The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook Info

Fan Club Reviews of best titles on art fashion, artists, history, photography. Check out our top reviews and see what others have to say about the best art and photography books of the year. Check out The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook Community Reviews - Find out where to download The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook available in multiple formats:Hardcover,Paperback The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook Author:J R R Tolkien Formats:Hardcover,Paperback Publication Date:Sep 5, 2005


In this large-format hardback Alan Lee, production designer on
The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, discusses his approach to painting
the pictures in the authorized illustrated edition of The Lord of the
Rings. The book contains over 100 of his sketches and rejected pieces to
show how the project progressed from concept to finished art. The book
also contains 25 colour paintings reproduced in full-page glory.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook:

5

Jun 10, 2014

This is an absolute treasure; it is one every fan of Tolkien’s work should own. This is regardless whether you are a fan of the movie franchise, because most of the work in here was produced years before it was even devised. Some of the art was created specifically for the movie, but I think this could easily exist without it in its own right. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (I’m not going to mention the shambles referred to as the Hobbit trilogy) but I feel that This is an absolute treasure; it is one every fan of Tolkien’s work should own. This is regardless whether you are a fan of the movie franchise, because most of the work in here was produced years before it was even devised. Some of the art was created specifically for the movie, but I think this could easily exist without it in its own right. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (I’m not going to mention the shambles referred to as the Hobbit trilogy) but I feel that Allan Lee’s work really transcends it; it is wonderful on its own.

Brilliant Artwork



He illustrated a special edition of the book many years before, and in here are some of those images as well. I really struggle to imagine a middle earth beyond the images that Allan lee has produced. I can see that he tried to adhere as much as possible to Tolkien’s descriptions, and I think because of this Allan Lee’s work is so brilliant. Most of the images are annotated with descriptions that are insightful to the creative process behind them, and Allan Lee constantly re-asserts the point that without the sheer depth to Tolkien’s narrative, his images would have been nowhere near as vivid. I really would not like to see a middle earth that strays from Tolkien’s words, and with Allan Lee we don’t have to.

Authentic



It’s really quite exciting to see this images that were later polished up for the movies. You can literally see whole scenes that were adapted from one image created by Allan lee. By reading this you get to see how the work has evolved from its early sketches to a big scene in the films. There are even a couple of pages on Tom Bombadil and Goldenberry, which Jackson excluded from the films. Reading this is like seeing an image version of the entire trilogy. The images are in chronological order, which re-tells Tolkien’s magnum opus.



Overall, this is an absolute wonderful book. I strongly recommend it to Tolkien fans, whether you like the movies or not. A lot of the work in here was created many years before Allan Lee was asked to work on the movies. Therefore, I wholeheartedly recommend this to all Tolkien enthusiasts. And if that isn’t reason enough to read the book, the excellent Sir Ina Mckellen provides a superb introduction to this book.


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5

Oct 04, 2015

This is a book I recently picked up in order to learn a lot more about the LotR book to film adaptation process and what exactly being the concept artist for such a big project means. Alan Lee was one of the essential concept artists who not only illustrated some of the LotR and Hobbit books on the Centenary editions, but was also heavily involved in the 6 year process of producing the Lord of the Rings films. This book is a largely image focused book with full page, small and medium images of This is a book I recently picked up in order to learn a lot more about the LotR book to film adaptation process and what exactly being the concept artist for such a big project means. Alan Lee was one of the essential concept artists who not only illustrated some of the LotR and Hobbit books on the Centenary editions, but was also heavily involved in the 6 year process of producing the Lord of the Rings films. This book is a largely image focused book with full page, small and medium images of various creatures, places etc from Middle Earth, but it is accompanied by some wonderful text where Lee talks about inspirations, his own love for the book, and exactly what he was aiming for with the designs.

I have to say that the artwork in this book is phenomenal and it really made me want to watch and re-watch the films for all of the Lord of the Rings just to see his ideas come to life. It's a fantastically polished version of what I imagine starts off as a much messier planning process, but for that reason it's beautiful and exciting and some of the images are definitely relatable to the films.

This book also has text which I actually found to be truly fascinating and at some times even emotional because it was such a big part of everyone, cast, crew, artists, designers, producers etc. lives whilst they were involved in the films and stepping away from it at last and recounting it in this book you do get the vibe that nothing will ever be quite as magical an experience.

