The Art of Alan Lee & John Howe

I recently wrote a Featured Artist post that was a review of an artist named Matthew Stewart who uses a lot of Tolkien’s literature as inspiration to create artworks from, an amazing artist and it was writing that post that inspired me to carry out my own project based on The Lord of the Rings. However from this point on I’m going to look at the works of some artists/illustrators who are recognised by the Tolkien estate (a rare instance as they seem to hate and sue anybody doing anything with their predecessor’s literary masterpieces) artists who have created artworks for board games, calendars, illustrated books, and other Tolkien Estate approved merchandise.

Alan Lee & John Howe
Alan Lee & John Howe

The two artists that I’m focusing on for this particular post are Alan Lee and John Howe, two men who were already well recognised for portraying Middle Earth and Scenes from Tolkien’s books for all of the above mentioned merchandise; they were also hired by Peter Jackson as the concept artists for the films; the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the Hobbit trilogy. Amazing artists with incredible passion, insight and a magical ability to be able to turn words on a page into some of the most stunning visuals created for this literary legacy.

We’ll start with some of Alan Lee’s artwork:

Alan Lee - Farewell to Gandalf
Alan Lee – Farewell to Gandalf

Now Gandalf too said farewell. Bilbo sat on the ground feeling very unhappy and wishing he was beside the wizard on his tall horse. He had gone just inside the forest after breakfast (a very poor one), and it had seemed as dark in there in the morning as at night, and very secret: “a sort of watching and waiting feeling,” he said to himself.

This beautiful painting by Alan Lee shows his incredibly skillful imagination in bringing written word to life in a visual form, the trees form a stunning composition, capturing and framing the narrative scene.

This is the sort of artwork that drives my own mind and imagination.

Alan Lee - Lady Dwarf Sketch
Alan Lee – Lady Dwarf Sketch

For all of us who have wondered and tried to envision, Alan Lee has again used his imaginative technique to show the world what a female Dwarf looks like,  very interesting concept and a totally unattractive female as a result.

Now I’ll just add more artworks with their caption or otherwise this post will end up becoming a book, it’s extremely hard to choose certain artworks from these artists as I can’t say there’s a single piece from either artist that I don’t like.

Alan Lee - The Stone Trolls
Alan Lee – The Stone Trolls
Alan Lee - Moria Gate
Alan Lee – The West Gate of Durin
Alan Lee - The Mirror of Galadriel
Alan Lee – The Mirror of Galadriel
Alan Lee - Leaving for the West
Alan Lee – Leaving for the West
Alan Lee - The Battle of the Hornburg
Alan Lee – The Battle of the Hornburg
Alan Lee - The Witch King of Angmar
Alan Lee – The Witch King of Angmar

As for Alan Lee, I’m going to leave that there, the above artworks are just a minute handful of a lifetime’s work inspired by Tolkien’s narrative, there are several books and collections of both Alan Lee and John Howe’s works available to buy and easy enough to find by searching on Amazon.

For the next stage now, I’m going to share some of John Howe’s work:

John Howe - Eowyn and the Nazgul
John Howe – Eowyn and the Nazgul
John Howe - Orthanc Destroyed
John Howe – Orthanc Destroyed
John Howe - Gandalf comes to Hobbiton
John Howe – Gandalf comes to Hobbiton
John Howe - Gandalf the Grey
John Howe – Gandalf the Grey
John Howe - The Witch King at Minas Tirith
John Howe – The Witch King at Minas Tirith
John Howe - Legolas & Gimli at Helm's Deep
John Howe – Legolas & Gimli at Helm’s Deep
John Howe - The Balrog Falling
John Howe – The Balrog Falling

The pictures of the artworks that I have shared in this post were sourced from a Tumblr account that I found whilst looking for concept art for the movies a while back, it is full of Alan and John’s artworks and is definitely worth a look at if you’re interested in either artist. Click Here to be directed to the site containing all the works, there are several categories as well so it makes it easier to find artworks for specific books, or artist.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the content of this post and feel free to re-blog or comment if you want to discuss any of the above artworks or any others.

JGlover

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