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June 2, 2013
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Much like the pin-up series I showcased last week, this was a little thought experiment I did during the 6 months I was absent. I was having a very hard time motivating myself to draw anything and this was something I tried to do for myself as a therapeutic exercise.

One of the things that was tricky to deal with was the awkward hands. The Rankin Bass cartoon has very stylized grizzly hands which are drawn entirely counterintuitive to how I would naturally draw them. I frequently looked for specific hand gestures from the cartoon and used those to help draw them here. They presented quite a challenge.

The other challenge was to try and illustrate backgrounds that the cartoon characters would be laid into, much like real cel animation. I wanted to mimic the cartoon as best I could and that meant rendering painted backgrounds. I had some new brushes I was trying out at the time and, to be honest, the backgrounds I came up with weren't quite the watercolor/inked hybrid of the 1977 movie. Nevertheless I think their renderings help separate the "elements" and make it look somewhat artificial in nature.

I've been told there's a very rare book which has production sketches in it of things that were ultimately cut from the film. A very kind user is going to take photos of Beorn and upload them so we can see how my made up designs differed from their official versions that were never seen. I look forward to seeing how closely this attempt to mimic and explore the Rankin Bass style succeeded.

In the meantime, all 8 illustrations are down below and a poll has been made to ask which of the 8 you liked the best. Thanks for looking at this series, it was a real challenge to do and I'm glad I can finally share them with you all.

A Hobbit Study - Part 1 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 2 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 3 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 4 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 5 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 6 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 7 by TomPreston A Hobbit Study - Part 8 by TomPreston
  • Reading: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
  • Watching: Doctor Who
  • Eating: Yes
  • Drinking: No
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:iconlordstephen:
LordStephen Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like how you did it, it came out very well. In the poll I voted for the stone giants one, cause i think it's really awesome. I must admit though it was a bit of a hard choice since I also liked the bear picture and the ones with Baggins on his own, those are very good and are very well drawn and show a great amount of detail and lets others see the general thoughts running in head. And again, I do really like the others too and they've got some great detail in there as well. So if you choose to continue the series, feel free, I actually would like to see some more of them! :)
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:iconpinkharte:
pinkharte Jun 2, 2013  Student General Artist
uggh! I had troubles choosing because they are all so elegant! Very nice work too; with some very valid points.
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:iconmickey16:
Very marvelous work as usual, Mr. Preston. You never fail to disappoint. My personal favorite would have to be the first one. It seems so peaceful, just like a hobbit.
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:iconxxmossfacexx:
I actually noticed the hands particularly because you did SO well mimicking that style and I have always loved the detail and definition in those hands. One thing I might have suggested in order to mimic even more closely is to use more off-colors. More subdued tones - muted in a manner. Like the difference between a normal calico cat and a muted one. While this new rendition is vivid and equally inspiring, the older versions had a different tone altogether color-wise. Though in some parts the colors were also very bright, many of the colors fit more closely based on either how they were shaded or what off-tones they would use to highlight (backgrounds or otherwise).

Other than color, it looks AMAZING. The details are perfect :3 I love it all so much!
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:iconidliketorubyourback:
I didn't really like them, i like your jokes and i'm not really a fan of LOTR.
But you're not here to impress me, you're here to showcase your talent - don't let anyone else dictate how you express yourself and what art you think is worthwhile.
Big loves from Lincolnshire England.
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:iconbrigadierdarman:
All I can say, simply amazing. The scenes you used and how you drew them, it's all just wonderful.
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:iconperidotdreams:
peridotdreams Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have always enjoyed this animated feature, as well as your drawings based on cut plotlines. Excellent work.

Take care!
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:iconvutava:
Ooh, I have that book! (goes to look) The "official" Beorn has much more unkempt hair and no shirt. He's more wild-looking than your version.
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:iconloveless-nights:
I liked the pictures, they were very educational as I never saw the movie or read the book so yeah!
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:iconbigdream64:
BigDream64 Jun 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Me and my sister actually grew up WATCHING the cartoon version of the Hobbit. =D
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