Tolkien - The Man and His Myth

Whenever I read Tolkien's works I invariably end up reading a Tolkien biography as well. It's really impossible for me not to wonder about the man who wrote such beautiful things. His life and times are just about as interesting as the imaginary lives and times of his fictitious characters. 

That train of thought leads me to further wonder just how much of Tolkien's actual life made it into his books. Maybe he, like our friend Bilbo, had queer friends that often visited him in Oxford? Maybe they relieved him for a few hours from the monotony of marking school papers? Did they give him some real conversation over a pipe instead of the boring subjects professors talk about over a dinner party? I wonder that if someone were just lucky enough they may have caught a glimpse of grey robes and a blue hat.

It seldom works out that my first sketch will go without revision, but that's what happened this time. I drew it while on the phone to my mom.

Tight, enlarged drawing, done on 500 series Strathmore bristol, vellum surface.

Starting the gauche painting.

Completed gauche painting, good enough for digitizing.

Under masking. 

Alittle too dark.

Done. Next post will feature Gimli and Legolas giving their author alittle help in the trenches of World War I. Stay tuned!