Tom Bombadil and the Walking Man

January 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

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This week I wanted to focus on a piece that exemplifies my process of constructing an artwork.  I think that this drawing, Tom Bombadil and the Walking Man Enjoying a Cup of Morning Tea, does just that.

Tom Bombadil (pictured below, on the left) is one of my favorite characters from the Lord of the Rings, which I reread while living on the Thai-Burma border this past year.  The Walking Man is a character borrowed from my good friend, the painter Jack Baumgartner. Upon reading the trilogy this time around, I was moved to make a series of drawings of Jack’s Walking Man character doing a walking-tour of sorts, of various locations in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.


Tom Bombadil and the Walking Man Enjoying a Cup of Morning Tea, Ink on Paper, 9 x12", 2011


Pictured below are the original sketchbook drawings of the visual, where I worked out the general idea and composition of the piece.


Composition Study from Skecthbook, Graphite on Paper, 2011


Original Sketchbook Drawing for the Image, Graphite on Paper, 2011


Here, in order to have a better understanding of what the morning light would look like upon two separate individuals, I posed for photographs in the characters’ general positions, and then built the composition for the final drawing in photoshop.  For this drawing it was important to me that the lighting was consistent on each figure, and that the size ratio of characters made sense, as physically, Bombadil is a much larger being than the Walking Man.

Also, I should add that in order to get my legs in the right position for the Walking Man’s pose, I had to sit on top of our small Thai fridge.


Light Study Mock-Up, Digital, 2011


In my opinion, Peter Jackson made a poor choice to edit out a pivotal character like Tom Bombadil in trade for lengthy, crowd-pleasing battle scenes.  For me, the books are more about the beauty of language, legend, poetry and song, and essential characters, like Tom Bombadil, who inhabit Tolkien’s narrative.  For this, Peter Jackson, ye are a hoser.


Preliminary Drawing, Graphite on Paper, 9 x 12", 2011


To see more of my artwork, please visit



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