I would say this is an amazing book not only for the artwork but also for the insight it offers into how things get done in production and art teams for big epic set films. I loved every page and sent a lot of pictures of some of the more stunning images to my friends too. Highly recommended - 5*s
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5

Dec 06, 2017

Absolute must-have for anyone who is a fan of the LOTR books and/or the movies!

Alan Lee's artwork has impressed me ever since I first saw the appendices of The Fellowship of the Ring movie, and his artwork in this book is even more impressive! The content is simply amazing and full of his brilliant sketches. Each piece is accompanied by descriptions of what Lee was thinking about while he drew them, or better yet interesting stories about the making of the movies.

The book also details how Lee Absolute must-have for anyone who is a fan of the LOTR books and/or the movies!

Alan Lee's artwork has impressed me ever since I first saw the appendices of The Fellowship of the Ring movie, and his artwork in this book is even more impressive! The content is simply amazing and full of his brilliant sketches. Each piece is accompanied by descriptions of what Lee was thinking about while he drew them, or better yet interesting stories about the making of the movies.

The book also details how Lee worked his magic and turned his art from paper into the sets of Lord of the Rings. I just loved every page! ...more
4

Feb 06, 2012

Another borrowed volume which I'd one day like to own. It contains a lot of Alan Lee's sketches from when he was working on The Lord of the Rings films, and his commentary on the work he did then. And some interesting titbits about the man himself, too (like the fact that he doesn't Do lists: if he's packing to go away somewhere, he draws his suitcase with the things he needs to take).

Worth a look, if you're interested in Middle-earth, the making of the films, or Alan Lee's work.
4

Jan 01, 2019

Edit: Also, this is the first freaking book of the year and I'm already crying. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love art and I love LoTR so this was perfect for me. I could talk about the beautiful drawings, the behind the scenes stories by Lee or the magic of LoTR. Instead, I want to express my feelings while reading this because there's really no dispute in the quality of this book.

LoTR came out when I was barely a teenager. I had never heard of the book series (except for The Edit: Also, this is the first freaking book of the year and I'm already crying. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love art and I love LoTR so this was perfect for me. I could talk about the beautiful drawings, the behind the scenes stories by Lee or the magic of LoTR. Instead, I want to express my feelings while reading this because there's really no dispute in the quality of this book.

LoTR came out when I was barely a teenager. I had never heard of the book series (except for The Hobbit) and didn't want to watch the films at first. In the end, we went to the cinema with our teacher to see the first movie and I instantly became a fan. The movie resonated with me and so many aspects showed the immense quality, including the care, skill and love in the designs for props.
The movie came out in 2001, that's now 18 years ago. And the book brought me back to that phase in my life and rekindled the magic, wonder and awe I felt while watching the Fellowship journeying through Middle-Earth.
This book was a temporal journey and it filled me with so much nostalgia, reminding me of the sheer amazement I felt that I got emotional. And I feel like Lindsay Ellis in her Hobbit essays: the LoTR series came out at a crucial moment, when I was ripe to be captured by the story and be entranced by it. There were and are many franchises I still love but there won't be any other series that will quite catch me like LoTR did because growing up gives new perspectives, wisdom and different approaches. I was lucky enough to see this in 2001, when its magic could affect me like no other series could have.
And there's something deeply painful in realising that there won't be a new LoTR for me. No matter how much I've loved Star Wars since forever, no matter how much I enjoy the MCU: LoTR was a special phenomenon at the perfect moment that will not be recreated for me personally. It is, indeed, the journey's end.

