Cover illustrations

These covers I have painted for my late father who was very disappointed with the contemporary illustrations of the German editions by Klett Publishing. I have used gouache colours throughout and, in places, drawn lines with a black felt-tip pen. I call this my "historising" style because the sceneries were mostly inspired by real-world objects rather than fantasy worlds. 

The Fellowship of the Ring
Gandalf walking by the Prancing Pony. His face is clearly lacking depth, but I had a lot of fun with drawing the walls of the inn. I had wavered a bit between rendering the Pony like an English pub made of grey stone or like a Frankish woodframe house; in the end, I decided for the latter just because I like our German woodframes so much.

The Two Towers
There was only one option here: The Ents attacking Isengard. The foreground was adapted from a photography of dead wood in some old National Geographics. Orthanc is loosely based on Tolkien's sketch, though I gave it a more "industrial" look.

The Return of the King
A guardsman (Beregond?) looking out from the high walls of Minas Tirith towards the Ered Lithui (possibly too close). I perceive the Gondorians as the Byzantinians of Middle-earth; but since Gondor is lacking that profound switch to Christianity, I assumed a more conservative tradition for their armour and their architecture: they have maintained the classical style of the Roman Principate. An exception is Ecthelion's Tower, upper left, that is much younger than the rest of the fortress or "acropolis" and, hence, has a markedly different style. I used a reconstruction of the Pharos of Alexandria as a model.
The Silmarillion
The gatebridge of Menegroth at night. This was my first attempt of cover-painting and certainly it has its flaws. The treetops look rather awkward. But my father liked the nocturnal setting with the stars and the silver linings of the moon (outside the image) very much.
Unfinished Tales
Tuor looking out from Vinyamar before his meeting with Ulmo. This is the most ambitious of my cover paintings. I imagined the Elves in a position like the Spanish Moors: a much higher culture inmidst a sea of medieval barbarians. Therefore, I had based their architecture on the Arab cities in Andalusia (there is also a painting of Gondolin which I had purposefully modelled on the Alhambra of Granada) while I chose a design sketch of a fancy Renaissance parade helmet to place on Tuor's head as his Elvish gear.
I realised too late that I had made the sun set in the north-west.