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Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Battle of Five Armies: Beorne

Other than Gandalf, Beorne has always been the most memorable character from the Hobbit for me. Yes, even more than Biblo. Sadly, as a child my understanding of the Hobbit was essentially that long ago, a wizard and a number of short people went looking for gold and got mixed up in some bad business with a dragon. 

Bilbo actually got lost in the dwarves for me until I reread the story later on in life. And while the host of characters in the story were vague from when I first read it long ago, the big hairy guy who got so angry that he turned into a giant bear and killed everyone was pretty unforgettable for me. It blew my childhood mind. Later on I would read it again, and by then having read some history and read about berserkers, I found that his character made more sense and became even more fascinating.

It was exciting for me that, in the darkest moment of the Battle of Five Armies, when it seemed that the goblins were sure to be victorious, Beorne shows up in a rage and destroys everything. But that he then rescues the body of Thorin and carries him back to safety before returning to destroy the goblin hosts is absolutely wonderful.
Tolkien said that he loved the moment in the battle when Biblo cries, "The Eagles! The Eagles are coming!" But for me, it has always been this moment, where Beorne crushes the goblins in a fury and rescues Thorin.


  1. I love the ferociousness in this detail. Bravo.

  2. Amazing! The light bloom and contrast is awesome. I love the specular highlights painted into the fur. This really has me excited for the upcoming films.

  3. Dammit Justin - I'm currently working on an illustration with a bear in it and thought maybe I was making headway in representing the fur and then you come along and blow me out of the water :)

    The ferocity and the fur is simply brilliant - I may be a little disheartened with my effort, but man am I inspired after seeing this.

    Re. your last post about trad v digi - I think you make the absolute best of both of them and create such a rich, beautiful style that is truly your own - inspiring stuff.

    Can not wait to see the final masterpiece in all it's glory.

  4. Beorn didn't stand out to me as much when I read it the first time, but now I'm remembering his importance to the story.
    I think your desire to depart from the digital world on this one was a noble effort, but I feel like using it after all would lend a more consistent tone to the whole series.
    That said, I am blown away by the whole project!

  5. It's so freakin' cool. I can't wait to see the whole piece.

  6. Dummit,
    Fantastic. Please, next watercolor painting (no digital) post a little step video on youtube for us to see.
    everyone will love.

    my blog:
    All the Best

  7. I'll echo the sentiment that Beorn's fur is brilliantly done here Justin.

  8. We have all waited for the bear.