I love how much attention to detail, care, hard work and love went into the movie project. I love the dedication and brutal will to make it happen. I love the memory of that time.
Like Sam, I watch the ship sail away into the West. A last goodbye. ...more
5

Jun 06, 2007

My rating is both based on the text and Alan Lee's artwork, which is amazing. He's also a surprisingly eloquent writer, considering he's more well-known for his illustration skills. It's not exactly literature, but it's a beautiful book with some well-written behind-the-scenes thoughts from the artist.
5

Jan 08, 2019

For every fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, this book is definitely a must read. Its so interesting to get to know more about all the work that was put into creating all these beautiful locations and sceneries and also to see which designs were actually Alan Lees. You get quite a bit of extra information on the entire creating process and to me that was really interesting and informative since I truely try tolearn everything about these movies I possibly can.
I particularly enjoyed the bits in For every fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, this book is definitely a must read. It´s so interesting to get to know more about all the work that was put into creating all these beautiful locations and sceneries and also to see which designs were actually Alan Lee´s. You get quite a bit of extra information on the entire creating process and to me that was really interesting and informative since I truely try tolearn everything about these movies I possibly can.
I particularly enjoyed the bits in which he talks about his peronal struggles and how he was challenged as an artist. ...more
5

Apr 29, 2011

Right after this book came out, Alan Lee did a book signing in Austin. It was such an amazing talk he did. I loved looking at the slide show and being able to hear him talk. Did you know that he used to be grave digger? Anyway, I was able to get this book, Faeries, and Castles signed by him that night. So awesome!
4

Apr 27, 2011

Such brilliance!! It's impossible for a LOTR geek to truly claim to be one without having at least skimmed through this book. Bonus points for people who choose to read it! Right from the conception to the final execution, Lee's work is remarkable. The movie could have been visually horrifying if it wasn't for his interpretation of Tolkien's work!
5

Feb 18, 2018

I remember the first time seeing an Alan Lee painting for the Lord of the Rings. Not the movies, but the old school calendars and the LotR trilogy book with the interior artwork. This was the first time I knew someone had a vision that matched my own view of Middle Earth. (Ok John Howe had some sick artwork, too, but Lee's captured the essence of that world.)
This sketchbook shows his pencil drawings through time in developing the iconic images I've come to associate with Middle Earth. I enjoyed I remember the first time seeing an Alan Lee painting for the Lord of the Rings. Not the movies, but the old school calendars and the LotR trilogy book with the interior artwork. This was the first time I knew someone had a vision that matched my own view of Middle Earth. (Ok John Howe had some sick artwork, too, but Lee's captured the essence of that world.)
This sketchbook shows his pencil drawings through time in developing the iconic images I've come to associate with Middle Earth. I enjoyed seeing more to the sketches than what appeared in the actual paintings.
Alan is a very down to earth person with an amazing talent. You can understand why Peter Jackson used him as a consultant for the art direction in the movies. ...more
5

Mar 11, 2013

Having received this as a gift from my other half, I was rather extatic as I have been wishing for this sketch collection for this past couple of years. Alan Lee showcases his talent at reimagining the world as created by J.R.R. Tolkien in the years just shy of 1950. I love the perennial feel to the drawings, the immense attention to detail, the slightly altered look and feel as compared to the movie. A must for any LOTR fan.
4

Jun 06, 2011

For any LOTR fan, this book is a must-see-must-read. It is of the utmost importance that you read the comments made by Allan as well as drooling over the images (use a towel, dammit, don't drool all over the book!) to get the extent of his work in LOTR.
Unfortunatelly, some of the sketches came out a bit faded when printed and some of the lines are unclear, but such is the fate of pencil sketches, not much mode you can do! Only reason why i didn't rate it 5 =)
5

Nov 29, 2015

This book is an absolute treasure! This contains over 150 delicate pencil sketches and Alan Lee is a pencil genius. There's writing all through the book on how Alan Lee took inspiration and how he drew a lot of the pictures.

As a keen amateur artist, I found myself glued to the book. I love to do sensitive and detailed sketches. Lee's ones are some of the highly refined pencil sketches I've seen.
5

Oct 27, 2018

I was very lucky to receive this book for my birthday this year, as it has been on my wish list for some time. I must admit I had forgotten this book was on my wish list, so it was a great surprise to receive it. I remember my mom buying me the centenary illustrated edition of The Lord of Rings and it is one of my favourite books, so to actually be able read how Alan Lee came up with his amazing art work has been rather exciting.

Firstly, I must admit I did not read the book, I just sat there I was very lucky to receive this book for my birthday this year, as it has been on my wish list for some time. I must admit I had forgotten this book was on my wish list, so it was a great surprise to receive it. I remember my mom buying me the centenary illustrated edition of The Lord of Rings and it is one of my favourite books, so to actually be able read how Alan Lee came up with his amazing art work has been rather exciting.

