joshleemooney Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010
I'm glad. I've come across a lot of different art mediums since joining Deviant and I have to say this is one of my favorite. I'm curious though how you go about it? Do you use special brushes/combs to create the designs? You talked about sketching the Minas Ithil out before you started, would it be too much to ask to see some of those sketches?

Just curious. :)
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:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2010   General Artist
I have one major rake I use, the four-pronged rake. There's a five-pronged one, but it's difficult to do very much with it. There's one with ten prongs but they're stubby little things that don't go deep into the sand so it takes extreme care to use it, and I don't use it often, unless I'm trying to create a depth of field.

As for the 'sketches' I think what I meant was that I sometimes draw a crude trace of the design into the sand before raking out the base lines and starting, if that makes any sense. Sometimes I think I should write a little manual for zen garden design just so that a vocabulary could be set in place for proper discussion...

Maybe someday.

But really there's nothing to show you that you can't already see in the picture. Not that I don't love sharing my work at any stage, there's just nothing to show.
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