Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I have been feeling somewhat guilty because I have not been able to share anything with you for a while. I was sick over the Christmas break and lost a couple of weeks there and then I'm right back into a project which is NDA protected - meaning it's all hush hush until it gets published.

So I think what I will do instead is share some of the art that really inspires me. The first piece is by Alan Lee. This illustration is for me the very essence of Middle Earth. For my money there is more Tolkien in this one painting than all five of the movies - the moody sky, the endless landscape, the old bridge and the feeling that you are in a charming yet dangerous wilderness, all pure Tolkien.

The next piece is by Alan Lee's old room mate Brian Froud. I love this picture for so many reasons, but mostly because it just says Faerie Tale. It has the gloom and the grit and the spookiness of the very best Faerie Tales. I love the girls hair and the patches on her dress - fabulous !

The next piece is my all time favourite John Bauer piece. This is another spectacular example of creating a Faerie Tale world or "secondary world" as Tolkien called it. The seemingly perfect nature of the symmetrical composition is beautifully enhanced by the writhing snake like roots that are leading toward the girl from both sides of the picture. And the two birds at the upper right are lovely little touch.

This next picture is from a Russian illustrator named Pavel Tatarnikov. This one is such a brilliant display of character rendering, not to mention the nearly impossible task of painting chain mail. I don't know how he gets his watercolour to do that but it is just stunning. I'm pretty sure he is using gouache to get some of those textures. The metal work and armour is fabulous too.

Here's another one by Tatarnikov - just for fun. And just look at all the work in those trees. I had a couple more I wanted to add to this post but it looks like Blogger wants me to stop here. More soon.


Jay Penn said...

I'd love to hear how you came across each of your favourite artists, Larry. We seem to be attracted to do the very same ones!

Rosie Lauren Smith said...

Great selection, beautiful art. I'd just love to walk into that Alan Lee one and stop for a picnic.

Larry MacDougall said...

Jay - I think these artists were discovered in the usual way, either poking around book stores or learned about them in art school. I can still remember walking into a shop and seeing the Froud, Lee Faeries book for the first time. I was supposed to be Christmas shopping but had to buy it for myself.

Larry MacDougall said...

Rosie - I totally agree with you, but of course if you were actually there you might have to keep a look out for trolls. :)