Welcome to a new feature to the blog; the Sketchbook!
This new feature will be my means of documenting my experiments, sketches and studies and posting them on the blog every week or two. There will be a variety of themes for this undertaking and some weeks may contain a vast amount of sketches whilst others may only contain one or two more detailed works.
This will also work hand in hand with my two new goals for this year; to use my sketchbook a lot more and sketch at every possible moment; also, to blog a lot more and get the momentum back with it.
Over the past few months my posting has been a rarity due to work commitments and a general lack of time to complete my larger projects and get them posted; therefore the Sketchbook will give me more opportunities to get things finished and to get blog posts up as they are a lot less time consuming than oil paintings and large drawings.
Without further ado, the theme for this week is Vikings and it will be a recurring one as I am studying Norse life for a future project!
These first two pieces I actually experimented with timelapse videos for for the first time as well; they can be found on my Instagram, the link for that will be at the bottom of this post.
This sketch was an experiment in challenging myself; I have become very comfortable depicting single figure compositions and I wanted to try a group of figures; a quick rough sketch but one that bore fruit nonetheless and taught me a lot.
That’s all for this post but I hope you have enjoyed this new feature and I will soon be posting more so don’t forget to follow/subscribe to the blog to stay updated; the subscription box can be found further down the page.
Also, to see my works in progress and behind the scenes style pics as well as other stuff exclusive to that platform; follow me on Instagram @JGloverArt
I’ll be slightly changing the content of these posts every now and then in the future to include studies and general sketches so that not every post is a clean boxed composition idea; I find that it’s nice to sketch in a vignette style a lot and not always thinking about composition. Sometimes an idea sketch just needs to flow and find its own momentum without the restrictions set in place by drawing within a frame.
And another freezing cold morning it is as well, but that’s where the coffee plays a key role in this process. Today’s coffee of choice is a caramel blend which is nice, but perhaps a bit too rich for the first drink of the day.
If you missed Part I of this new series then you can find that by clicking here.
Any road, here’s the sketch for this morning –
Sorry for the poor quality of the photograph, I’ve been using my phone but I’ll start using my camera for this next week.
Today’s sketch isn’t a narrative but it is something that will be equally as important for the visual fantasy novel that I’m crafting; a landmark, a glimpse of a small place in the world wherein the story takes place. These Tri Rocks will make their appearance in the backdrop of a piece of artwork further down the road.
This rocky slope is also surrounded by trees which I very roughly made impressions of rather than drawing them out fully and with detail; the idea of this series of sketches is too keep it loose and rough to allow the ideas to flow more than worrying about details; I can save them for the main artworks.
This is a new idea I’ve decided to try out in order to keep up a discipline in myself for sketching more regularly, most of the sketches I create for this series will be the foundation sketches for larger artworks that will form a part of my Leaves of Hellebore visual fantasy novel.
True to the title, these sketches will indeed be sketchy and rough drafts, sometimes even in the form of thumbnails; I have a penchant for overworking sketches and striving for detail where it isn’t needed, so this will encourage me to loosen up more; and erasers are banned from these works in order to help me fulfill that.
Anyway, let’s cut to the chase, here is the first Morning Coffee Sketch which has been created in the company of a lovely blend of hazelnut coffee –
This concept is of a warrior who has been on the road for a long time and has finally returned to his homeland, battle weary and perhaps bearing ill tidings; he blows on his horn to inform the people of his long awaited return; or perhaps to warn them sooner of an impending danger…
Fell free to leave any comments and let me know what you think of this idea and series and if you have any requests or concepts you would like to see sketched!
Also if you want to see more of my working process and see works in progress then give me a follow on Instagram – @JGloverArt
Hello everyone, as you may or may not have been aware, today would be the scheduled day for Part V of my Lord of the Rings Project; unfortunately as I had estimated before, now that I’ve moved into the oil painting stage of the project things are going a bit slower than the sketching stage. I’ve nearly completed the underpainting of the figures but the surrounding landscape still needs to be sketched in and underpainted before Part V will be ready to publish.
In order to avoid disappointment from this stage on, I’m no longer going to set the schedule for project posts as every two weeks, I’ll post them once ready and provide updates in between accompanied with images showing the progress at each stage of a post. Next Wednesday, I will post another update with images of the work at that stage, I may have the background and landscape blocked in by then, in which case it will be Part V of the project.
I still will be posting every Wednesday and as much as possible for the duration of this project, my posts will still be Tolkien related for the most part.
