Monday, 2 March 2009

Alan Lee

Obviously for such a big project I must do substantially more research, at the moment I am looking more at artists that inspire me than ones that might help me move my project on- expect there to be no rhyme or reason as to the ordering of these.

Alan Lee's work is made in a style that rarely interests me, I often find tonal work (particularly watercolours) muddy and unfocused- the opposite of the stark black and white in my beloved comic art. But there is something about his care, his attention to detail, the personality of his drawings that I find endlessly facinatating and enthraling. I, like most I expect, discovered his through his work in the worlds of Tolkien, in the illustrated edition of the Hobbit. I was 10 when I got the book and spent quite some time pouring over the images, hoping to glean some tips by copying them over and over. Several years later the Lord of the Rings movies hit and I was an instant fan, doing all I could to become closer to the lifestyle they represented by spending a great amount of time outside, having wooden sword fights and making my own arrows to practice archery with garden canes with arrowheads taken from the tips of gel pens. I was desperately sad when the final film hit and I realised that the hype about my favourite films series would fade away (But what did I know- they're making the Hobbit into two films right now with one of my favourite directors- Gillmero Del Toro directing). Behind all of that, the head of a vast team of artists, was Alan Lee. I received his sketchbook from his time working on the films for christmas and it has not left my bedside since. Perhaps its not even the art thats the reason I like it so much- its the memories it invokes.

"Drawing, for me, is more the process of editing out than attempting to delineate something that already exists as an image in my mind. The pencil continually corrects itself and trying to veer away from what feels wrong, and I will often do many drawings before coming up with something I feel happy with"

Lee. A (2005) HarperCollinsPublishers, London

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