ALAN LEE ON U.S. TOUR FOR
THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK
In The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook, world-renowned artist Alan Lee reveals his approach to depicting J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginary world, on both the page and the screen. An internationally acclaimed illustrator of Tolkien's books, Lee was also one of the conceptual designers on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he earned an Academy Award®.
To celebrate the publication of the book in October, Houghton Mifflin, Tolkien's official U.S. publisher for over sixty years, will bring Lee to the United States for a national tour.
The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook presents more than one hundred-fifty of Lee's celebrated illustrations to show how his imagery for the illustrated Lord of the Rings and the films progressed from concept to finished art. In addition, the book features twenty full-color plates and numerous examples of the conceptual art produced for Peter Jackson's film adaptation.
As Ian McKellen (who plays Gandalf in the films) notes in his thoughtful foreword to the book, it was Lee's illustrations of Tolkien's books as well as artist John Howe's that originally inspired Jackson's vision of Middle-earth. The sketchbook "feels and looks like other artists' records of great journeys to foreign lands," McKellen writes. "But in Alan Lee's case, his sketches of Middle-earth and its inhabitants preceded the travel, and the country he helped uncover in New Zealand was partly of his own making."
Accompanying the artwork in the book is fascinating commentary by Lee, including personal anecdotes and explanations of his methods, his intent, and his role on a project as vast as the film trilogy. There is no doubt that Lee's involvement in the movie was critical in making the big-screen version of Tolkien's tale as authentic and respectful of the literature as it is.
Offering amazing "insight into an artist's mind and a close-up of his pen, pencil, and brushes at work," as McKellen describes it, The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook is sure to captivate all Tolkien fans, aspiring artists, and book illustrators.
Inspired by Tolkien's work to pursue his chosen path as an artist of the mythic and fantastic, Alan Lee has illustrated a wide range of books, including The Hobbit, Faeries (with Brian Froud), The Mabinogion, Castles, The Mirrorstone, The Moon's Revenge, Merlin Dreams, Black Ships Before Troy, and The Wanderings of Odysseus. Lee began work in the film industry as a conceptual designer on the film Legend.
He also did design work on Terry Jones's feature film Erik the Viking and the miniseries Merlin. Lee has received several prestigious awards, including the Carnegie Medal for his illustrated edition of The Illiad, the Kate Greenaway Medal for Black Ships Before Troy, and the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards of 1998.