I’ll leave you with the links below for all the posts on this project and relating to it, feel free to check them out and share, leave feedback and converse. Until next week, take care!
This week’s Tolkien artist insight is about the illustrative artwork of none other than JRR Tolkien himself; I’ve previously looked at the work of other recognised illustrators of Tolkien’s legendarium and whilst debating who to look at this week it occured to me, I haven’t yet delved into the illustrations of the man who created the richest fantasy world in the history of literature.
Welcome to Part II of my current art project, if you’ve only just stumbled upon this post and haven’t seen Part I, you can find it by Clicking Here.
For this part of my project, I have done some sketches of Middle-earth, some in pencil and some in watercolour, the sketches that I’ve produced are fairly rough working sketches, I haven’t worried too much about capturing every detail just wanting to catch the essence of the place and show what’s there for future reference. Most artists used preliminary rough sketches to work from at a later date for their main works, the artist I draw the most inspiration from for this practice when it comes to landscapes is JMW Turner; an incredibly talented Romanticist landscape artist from the Victorian Era.
As a reference for this sketches that I’ve carried out I used scenes from the movies, directed by Peter Jackson as well as photos of the beautiful New Zealand scenery; I think one thing that people who are totally in opposition to the movies can’t deny is that the setting for Tolkien’s legendarium was very well chosen and portrayed. Then again I may be wrong, critics will be critics at the end of the day.
Anyway, moving on from that here is the work I’ve produced since Part I:
This pencil sketch shows the approach to Isengard, but viewed as though one has already entered the archway and is en route to Isengard, thus in a sense it’s an exit from Isengard.
I love ruins, stonework and architectural elements such as bridges, archways and so on and therefore this was a nice seen to sketch. I captured the elements that were relevant for future work basically scribbling outlines and rough shading for reference.
*The hills of Emyn Muil, upon either side of Nen Hithoel, was a vast, seemingly impenetrable maze of rocky crags in the region of Rhovanion in Middle-earth. – lotr.wikia.com
This was a lovely sketch to create, the textures and surfaces of the rocky crags a perfect subject for sketching quickly and efficiently.
Mordor can be seen in the distance so I used some red and yellow colouring pencils to make it stand out amongst the greyscale landscape that directs the eye towards it.
The same again but this time I used watercolour paints to capture the scene, they give a very different effect but the same atmospheric qualities of this dark place remain.
Sketching with watercolours is an amazing creative process, working fast and building up layer by layer to complete a reference to the seen being captured.
As can be seen watercolours are a lot looser than pencils and it could be seen from either viewpoint whether they give more freedom or less, I guess it depends upon the subject.
*Anórien lay north of Minas Tirith and the line of the White Mountains (Ered Nimrais), and was the only part of the northern half of the realm,Calenardhon, which was not given to the Éothéod to become the Kingdom of Rohan.
Anórien formed a narrow strip of land consisting of the valleys of the White Mountains made up of tall grasslands, and its borders were the Mering Stream in the west and the Mouths of the Entwash in the north. Its eastern border was the border of Gondor at the Anduin. The climate was mild winters with warm summers. No cities were in Anórien, but following the line of the Great Road that led through Rohan to Arnor were built the Warning beacons of Gondor.
This sketch is the one that I spent the most time working with, using watercolours to capture the colours and shadows formed by the beautiful landscape of Anorien.
It differs slightly from the pencil sketch but the two together serve as a perfect preliminary to work with at a later date if the want arises to for a bigger scale painting.
I hope you have enjoyed this post that the sketches contained within, this series of sketches has allowed me to immerse myself within the landscape of Middle-earth and feel as though it’s a place I’ve visited; that’s the beauty of both literary and visual art, they take one away from the current state and world and transfer one to another world entirely.
Part III of this project will be where I truly strike my artistic ambition, I will be choosing a scene from Tolkien’s narrative and carrying out both a rough sketch and a detailed drawing in order to create my final painting from. I have a few scenes in mind one of which I’m going to choose and that will become the focus of the rest of this journey.
Another bonus for Part III is that I can go into more depth about the scene I’m depicting, taking an excerpt from the book and analysing the content of the material at my disposal, as for Part I and II I have used a variety of scenes or landscapes and therefore haven’t gone into as much detail as I could of, in neither the sketches nor the writing.
Hopefully see you next time for Part III, in the meantime please feel free to comment, follow, and leave any feedback!