The Hobbit, part three

April 15, 2010 at 9:00 am 7 comments

Posted by: Sam Bosma

Book: The Hobbit (purchase on Amazon)


“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a good bit of telling anyway. They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stopped there for ever and ever –even supposing a wish would have taken him right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble. Yet there is little to tell about their stay.”
The Hobbit, chapter three: A Short Rest

Please click to enlarge.

Apologies for lateness, but things are done when they are done.

This chapter was both a pleasure to illustrate and a bear to deal with. The chapter centers around one event (the finding of moon letters on Thorin’s map) and a whole lot of nothing. It seems like a given to illustrate Elrond holding the map before the moon and discovering those runes telling of the key to the secret passage into the Lonely Mountain. However…there are precious few rests to The Hobbit, and this is one of them, and that in itself is worth visiting.

When it comes to illustrating a passage where the central point is that nothing is happening to our protagonist, a new set of problems arises. How do you make a narrative image with no conflict without it becoming boring or trite or cliched? I guess it’s all about activating the senses. I wanted to evoke that sense that Bilbo is feeling, where you wouldn’t want to leave this place ever again. I don’t know if I’m there, but that was the goal.

I picture the elves as existing in perpetual June, at least in The Hobbit. They are beautiful and exude strength and vivacity, which can be a bit frightening (at least to little Bilbo), though their demeanor is pleasant. They have absolutely no worries at this point, or if they do, they disguise them well. They spend their days, months, and years doing the things we have to wait until the best days in summer to do. Their clothing is made of linen and cotton and is without much decorative ornamentation. It is beautiful, simple, and comfortable. They are the ancient Athenians of Middle Earth at this point.

Tomorrow you’ll be treated to two posts, you lucky devils, so stay tuned for Julia and John’s terrific work!

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Entry filed under: The Hobbit. Tags: .

Peter Pan: Never Going to Grow Up! “You are bound to feel some initial ill effects as you have been rescued from certain death at an improbability level of two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand to one against – possibly much higher.”

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Meg Hunt  |  April 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Well worth the wait, Sam. I’m really intrigued by the use of such a calm scene, and the outcome is just so peaceful and going to shape up interestingly against the other pieces when you’re done.

    Lovely stuff sir!

    Reply
  • 2. eva  |  April 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    this is lovely, sam, both in concept & execution! something about the central figure, and the general feel of the piece, reminds me of charles vess.

    Reply
  • 3. Jordie  |  April 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Sam! This is wonderful! W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L.

    Reply
  • 4. israel  |  April 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!

    Reply
  • 5. Michael  |  April 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I wish all trees were that climbable… :)

    Reply
  • [...] quite a lot of play, but I think a perfect example of why I like Picture Book Report so much is the third illustration for The Hobbit which depicts elves as less of the classical high fantasy elves and more like the ancient [...]

    Reply
  • 7. Timo Hilger  |  April 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    ah, amazing piece. that´s probably your best in the series…until now hehe

    Reply

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