I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched by the vast imaginings of Tolkien in some way. He created a new universe in his literature, one that will continue to capture and fascinate our ancestors as long as the books are in existence. Many people have created inspiring images from his works, but some of the most captivating work was done by Canadian illustrator and painter John Howe. He was one of the two main conceptual artists for Jackson’s movies, but the stunning landscapes he envisioned are more enthralling than the films he inspired. There are a million or more textures and colors in his work, each tiny element coming together in a whole, breathing visual life into a world that so many people have seen only in their minds. He is one of those artists that can take a scene that so many have imagined before him, and open the portal to the actual world, a window through which we can see into Tolkien’s mind as he weaves his tale. Howe is also responsible for some of the fantasy artwork in the Magic series, as well as artwork for a limited edition version of George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings, so he’s pretty much contemporary fantasy art royalty. Take a look as some of his LOTR and Tolkien concept artwork below.
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