Here we are, yet another year away from the fall of Sauron and the destruction of the One Ring, on Tolkien Reading Day 2021. The Tolkien society have set the theme of Hope and Courage for us to dig into in some depth, and there is certainly an abundance of both qualities throughout the legendarium, and especially in the Lord of the Rings.
One of the greatest arcs throughout Tolkien’s entire legendarium is that of Samwise Gamgee. From humble gardener, to Samwise the Brave, Orc-slayer, ringbearer and Mayor of the Shire. Sam is also the character that popped into my mind when I saw the theme for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day, and a particular point in the journey that I have been chipping away at in preparation for an upcoming addition to my collection of Lord of the Rings art.
So in the good old fashioned since of killing two birds with one ring, this Tolkien Reading Day has covered a lot of ground for the research needed for my upcoming artwork depicting Sam and Frodo in Mordor.
The idea behind this article is one that has been rattling around in my planned posts pool for quite some time. Every single time I grab the pencils, inks or paints, I simultaneously select a podcast to listen to while I work and get settled into the process.
Podcast statistics show that in 2020 there were over 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million individual episodes, that statistic tells us that there is a lot of choice. In fact, in preparation for this post I ended up going down a vast network of rabbit holes and diving into some powerful podcast statistics.
Now you might be looking for a great podcast to listen to while you’re at work or being creative and have different tastes to mine, I have prepared this piece to appeal to a few different subjects; after all chances are that if you have ended up on my website, we have some shared interests. I’ve diligently filtered the over 850,000 active podcasts down to four of my favourite go to listens.
So it’s the 21st of the month and that means one thing – YouTube video! This one is the first one I’ve done and therefore slightly rusty but the learning process has been immense, the software that I’ve decided to go with seems very promising as well.
I have been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, the OT was finished up almost a decade before I was born and I was born into a Star Wars household.
My favourite creatures from the Star Wars universe are without a doubt, Jawas. Ironically, I didn’t realise this until the release of the Mandalorian and seeing the Jawas again but in a different context, the nostalgia value hit high.
This in turn inspired me to want to turn out some Jawa themed artworks, this post here shows the first which is a bit of a character study style piece; made with the intention to inform a small series of future Jawa paintings that will have a different look to them to this one.
I decided that I needed to put out a short blog post with a roundup of my illustrations from the recent Legend of Zelda miniseries that I put out. I have a couple of charcoal drawings in am ore fine art style and the rest are ink and watercolour pieces.
The Legend of Zelda is a subject of inspiration that I will continually revisit over time as I love the story, the franchise and the massive nostalgia points I get each and every time. That’s without mention of the absolutely incredible Zelda community which alone is reason enough to create Zelda artworks!
I wouldn’t have worked on a series of as many piece as I did this time around though if it wasn’t for the nudge and inspiration from Joel Siegel over at Linktober – The fact that he put on the Zelda Creator Con and gave me a place within it gave me a massive boost as well as in incentive to get truly stuck in, even putting my Geisha series on hold for a short time.
For this portrait I looked at a different point of view –
My Geisha series is still growing into a beautiful collection of portraits and gestural sketches and drawings now; with a lot more piece still in the bag and ready to be brought to life.
This portrait has served as a preliminary drawing to use as a reference to inform an oil painting that I just wrapped up today and will be posting here next week; however if you want to see the painting now you can, on my Instagram – @JGloverArt
The street of Gion have quietened down, but the tea houses are thriving…
Continuing the Geisha theme that I’ve been working on over the past couple of months I now have a couple of oil painting portraits to share.
Katsuru – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
Mameka – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
These portraits were great fun to work on and I learned such a lot in the process. I worked on these with my usual method of approach; starting with a preliminary charcoal drawing, then transferring an outline to canvas before working on the underpainting.
As I write this post, it’s now quite late into Star Wars day for me here in the UK, however, it’s been a great one, probably my best yet and it will continue much into the weekend for me; lockdown is a great excuse for binging!
Let’s begin this post with a new artwork I’ve completed –
Jawas on Tatooine – Charcoal
I recently undertook and completed this charcoal drawing to serve as a preliminary for a new oil painting, a May the Fourth special which also served as the subject for a live stream (more on that in a bit).
I’ve always had an odd obsession with Jawas and I’ll be doing some more Jawa based artworks in the future so this is just the beginning. In later piece I intend to put more emphasis on the landscape narrative whereas this piece is more of a character portrait.
I’ve been working on a new series of fine art pieces for a Geisha series over the past week or two; in the beginning as a means of getting some sketchbook work done and then it progressed onto some sketches that I wanted to take into further development.
So here we are with one of the completed pieces for the series, a Geisha Girl portrait.
Not in person but through a pencil, I have been exploring and travelling, discovering a new culture and investigating the Geisha or more accurately to Kyoto, the Geiko girls of the region.
I won’t go into much details on the backgrounds and traditions of Geisha in this post due to it just being a sketchbook share, but I am going to put together a small body of artworks and I’ll dive into the deeper stuff when posting them.
Let’s get stuck in –
Nude Geisha Sketch
Geisha Face Sketch Page
Maiko Apprentice Geisha Sketch
Maiko Apprentice Geisha Sketch
Geiko in Gion, Kyoto
These sketches have been an nice introductory exercise into the world of the Geisha. The next phase for me is to drawn and paint a few portrait pieces and also one or two pieces with a more narrative style.
Also as a reminder of my last blog post, I did complete a charcoal drawing of the Nude Geisha, click the link or the image below to see that post!
Geisha Girl – Charcoal on Paper – 10″ x 8″
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