Firstly, I must admit I did not read the book, I just sat there looking at each page and the beautiful art work appearing on each page, remembering where the sketches fit in with the narrative. I was pleased I took the time to enjoy the art work first, as I know I am quite often guilty of getting too absorbed in the words and missing out on the beauty of the art.

Once I had seen all the artwork I then went back to the beginning and started to read. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the book, sometimes with these types of books I easily loose focus and find it hard to finish the book. However, this book I could not put down. I loved how Lee described the history he has with the story and how parts of his childhood influenced his imagination for some of the scenes. Lee describes how when he read The Lord of the Rings he was constantly imagining what the scene looked like and thinking what was Tolkien wanting the scenes to look like and what images were influencing his descriptions in the book and Lee wanting to be as true to that as he could.

Seeing the little sketches and ideas that Lee worked through in the book gives you a glimpse into what it must be like inside Lee’s head. I can not imagine that he ever stops creating either in his head or doodling on paper, that is what comes across most in the book. He is always thinking and working.

The details in the book about how the film sets were created are fascinating and just magical. It really brought it home to be just how many people were involved in the making of one of my all time film series. I also loved how Lee is happily telling the reader about his frustrations, the art work he wasn’t so happy with and particularly when he had to pull all nighters.

I truly loved this book and even though I have finished it, I still pick it up and dip in to look again at this stunning artwork.

For the full review please go to my blog at ladybookdragon.com ...more
5

Jan 19, 2019

A perk of marrying another massive nerd is getting to add their collection of books to your own. I’ve been eyeing this book up on his shelf for years but it only after moving in together did I get the time to sit and read it properly. It’s beautiful. The sketches are wonderful and I loved reading the accompanying anecdotes from Alan Lee.
5

May 17, 2018

Fantastic. Great and inspiring illustrations for an artist like myself.
Really interesting to see (or read) the "behind the scenes" in book form instead of watching videos of them. I never knew how much Alan Lee impacted the movies. Highly suggested to read if you are a LotR fan!
0

Jul 09, 2015

Open a copy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, any copy, and begin reading. It won't be long before Tolkien's words are conjuring strong images in your head. You can see the Black Riders pursuing Frodo, you can witness Boromir heroically struggling to save Merry and Pippin from the Uruk Hai, you can watch as Samwise fights against the control of the One Ring during his brief tenure as Ringbearer.

In 1991, Alan Lee was given the task of illustrating the Centenary Edition of the beloved trilogy. Open that Open a copy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, any copy, and begin reading. It won't be long before Tolkien's words are conjuring strong images in your head. You can see the Black Riders pursuing Frodo, you can witness Boromir heroically struggling to save Merry and Pippin from the Uruk Hai, you can watch as Samwise fights against the control of the One Ring during his brief tenure as Ringbearer.

In 1991, Alan Lee was given the task of illustrating the Centenary Edition of the beloved trilogy. Open that book and Lee's artwork brings into focus a shared vision, a shared sense of feeling, and a shared love and appreciation for the words of the author. That stunning marriage of Tolkien's words and Lee's artistry remains the single most outstanding edition available, and it inspired filmmaker Peter Jackson when he sought to visually conceive his theatrical version of the story.

It should come as no surprise that Lee would be invited to work as a conceptual artist for Peter Jackson's production. Simply mentioning THE LORD OF THE RINGS eventually leads to mentioning Lee and his artwork. For six years, he produced thousands of sketches and designs for the films and earned an Academy Award for his art direction on The Return of the King.

Now, with THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK, Lee takes us inside the process of creating works of art to be used in both book and film. Yet this is no dry, dull art book. The text Lee provides is concise and informative. He explains why things are designed the way they are, what inspired certain decisions, and a little bit about the creative process.

Every page of this book is filled with art. These are not just minor thumbnail sketches but fully realized and beautiful pencil drawings. Much like his paintings, of which you can also find a representative sample inside, Lee's pencil work is no less detailed or evocative of the raw power Tolkien's words provide. In many respects, these pencil drawings are all the more attractive. There is a complexity within their simplicity, and they emerge as shadows onto the page, recalling the bygone age of Middle Earth as if they came from that time.

