Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sketchbook 2012: Ents & Orcs

By Justin Gerard

Sketchbook 2012
9 x 6, 44 Pages, Full Color

Each year for the past few years I have been doing a new sketchbook based around one of my personal projects that I am engaged in at the time. Some previous examples are The Silver Age in 2010, and The St. George and Other Works in 2011.

This year, I am delving back into Tolkien. Specifically, I have been working on the struggle between the Ents and the Orcs from The Two Towers.  Apart from being some of Tolkien's most interesting characters, there is a dynamic that exists between Ents and Orcs that has always fascinated for me.

It is a curiously human relationship that seems to exist between these two distinctly non-human characters.  While they are constructions of fantasy, they offer a reflection of our own struggle to both master nature and at the same time care for it.

The Sketchbooks are going live today at 12 Noon EST and I will be selling them HERE.

All are signed, but as with last year, I will be doing drawings in the first 50 orders.
Click HERE to see how some of last year's first 50 turned out.

I will also be selling these at DragonCon in Atlanta later this month. Stop by and say hi if you happen to be out that way!


  1. Fantastic! I'll secure my copy :)

  2. I love you Justin! Your stuff is just so much fun. I agree that the ent/orc struggle is intriguing. Overall I feel that the events in Rohan and Isengard are in some ways more interesting than the epic stuggle of Middle earth itself. Tolkien takes some time to go into detail in that region and focusing on the real life struggle between the different peoples and beings that livein the area. It is not as black and white as the rest of the world. The Shire, of course, is described in even more detail, but so much so that we never really get a feeling for its relationship with the surrounding world. And once we get to Gondor the story has become so epic that the details are completely lost. So the trilogy goes from local, to regional to global.

  3. Your take on the Ents is wonderful,Justin. It's one of the best I've seen. The drawings you posted are just loaded with character. I'll be looking for that sketchbook at noon.

  4. Put me down for one, Justin. Let me know how much and where to send the check. Oh, and I love monsters, the more fierce the better.
    Looks to me from the thumbnail painting like your orcs wield flamethrowers! Can't wait to see the finished painting.

    As far as ents and orcs go I thought the scene in Peter Jackson's film where the hobbits are pursued into the woods and Tree Beard has his entrance was truly wonderful. I loved it that the orcs had the cockney accents Tolkein wrote for them, "Wha' abou' their legs? They don't need 'em." And Tree beard's ambivalence about the hobbits - "little orcs" - made him more frightening and even human. I think that Tolkien's genius was in making his fantasy characters like us, and in so doing, very real to us.

    Best Wishes,
    Aaron Albrecht

  5. :D Nice chance to buy both your sketchbooks available on etsy :D I hope to be in the first 50!! I love your work!!

  6. Only after ordering did I realize I probably wasn't in the first 50. Booo. But looks really sweet.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I,ll try again. Such a techno-peasant. Anyway put me down for one as well Justin. Lovely stuff. Can,t go wrong with goblins. And the ents...those eyes...blimey! They have burned for themselves a place in my retinas for ever.


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