Designing Legolas: Part 02

Go to Designing Legolas: Part 01.

(If you are new to this blog and have no idea what I’m writing about, you can find out more about FANtasy Character Designs by clicking on the link.)


Video 01: If you cannot see the embedded video:

When it comes to The Lord of the Rings, my favourite character is Gandalf. After watching the movie version of the fantasy novel series, I also fell in love with Legolas, portrayed magnificently by Orlando Bloom. Therefore, I really want to make this FANtasy design special. I’m sorry ladies, I will not be using Orlando Bloom as my reference, because I feel that in spite of fantastic makeup, Mr. Bloom is too human. However, I will make him handsome enough, so you need not worry.

J.R.R. Tolkien saw Legolas as an athletic, tough, warrior.

I’m not a prolific sketcher when it comes to drawing ideas most of the time. I tend to spend most of my designing in my head and only put pen to paper when I already have an image in my mind. If you have read Part 01, you will see that I was thinking about doing a profile pose of Legolas. Fortunately, my work prevented me from drawing fan art, and I left the project for several months.

I’m finally ready to continue with the design. Coming back to it, I thought that the profile picture may be too simple, so I decided to create a more rounded design.

Though I can draw human figures from my head, I find that having a visual aid helps me create better and more life like figures. I have recently acquired an Art Pose app on my iPad where I can quickly design the pose and angle of my character prior to creating a rough sketch.

After several hours of posing, and narrowing down my choices to two poses, I’ve invited Facebook and Twitter fans to help me decide which to use. We’ve decided on Pose 1, which you can see below:

Legolas Pose

Using ArtPose App, I’ve designed a pose for Legolas Greenleaf

The idea is to have Legolas Greenleaf balancing on topmost branches of a tree, and I feel this pose shows his impressive majesty.

I imported the image into Photoshop and after attempting to sketch out the pose through observation, I decided to simplify my life and trace the pose onto a new layer.

Though the pose is fine, I find that the proportions of the character are too human, so I decided to elongate Legolas’ torso, and make him appear taller and more elf-like. I can’t remember how tall elves can become, but I think they are at least 6 feet tall. I believe I read something about that in The Silmarillion ages ago.

In my sketches I have figured out his costume design, so the next step was to dress him and add some details to his head.

Legolas Greenleaf rough sketch 01

Legolas Greenleaf rough sketch 01

I have not included Legolas’ twin daggers/swords, but I did give him his 6-foot bow. I have no idea how he runs through the forest with that giant thing, but according to LOTR Wikipedia page the bow is 6-feet long.

The next step of course will be to refine the sketch. I also need to look up some bow designs, since I’ve never taken archery. In the sketch you can see what I think the bow looks like. Google will tell me what it actually looks like.

Until next time…



If you’d like to get this image when it becomes available join Mili Fay Art Fan Club. For a limited time your gift is the Beta version of Episode 01 of my upcoming original fantasy series Warriors of Virtue. As always, I only write when it is important or to give gifts. I hate spam and will never share your email address.



Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography


Mili Fay, a Toronto-based artist, classical animator, illustrator, writer, and singer, is an award winning graduate of Sheridan College and Art Instruction Schools. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time.

Her latest published work is Animals In My Hair; a story about a boy who goes for his first haircut only to find endangered animals falling out of his hair.

Currently, Mili is working on her first ever illustrated Fantasy novel, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess who must prevent a war with the dragon-people, while keeping her mission a secret from her over-protective mother.

Join Mili Fay Art Fan Club to stay in touch with Mili Fay and to be the first to find out of her upcoming books and artworks.

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