Composer Howard Shore
Play 01 A Storm Is Coming
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Collecting Cryptozoic CZX Middle-earth sketch cards

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Returning in January 2020 to feature New Art:

    James Henry Smith's 2015 Leaf Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Sketch Card: Gandalf
The Lord of the Rings film-trilogy is full of magnificent and poignantly dramatic moments. One of these is when Théoden rides into Helms Deep following the battle with the wargs.

Éowyn rushes to greet them: ‘So few... So few of you have returned… Lord Aragorn, where is he?’

Sean’s portrait of Éowyn at this moment is beautifully bewitching, capturing the very essence of her emotion.

At this stage of my collecting, I am only seeking out unique sketches that add special imagery to the sketch storyboards. The auction for Sean’s Éowyn sketch was fiercely contested, and I was absolutely thrilled that she could join my collection (and my other SP gems).

View more Pence sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

April new art features a magnificent Masterpieces I sketch, showcasing the artistry of a wonderful artist and friend: Len Bellinger.

It depicts the scene of Frodo at the Dead Marshes, mesmerized by the images of the ‘dead ones’, just before he falls in. Len’s depiction is so compelling that in Frodo’s stance you can feel ‘the pull’ of the dead ones…

View more Bellinger sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

Fëanor, spirit of Fire

Fëanor is the eldest son of Finwë, the High King of the Noldor. Fëanor's mother, Míriel, died shortly after giving birth, having given all her strength and essence to him.

Tolkien’s tragic figure has been transformed, with the magic touch of the ‘Bohemian Weasel’, into three art forms:

• a seething sepia portrait (the original drawing is in the collection)

• a dramatic digitally-enhanced image (a gilded fine-art print is being created for the collection), and

• an amazing animation (Soni: 'Brought to life with a little animated light and the influences of creation and destruction.').

View more paintings, drawings and lithographs   Artwork | Gallery   

After more than a decade of Lord of the Rings sketch collecting, the passion for these mini masterpieces persists but the time of frenzy acquisition has drawn to a close. However, the search continues for sketches which enhance or complete the imagery of the LOTR Arts sketch storyboards.

This update showcases eleven Masterpieces I and II sketches (featured with their screen cap), each in their own special way expressively depicting a character and scene.

View more Kohse, Rabbitte, Kyle, Pedicini, Sohn, Edlund, Cooke, Mangue, Woodall sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

Occasionally a sketch is breathtakingly spectacular. The LOTR Arts collection is fortunate to contain a few such magnificent sketches, some of which are the composite of stunning mixed-media.

Soni Alcorn-Hender (The Bohemian Weasel) is renowned for her ability to bring the realm of Middle-earth to life through such exquisitely ethereal creations.

Recently Soni created a set of Lord of the Rings iconic scenes: ‘Lots of experimentation went into these tiny Middle-earth landscapes. All of them have handmade borders made from pieces of filigree, and then gilded in gold or silver with a few tiny crystals.’

I was thrilled to be able to purchase Soni’s looking through a Rivendell window: ‘A bit of Spring and Autumn and sunrise and sunset all mixed together. Acrylics, pencils, filigree border gilded with sterling silver leaf and embellished with crystals and very tiny half faux pearls.’

View more Rivendell sketches in the   Character | Gallery   

From Encyclopedia of Arda: ‘Huge Eagles of Middle-earth, far larger than normal examples of their kind, who were capable of bearing the weight of a Man and spoke the Common Tongue. Said to have been proud but noble, they were the descendants of the ancient Eagle Thorondor, whose wingspan extended to some 180 feet (or a little over fifty metres). Though the Great Eagles of the Third Age don't appear to reached Thorondor's vast size, they were still immense. Greatest of them all at the time of the War of the Ring was Gwaihir the Windlord, who aided Gandalf and his allies in the final overthrow of Sauron.’

The collection has some amazing eagle sketches coming to the rescue of the Fellowship in various epic scenes, but this gem from Gabe Hernandez is the only one depicting their momentous arrival at the Black Gates (Pippin: ‘The Eagles are coming’) and turn the tide of the battle with the fell-beasts.

View more Gabriel Hernandez sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

One of the most emotive LOTR scenes occurs as Arwen is leaving Middle-earth and she has a vision of her son, Eldarion, held by Aragorn. See below for a YouTube of this scene.

A number of Topps artists chose to depict this poignant moment. One of my greatest collecting regrets was being outbid on a magnificent Eldarion and Aragorn sketch. Long ago that sketch disappeared into a collection, never to be seen again.

I had seen only one other Eldarion sketch of the same emotive quality (from the artistry of the dynamic duo of Jason Potratz and Jack Hai), and that resided in a UK collection. So more than a decade later when this sketch was offered to me, I leapt at the opportunity; another magical moment added to the LOTR Arts storyboard collection.

View more Potratz and Hai sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

With the release of the Hobbit films and sketch sets, I decided to only collect sketches which provide imagery of the Hobbit-backstory to the Lord of the Rings. With this very narrow focus, a number of artists agreed to create specially commissioned Artist Proofs.

For the Battle of the Five Armies, Javier Gonzalez agreed to create a two-card panel and third AP to portray the battle scene between orcs and elves, dwarves, bear and eagles. In a fourth AP, Javier depicted the poignant scene of Bilbo returning to the Shire, Bag End in the background.

View more Javier Gonzalez sketches (including spectacular two-card panels) in the   Artist | Gallery   

The dynamism of John Watkins-Chow’s LOTR art provides the imagery of many scenes in LOTR Arts sketch storyboards.

When in recent times, LOTR Arts collecting has been restricted to only filling gaps in the storyboards, it was a thrill to find three Watkins-Chow sketches covering missing storyboard moments (each sketch is showcased below with its screencap).

View more John Watkins-Chow sketches (including five spectacular two-card panels) in the   Artist | Gallery   

There can be no better thrill than trying to reunite a sketch card panel where the pieces had been randomly inserted into packs. The LOTR Arts collection has a number of such remarkable reunions. This will be the subject of a LOTR Arts article to be posted in September.

This update highlights the most recent attempt at such a reunion.

In 2006, Renae De Liz completed 110 sketches for Masterpieces set, including some stunningly unique multi-panels.
One such panel depicted the Rings of Power ( see )

View more Renae De Liz sketches (including two rare Kansas triptych panels and a Masterpieces II Artist Return) in the   Artist | Gallery   

A set of specially commissioned PSCs from the dynamic duo Jason Potratz and Jack Hai to help complete the sketch storyboards.

View more Potratz and Hai sketches in the   Artist | Gallery   

A set of specially commissioned PSCs from Javier Gonzalez (Blackhilt Studios) to help complete the sketch storyboards. Javier is a pleasure to work with and his art is truly spectacular, capturing the essence of the poignancy and drama of the film experience.

View more Gonzalez sketches in the   Artist | Gallery