For a very long time now, since my last re-read of The Hobbit, I have been wanting to explore in depth the character of Bilbo Baggins; of all of Tolkien’s characters Bilbo is the one that I feel akin to and relate to the most.
Before I had made the second mark on paper, I knew that I wanted the final piece to be an ink drawing; ink is a medium that I absolutely love but don’t get to work with enough and thus my experience with the medium is somewhat lacking.
However, knowing that the final piece would be inked, informed my sketching process in a different way than usual and thus made me adapt to a different way of drawing to my usual charcoal and blend method.
Another busy month, and another slightly belated blog post…
Here we are, moving into yet another month and without much idea of where the last one went. June has been a bit of a wash out for me in the UK, our usual summer being a total let down, thus leading to not many days out exploring due to the bad weather and therefore less photos to share.
All of the photos are my own, taken with either my phone or digital camera and then edited solely using Instagram.
I hope that you enjoy this selection of my favourite photos that I’ve taken and posted to Instagram, please feel free to follow me on there and start a conversation!
“This is where we leave the open and take to cover,” said Strider.
Here we are, returning again to Hobbits, and a marsh, and a plan for a future oil painting with a heavy focus on the landscape this time around. My last painting of a similar scene was ‘The Passage of the Marshes’ but I intend to take this one in a different direction.
This new piece is inspired by The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter XI – A Knife In The Dark. In this scene we join the four Hobbits; Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin as they follow Strider to Rivendell, before that though is the journey to Amon Sûl (Weathertop) which takes them through the Midgewater Marshes.
“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
– J.R.R. Tolkien; The Hobbit; or There and Back Again
Just recently I kicked back and did something that I haven’t done for too long…
I pulled out my sketchbook and blew the dust off it as though it was an ancient tome that I had recovered from the depths of a barrow and before the the tiredness overtook me, I started sketching.
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”
That quote is incredibly apt when it comes to the journey that I have just taken to a galaxy far far way in order to create my latest artwork ‘Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah’.
I took a very different approach to this piece than I usually do with my paintings; this time I wanted not to work from a single reference image and fall into the usual trap of becoming a slave to the reference and instead worked from a variety of different ones.
It was after nightfall when they had entered the Mines. They had been going for several hours with only brief halts, when Gandalf came to his first serious check.
After some time toying with the idea of revisiting the scene of Gandalf in Moria in more detail, I have finally managed to make the journey into the depths of the Mines and throw together a new artwork. It has been both an interesting and perilous journey, one full of inspiration and excitement and fair few lessons learned in the process.
For this illustration, we head to The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter IV – A Journey In The Dark.