The Fellowship's Tank

The Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R "Epic Gift To Mankind" Tolkien

I would like to start this Boromir booksketch by saying that if you continue reading past this sentence, you will be subject to a very bad pun. Now, with that out of the way...

I get the impression that a lot of people out there don't like Boromir. Is it because he tried to chase poor tee-tiny Frodo around and take the One Ring? Really? Is that a reason to hate someone? Hobbits are so chase-able. I mean, who wouldn't be tempted? Plus, you have to factor in how tempting the Ring is. I mean, it literally tells you to covet it.

But with the Hobbit-assault aside, Boromir is pretty likable. Let me persuade you:

First, he's a tank. Did you SEE how much of a lickin' he took whilst continuing to tick? And deliver licks in kind, I might add. He had a very proud-warrior upbringing. This was expected, being a son of the Steward of Gondor (who was ruling in the stead of the true king, who had yet to rightly claim his throne), Denethor II.

Pardon my language, but Boromir was a bad-ass. If you don't wish to pardon my language, then replace that last sentence with "Boromir was a bad-mule." He was very passionate about his country and his position, and would do anything to defend both. A very noble noble. He put many a hurt on Sauron's forces.

Second, he loved wind instruments. Well, maybe not, but he DID carry around the Horn of Gondor, which was passed down in the lineage of Gondor's stewards. It makes me think back to the horn in the famous poem The Song of Roland. Or at least I remember there being a horn in that piece of literature. Well, if not, then I remember someone using a horn as a weapon of mass destruction in some story. Sheesh.

Thirdly, he was probably the most realistic character in the series. He's human, for one. He also makes mistakes, isn't immortal, gets pretty angry and is very passionate in his beliefs. Sure, he betrays Frodo, but he also makes up for it in a big way. He did want the Ring, but one big thing about the Rings of Power were that humans were very drawn to them and were pretty easily corrupted. Hence the Ringwraiths. The Ring tricked Boromir into thinking that he needed it to save his country. He probably thought he was Mir-ly going to Boro it.

That was the pun I warned you about.

Tolkien Arrow

The Lord of the Rings books by The All-Powerful J.R.R. Tolkien

Calm down, ladies. Here's Legolas.

I'll start off by saying that this Grey Elf was actually one of my favorite characters. Not because he was an unstoppable killing-machine. For one thing, there wasn't much mention of his battle prowess in the books. The movies turned Legolas into this untouchable warrior after test audiences responded favorably to him surfing down a staircase on a shield and shooting arrows. I'm not going to deny being very entertained by this, as well, haha.

What was interesting about Legolas was how separated he was from the rest of the Fellowship. For example, when the gang was truding through snow-packed mountain passes, Legolas was indifferent to the snow and cold. His endurance was way above any others in the group, as well. He was often off scouting ahead. And he was usually the one to remain in high-spirits. Or, at least, not in utter despair.

I believe the main purpose of Leggy as a character was to show that even staunch enemies can become friends once differences are reconciled. I mentioned in the Gimli post that dwarves and elves had this bitter animosity towards one another. Well, when the Fellowship was forged, Legolas and Gimli were none-to-happy to be in each others' company. But towards the end however, they formed a steadfast friendship and were willing to defend this with blood.

Also, you have to love their little wager. Even if I still think Gimli cheated. I think the fact that there was a high orc-body count on both sides shows that Legolas actually did do stuff in battle, but it just wasn't focused on in the books. I guess they were more of "off-screen" actions. Off-page? Haha.

About the illustration:
'Twas done in Prismacolor pen and then colored in ye ol' Photoshop.

Full Stride

The Lord of the Rings books by Fantasy Funkmaster J.R.R Tolkien

Since I've decided to draw the entire Fellowship, here's my take on Aragorn, aka Strider. I know that Aragorn was a bad mamma-jamma throughout the entire series, but I personally loved his "Strider" persona. Some dark, hooded figure shows up at a tavern at the beginning of the story and wards the wee hobbits from certain doom at the hands of the Nazgûl (Ringwraiths). Why's he helping? What's he doing? Where does he come from? WHO IS HE? Well, he's simply Strider.

A very strong character. It's interesting how the movie imposed all of this self-doubt upon him. As if he was afraid to take the crown that was rightfully his. I guess they just wanted to add another element? Anyway, he was one of my favorite characters. Maybe THE favorite. I need to read the series again and decide once and for all.

Anyway, here's the rundown on Aragorn:

1) Mostly man, wee bit o' elf. That means he can have a pretty long life (as did all in the line of Númenor), and has other qualities of the elves, and was even raised by elves. But since he's mostly Man, he has the "Gift of Men," which is an eventual death.

2) In line for the throne of Gondor. Which is a large kingdom of Middle-Earth, and has the largest force to stop Sauron (the baddie of The Third Age).

3) Pretty tall and scruffy. All those years as a Ranger of the North add gruff to a character! He befriended Gandalf The Gray during his stint as a Ranger.

On a side note:
I tend to get Aragorn and Lan from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series slightly confused. This being because Lan was modeled very similar to ol' Ary. Both were ranger-warriors, both were rugged and battle-hardened. They share a bunch of qualities, even up to the "slight bit of gray in the hair." Though I think Lan was less of a spring chicken.

4) I think my Aragorn illustration turned out a bit like Russell Crowe...

5) Oh man, I've got to draw a Ringwraith after the Fellowship is penned!

One Sketch To Bind Them

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, aka "The Fantasy Funkmaster"

Don't mind that faux-title I gave Tolkien. But if you're a fan of epic fantasy (which I am, of course), then you pretty much owe your entire fandom to him.

I've put off doing LOTR booksketches for a while. I thought that the movies did an excellent, EXCELLENT job of portraying the novels. And yet I couldn't go through my life without putting some of the characters down on paper.

Do you know why the brave dwarf Gimli was picked to be illustrated first? He's not my favorite character. I even liked Boromir better! In fact, I was a staunch Legolas supporter throughout their competition. I still can't believe Legolas didn't win. HE HAD ARROWS, for crying out loud.

But I digress. Wait, one more thing. Legolas had arrows. Ok. You don't want to hear me complain about the small stuff. That is not a shot at Gimli's height, by the way.

Speaking of dwarven characteristics: There are only so many ways to imagine a dwarf. I mean, sorry little guys, but you've been stereotyped. Big bushy beards, stocky/muscular, wield axes. You guys like pounding stuff. You like blacksmithing. You live in mountains and are very tempermental. Don't like elves. I think that every fantasy book out there has some sort of prejudice between elves and dwarves. What's up with that?

Alright, so why did I draw Gimli first? Because he's one of the most fun to illustrate. Look at all that stuff! And it's pretty fun to render crazy facial hair. You should try it.

Side note: I have this LOTR riddle book. The first question asked me to translate a sentence from Elven to English. I don't even think they had a codec. What the heck??? That crushed my soul.

About the illustration:
Gimli was drawn with Prismacolor pens and colored in Photoshop. I used a sweet rock texture as well. Textures are so helpful. For a great texture resource, check out I really like how it came out, and I'm excited to take on some of the other characters!