Lord of the Rings Concept Art

Lord of the Rings Concept Art

Over on Ralph Bakshi‘s blog, you can browse the Unfiltered tag and look at all the posts relating to the 2008 art book that I collaborated with Jon M. Gibson and Ralph on. A few years ago, The Bakshi team posted the missing chapter from the book, the Lord of the Rings chapter as it was originally designed and intended to be shown before paperwork killed it. It was one of the largest chapters, certainly with the largest selection of art to dig through and investigate during the research phase. Ralph especially loves the artwork that was produced during the development of this film. It was one of the few films that he directed with a budget that could afford a decent development phase at all. Ralph made the most of the opportunity by hiring esteemed fantasy artists and young upstarts to visually imagine Tolkien’s world.

Above are two images from Barry Jackson and creatures designed by Joseph Zucker. The top Jackson piece was intriguing to me because it shows one process that he was working with at the time, using collage techniques with photocopies of ribcages, rubble and other visually degenerated noise as the first stage of a painting. He then would add light and dark areas as you see here by painting and drawing on to the photocopies. By the time a concept or background piece was complete, the initial layer would be completely covered in paint, as you can see in the second painting. The collage was there just as the underdrawing, used to build up spaces and structures.

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