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Projects and Portfolio

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (1988)
Centenary edition of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R
Tolkien (1992)
Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff (1993)
The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff
Edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R(1999)
The 25th Anniversary Edition of Faeries (2002)
The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook (2005)
The Children of Hrin (2007)
Shapeshifters by Adrian Mitchell (2009)

Film Work
Designer for Legend (1985)
Designer for Erik the Viking (1989)
Concept Artist and Visual Designer for the Lord of
the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit (1998-2014)
Concept Artist for King Kong (2005)
Concept Artist for The Chronicles of Naria: The
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Work Processes
Alan Lee work processes are based mostly on pencil sketches
that are then reworked by watercolour or ink, using quite faded
colours, playing more on lighting. His drawing is so distinctive
due to is drawing natural shading and classic shots, working from
one perspective. He has also worked on the design and
decoration for the model of Rivendell as well as being involved
with the Visual Effects Department in relation to his work as one
of the main concept artists of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and
Hobbit films . His main body of work towards the Lord of the
Rings trilogy and illustrations for the centenary books was
inspired by his home in Dartmoor, in the South West of England,
visiting the woods and river walks in the moorland often. His
work as been compared to Art Nouveau design and patterns.

Inspiration and achievements

Alan Lee has been an inspiration of mine from his work on
the Lord of the Rings, playing a big part of the design of
the films. As a Tolkien fan, a lot of his personal work was
inspired by the books, which is what drew Lee into the
attention of Peter Jackson, the films maker. Alan Lee
produced around 2500 sketches for the design of the films,
along with John Howe, another key player in bringing the
concept art of the Lord of the Rings to the big screen.
Jackson has heaped praise on Alan Lees work for the
films, once saying: "Alan Lee's artwork has a beauty and
lyricism about it. His art captured what I hoped to capture
with the films. Lee was awarded an Oscar for his work on
The Return of the King as part of the Art Direction in the
2004 Oscar Awards.

In relation to the Brief

I believe his work is relevant to the Invisible Cities project brief, as he is a capable
concept artist, able to come up with a number of ideas for different locations, creatures
and perspectives, able to work out how the world he has created, through his designs.
He has a natural whimsicality which translates well to fantasy, and although the brief
based on the work of Italo Calvino is not just about fantastical places, it is to me about
fantasy places ground into reality and made believable through references of the real
world. Lees style is very traditional, using mainly exterior, level perspectives, focusing
more on grand designs of shots, but his influence is very clear as a concept designer
and as an artist.

Related Interests