I had not seen, at this point, any of Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith's or John Howe's fantastic paintings, of which the film's art direction was to be largely based on. I had a lot of very crystalized ideas in my head about how everything looked.
And when the films were released I was jarred my first time seeing them. Things didn't look like they had in my head. At first it bothered me. They got it all wrong I thought. But as the Fellowship of the Ring began to make its way towards Rivendell I was surprised that I found that I really enjoyed it anyway. It was a different take than I had, but it was spectacular and I went back and watched them several times each in the theater.
Then something terrible happened.
I found that I had lost my ideas. At first, they were only tainted by the films, but after a while I found that I had lost them altogether. And no matter how much I tried to see things differently, I still saw it the way Peter Jackson showed it. The Boromir I had imaged was gone and Sean Bean's character remained. The goblins were hunched and crooked green men without noses.
This has bothered me ever since, and now that The Hobbit films are on the schedule to be released next year I find that my ideas on The Hobbit are to be put in jeopardy as well.
So, this time I have decided to put my own ideas down first, before Jackson and Del Toro and Weta and Howe and Lee can come together to blow my mind apart again with what is sure to be an awesome Hobbit film. This time, I hope to preserve my own notions of what Middle Earth might have looked like.
So, with that in mind, I am going to take a few months and illustrate a few of the major scenes from The Hobbit. These pieces are not for any specific book or series, as I don't have the personal rights to make a book on the story. But I do intend on putting one of them in the empty space over my fireplace. And even if these images never make it to any type of publication, this story is wonderful and I think it will be great fun to work on it for a while.