you have a beautiful way with watercolor. this piece reminds me alot of tolkien's own illustrations, the way the mountains swoop up to those needle noses, and would I be right in guessing that the composition and pose of the front eagle was inspired in part by his painting of bilbo up in the eagles eyrie [link]? your a significant step or two ahead of tolkien though, as a painter. Masterful work.
This is absolutly incredibly fantasticly amazing!!! Really watercolour? I love those mountains, love those details like windows and feathers. And what really admirable is - your sence for light and shadows. I rarely see a painting, which effect so optimistic, bright, clear and fresh. Just really want be there to feel pleasantly cool breeze from the mountains.
What i love about this piece is that it isnt simply an 'elven Minas Tirith' as Gondolin is frequently depicted as- this has that kind of organic angle. The way the buildings emerge out of the woods and are built out of the craggy shape of the hill evokes the same design ethics as the films interpretations of Rivendell and the Grey Havens. However the structures do seem rather too sci-fi for Middle-earth and a little too stark with their snow-white colouring (even though Tolkien describes Gondolin as being white i dont consider it particularly beautiful). Nevertheless, for one of the most original takes on this icon of Tolkien's imagination i am very impressed. And that's to say nothing of the immense skill with which it is executed.
I have to agree with you about the sci-fi-eyness of the upper levels - it was the one bit i was never quite sure about and on reflection should have tried another approach; getting the "elfy" look, without giving in totally to Peter Jackson esthetics, is damn difficult. Actually its not the only bit I'm not sure about; the "pidgeon-eagle" at the back bugs the hell out of me as well - added at a fairly late stage to avoid painting more bloody trees - not a good move! Many thanks for the comment and constructive crit.