My artwork as published in ArtStation:
This is the portrait of Varda, also known as Elbereth Gilthoniel without showing her face, but rather her essence. She is a Valië, one of the fourteen Valar and their seven females.
Valar are basically god or archangel like beings in Eä, the universe of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth stories. Each embodies an element or a state of mind. They could change form if needed or even be without one.
Varda is the most beloved by the Elves. They call her as the Queen of Stars but it’s more like a title from how the Elves got to know Varda. She’s essentially the embodiment of light itself and not stars alone. She’s also not the queen of night which Estë is notably more fond of. These quotes reveal why I think so:
Valaquenta — Of the Valar
With Manwë dwells Varda, Lady of the Stars, who knows all regions of Eä. Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy.
Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
Now Varda purposed that the two vessels should journey in Ilmen and ever be aloft, but not together; each should pass from Valinor into the east and return, the one issuing from the west as the other turned from the East.
Because of the waywardness of Tilion, therefore, and yet more because of the prayers of Lórien and Estë, who said that sleep and rest had been banished from the Earth, and the stars were hidden, Varda changed her counsel, and allowed a time wherein the world should still have shadow and half-light.
The Lord of the Rings — The Fellowship of the Ring
Three is Company
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the sea.
O stars that in Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.
These are the reasons why my personal image of Varda is a pale angelic being, and also snow white haired because she is basically the anti-shadow statement. She’s notably radiant like a lamp but not so much that she’s blinding unlike Arien.
For Varda I have also taken some inspiration from the fair Pohjola’s Daughters of Kalevala, decribed to be sitting at the sky. They are described to be exquisitely radiant because their very translucent bodies with light shining all the way from their marrows. I’m aware of Kalevala’s influence to Tolkien’s work but I cannot tell if this is a coincidence or not, yet I went with it.