I failed at doing my Tolkien themed Christmas painting, so instead I've spent the first days of the New Year with a project I was inspired to do ever since I heard Tom Bliss' hauntingly beautiful song 'The Grey Lady'. An extract and the lyrics can be seen and heard here:http://www.turnstone.tv/greylady.html
Happy New Year to you all and may many nice things come your way!
And so to the illustratons;
Alan Lee's paintings and sketches were simply amazing. I love it when you find a new picture and all you can do is stare at the sheer genius of a master, and so it was with many of the pictures in this beautiful book.
The one that took my breath away more than most was Lee's pictures of Glarung. When I see a piece of art, a part of my brain analyses whether given enough training, practice, patience and enough years I could produce that piece of work. With this picture, I couldn't possibly imagine being able to produce something this stunning. I can't imagine how he managed to caputre the sheer drama, heat and darkness of this monster. The technique is beyond my scope to grasp.
Lee's watercolours were naturally to his usual amazing standard. Another of my favourites was Amon Rudh, where I thought the lighting was just beautiful. However as often with Lee's work, it is the pencilwork which captures my imagination more. The sketch of the youthful Turin, hair blowing in the wind amidst a beautiful almost Nordic landscape is a fantastic welcome to the book. And for sheer emotion, the finale of Hurin and Morwen is both simple but very moving. I couldn't find online pictures of these two, but I think this sketch below shows what a master of art Mr Lee is. Just stunning.
The hand on the neck is somewhat deliberate. Beren's love will mean the death of Luthien.
I've done quite a few pencil sketches recently, some of which I'm even pleased with, but unfortunately I haven't been near a scanner for a while so my Elfwood account remaind without update. Hopefully soon.