Art students will enjoy this book for the work and for the peek into the mind of the most preeminent of Tolkien artists. Lovers of Tolkien's work, either in book form or in the guise of film, will also be taken with this book because of the beauty of the art inside, how they share a passion with the artist, and how his interpretations heighten our appreciation and immerse us in Middle Earth.

With over 150 sketches contained within, this by no means scratches the surface of the vast wealth of product Alan Lee could provide. And yet, in reading and rereading and studying what he has chosen to give us, we do not feel cheated in the least. THE LORD OF THE RINGS SKETCHBOOK is an outstanding snapshot of creativity that leaves us hoping that there will be more to come in some not-too-distant future, and that for Alan Lee and his depictions of Middle Earth, his road will go ever on and on. ...more
5

Jul 24, 2014

If you are in any way part of the Lord of the Rings fandom, I implore you to go to a bookstore and pick this book up. Alan Lee is a brilliantly talented artist and his influence on the film franchise is undeniable.

In this beautiful book, Alan Lee explains some of the sketches curated for the films and books, delving into the choices made and the developments on set.

The curation of this book is astounding; each piece of art is an important and memorable part of the film, or something that you If you are in any way part of the Lord of the Rings fandom, I implore you to go to a bookstore and pick this book up. Alan Lee is a brilliantly talented artist and his influence on the film franchise is undeniable.

In this beautiful book, Alan Lee explains some of the sketches curated for the films and books, delving into the choices made and the developments on set.

The curation of this book is astounding; each piece of art is an important and memorable part of the film, or something that you didn’t even notice, such as the detailed architecture of a building, that would be sorely missed if it wasn’t there. There is nothing quite like seeing the original sketches that led to some of the most iconic sets of the films and reading about how and why they were created a certain way.

As I said, if you are in any way interested in art or the Lord of the Rings series of books or films, you need this book in your life. This is undoubtedly going to be something that I keep in my collection and flip through from time to time just admire the detailed illustrations and marvel at the creation of Middle Earth.

Plus, there’s a foreword by Sir Ian McKellen, so you can’t beat that! ...more
5

Apr 30, 2013

This book is more about the sketches of one of the most valued artist in the production of The Lord of the Rings movies AND books. It is a light read, you just have to appreciate the sketches of Alan Lee and read his brief description of the drawings. This book helped me visualize the places in Middle-earth in which I found difficult to form in my imagination. Alan Lee have drawn Tolkien's world so vividly and perfectly that his conceptual art is one of the factors why The Lord of the Rings This book is more about the sketches of one of the most valued artist in the production of The Lord of the Rings movies AND books. It is a light read, you just have to appreciate the sketches of Alan Lee and read his brief description of the drawings. This book helped me visualize the places in Middle-earth in which I found difficult to form in my imagination. Alan Lee have drawn Tolkien's world so vividly and perfectly that his conceptual art is one of the factors why The Lord of the Rings movies are the best fantasy films that have ever been made. Alan Lee has illustrated The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and his illustration will help the reader to appreciate the places, people, and events being described in the story. Alan Lee is just one of the legendary people who made The Lord of the Rings movies LEGENDARY.

I wish I can draw like him... ...more
5

Jul 17, 2018

Gratifying insight into the visualisation of Tolkien's Middle Earth by the excellent and nuanced artist, Alan Lee. His delicate sketchs have a wonderful lightness and intuition, and communicate clearly the exploration of Tolkien's stories through a visual medium.
5

Mar 25, 2018

Beautiful sketches of Alan Lee are like memories of dreams. I have long admired his work and it was wonderful to re-visit the genius and love behind the LOTR project, which is so near to my own heart as well.
5

Dec 20, 2017

I really enjoyed this. Alan Lee remains one of my favourite artists, especially when it comes to concept art and illustrations.
5

Feb 10, 2018

An exciting look into the artist’s process, with beautiful pencil art and anecdotes from the years of filming LOTR.
4

Feb 18, 2019

An amazing look into how Alan Lee was involved in the making of the LOTR trilogy, and chock-full of stunning artwork and conceptual sketches.
4

May 11, 2018

I enjoyed the artwork and learning about some of the production experience. An enjoyable journey through the creation process.

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