Thursday, February 12, 2009

Alan Lee

Alan Lee is probably best known for his illustrationsof J.R.R. Tolkien's, the Lord of the Rings. In looking through his work in order to choose one to analyze today, I found this scene in which I believe Gandolf is the one on horseback and he is speaking to or leading a band of Hobbits or dwarves. Something about this image felt familiar and I realized that it reminded me of a painting called "The serpent and the Rose" by one of my IMC instructors, Donato Giancola. In that piece, Donato used the shape of the tree limbs to frame the action in a circular fashion, that subject being figures on horseback. It seemed to me that Alan Lee was using a similar composition, in his case, having the tree limbs encircle the figures at the center of the image. In addition, the atmospheric effect of the figures in the distance add a value contrast to the darker foreground, reinforcing the mechanism that leads your eye to the subject. I have learned that this circular geometric form in a composition is very powerful and can very effectively draw the viewer's eye to wherever it is located. I have actually employeed this element in my last two paintings. And on a side note, look at the foliage detail in the foreground of Alan Lee's painting here. The texture is wonderful pronounced, let with all that detail, the eye is still focused on the center of that circle.

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