When I was eight years old (I think) my Dad read me The Hobbit before I went to sleep. I don't remember how many nights it took, probably many more than he needed to spend, but I have always remembered him taking the time to do this.
It was the most fantastic stuff I had ever heard of, little people called hobbits, dwarves, trolls, goblins, great eagles, Gandalf the wizard, a big guy who turns into a great bear, elves, spiders, a dragon, stolen gold under a mountain, and a grand adventure. I was hooked, what's not to love?
Lots of artists have tackled Tolkien's extraordinary world, that being the case I think back to a quote I heard from an artist not long ago, "If you keep trying to be original, you'll wake up one day a shriveled old man that's done nothing. Just make sure you're being authentic." If I can get these pictures to look anywhere close to what I saw in my head when I heard The Hobbit for the first time 18 years ago and what I see when I read it now, I think I'll be doing OK. And even though this is a personal undertaking, these images are just as much for my Dad as they are for me.
"Queer Lodgings" one of many scenes of feasting and deep talking, this time in the house of Beorn.
Looking now, there are some real ugly passages yet...pay those no mind. Graphite on thrice gessoed illustration board. Plan is to spray the drawing with fixative then lay oils on top. I've seen a really good illustrator do this to great effect...I have no idea how it will work for me. The other purpose of these Hobbit pieces is also to try and find a good way of getting the drawing into the painting, this being the first method of a couple that I'm trying.