Rather than focusing on one particular illustrator for this edition of Incredible Illustrations, I’ve decided instead to showcase some of the various drawings, prints, paintings and sketches associated with J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, of which the new film premièred here in the UK yesterday and is out on general release as from today.
I was lucky enough to see it last night and was absolutely blown away by the quality of the scenery, costumes and visuals, and would highly recommend going to see it based on those alone, even if you aren’t familiar with the story or a fan of Tolkien or the Lord Of The Rings. The land of Middle Earth is one of fantasy, mystery and magic, and must be an absolute joy to represent through visual art, from the forests and the mountains to the rivers and the Shire, and the majestic castles of the Elves to the bare and intimidating fascias of the caves and underground Dwarf cities.
There are many, many editions of The Hobbit book around, since its original publication in 1937, all with different artwork, different illustrators, and different interpretations of the characters and landscapes. Hundreds upon hundreds of sketches, all incredibly beautiful in their own way, and as a set, far too many to feature here! So instead, below are a few of my favourites:
As I said, there are many, MANY more examples of Hobbit art, and many editions of the book still in circulation. I’d highly recommend reading it and seeing the film, or even seeing the film before reading it, if you must – this is one of the extremely infrequent instances where I wouldn’t be too bothered if I saw the film first, because it’s incredibly true to the book, with the castings of all the characters being an almost perfect choice, and, as mentioned before, scenery so beautiful that it would only enhance and not spoil your imagination if you were to see it then read the tale yourself at a later date.
Basically, I love fantasy, I love The Hobbit, I love Hobbit concept art, and after seeing/reading it for the first time or the tenth time, I dare you all not to love it too.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (thetimes.co.uk)
- Tolkien the artist (guardian.co.uk)
- Hobbit Art Tolkien Loved, and That Which He Abhorred (iO9.com)