Thursday, April 18, 2013

Favorite Tolkien Art

Now that we're done with the Hammond and Scull readings, what were your guys' favorite pieces?  And, of course, why do you like them?  I think my favorite would have to be Bilbo Comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves (p 131 in H&S).  I think it's one of the rare pieces that Tolkien used saturated, cool colors: blues and greens.  I think the trees are particularly interesting because they're stylized, which seems unusual for Tolkien.  
Like we mentioned in class, it has the motif of the path/river winding your eye beyond the bounds of the picture.  I also think it's a very iconic image for The Hobbit.  

7 comments:

Lorin said...

I find the "Halls of Manwe (Taniquetil)" to be one of his most beautiful paintings, but I just have to mention two others of his that went hand in hand: "Undertenishness" and "Grownupishness." I just find the utter contrast between the two so striking and telling of Tolkien's views about children and (most) adults - namely, it makes me think of "On Fairy-stories" and his idea that fairy tales are not just for children, and that there really shouldn't be such huge differentiation between children and adults.

Also, I really like "End of the World." It kind of spoke to how I feel right now, about to graduate: (going along with Hammond and Scull's analysis of it) the next step looks frightening, but there might be some beautiful things to experience right around the corner :)

sworland said...

Lorin, I am in the same boat as you! I love "Halls of Manwe (Taniquetil)." The colors, the contrast between light and dark, and the clear structure of the piece are very attractive to my eye. And I love the ship in the foreground.

"The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the Water" is also one of my favorites mostly because of the bright colors and cheerfulness so apparent in the composition of the painting.

And maybe this is weird, but I loved one of his original designs for The Hobbit dust-jackets. On page 148, it's the image with the two dragons on the bottom of the front and back covers. Learning about how much Tolkien loved to draw dragons really makes this cover image feel appropriate.

Megan said...

Actually, I quite liked the Tree of Amalion that I was assigned on the first day! It is really whimsical and fun, but at the same time, very beautiful and magical. For a very weird, Dr Seuss-esque style, it was also quite serious. I don't know how to critique art, but I really liked that one!

S. M. said...

One of my favorite paintings is "Bilbo Woke Up with the Early Sun in His Eyes." I like how the bright streaks of white gouache add a crisp bit of contrast to the background. Also, the subtle detailing of the eagle’s feathers is wonderful.

Anna Adams said...

My favorite piece of Tolkien's art (at the moment) is his "Coiled Dragon." There's a picture of it on the back of the Tolkien Artist and Illustrator book by Hammond and Scull, and I think it is a really excellent watercolor. The detail on the dragon is high quality; I think it's very hard to do that with watercolor! The painting is just a dragon with no background, so we can't criticize Tolkien's perspective. In the book Hammond and Scull say it's one of his best pieces, and of course I agree.

Austin M. said...

Just as I said in class, my favorite work of art by Tolkien is the original cover of The Hobbit. I own two different editions of The Hobbit, but from the moment I saw this cover, I have been determined to get my hands on one with this cover. I think the roughly sketched look of the cover combined with the color scheme are the main reasons I like it. If I can't find an edition with this cover, I guess I could settle for a framable copy...

Julie Lautenschleger said...

I really enjoyed Tolkien's portrayal of the Shire. I actually tried to (somewhat) replicate it in my own artwork for the Long Project, which increased my appreciation for it. The vibrant colors and bubbly landscape give the viewer a real feel for what the Shire should feel like. His other drawings were also very detailed and well done, but Tolkien seemed to feel confident enough to use strong lines and much creativity in this piece of art.