All artwork and text is copyrighted by Paul Lasaine, unless otherwise attributed to the respective copyright owner. It is illegal to publish, print or reproduce any such artwork or text without written permission by the artist or copyright owners.

Welcome to my my Portfolio Page.

This is where you'll find my professional work (and some personal pieces as well).

As always, I'm unable to post my current work, as it's for films that have yet to hit the big screen.

Don't forget to visit my BLOG. There's more of my work there, plus a bunch of other fun stuff.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings: Illustrations

As promised, here are my LOTR Illustrations...or at least, the ones I don't mind people seeing.
(Note: These are all acrylic...unless otherwise noted.)

Prologue Battle: Mordor
Peter Jackson wanted to know what 600,000 troops, battling on the plains of Mordor, would look like.


The Hobits enter the town of Bree. Design for a matte Painting.

Waiting Ring Wraith
An obvious homage to Frank Frazeta. Peter was just about to shoot the Bree sequence, and he wanted an image of a Ring Wraith to show the crew, so they would have an idea of what these characters were. Unfortunately, I could never get the horse to look like anything other than a dumpy mule. Not my best painting.

Wraith World
I was assigned the task of figuring out what it would look like when Frodo put The Ring on. After several failed attempts, I finally came up with this image.

We shot 5 Wraiths in costume and full makeup, one at a time in front of a bluescreen. I then composited all of them together, removed all their color, and distorted the snot out of them in Photoshop. Lastly, I painted in lots of wispy streaky stuff, and voilà...Wraith World.

Alan Lee had already designed the individual Rivendell task was to try to put them into an environment. If you're questioning the perspective in this painting (or lack thereof), the idea is that it was to represent a 180 degree pan. (Imagine the painting wrapped around your head.)

The painting works a little better if you crop in on it, and only look at small sections.

Orthank Tower (aka The Moth Shot)

Once again, Alan Lee's composition and lighting. (And for those of you who make the inevitable comparison between this, and the Ewok Village, I'll ask you to remember which story was written first.)

Now, if you compare it to the Gungin city...I might not be able to come up with a snappy comeback:)

Helms Deep

The Glittering Caves

In the story, these caves were behind Helms Deep. In fact, Helms Deep was built to guard the caves, which were filled with precious gems.
Originally in the script, Film 3 started out with a romantic scene between Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Arwen (Liv Tyler) in this cave. Liv was to be swimming naked in the pool. The intent was to shoot her with lots of reflections on the surface of the water, to hide all the naughty bits. I of course designed the pool to be lit from below, thus canceling out the reflections and clearly illuminating anything that was in the water. Was that wrong of me? :)
Unfortunately, the entire sequence was cut. No, it was never shot.

Fangorn Forest
Of all the paintings I did for the LOTR films, this one is my favorite.

This was the final design for the location. It's a digital paint-over, on top of the previous painting.

Hennuth Annun Falls
Not my favorite set piece in the films. It looked like it was shot on a sound stage to me...which it was.


This is a digital composite. The tower is a Miniature; some of the sky is a photo I took; the rest is painted.

Mt. Doom Erupting (Digital)

Elven Boat - Grey Havens

Grey Havens Sketch


janni said...

thank you thank you thank you for reuploading these. tons of questions starting to come up in my mind. tutorials would be very much appreciated indeed :).
hope lot's of people dropped their jaws when passing your house on halloween. great job on that too!

Tom Scholes said...

I was bummed when I couldn't see these the other day, worth the wait though.

Great story on The Glittering Caves, hahaha.

Ben Mauro said...

so good! its great to hear the stories behind all of these. can't wait for more.

AnaJana said...

thank you for these, paul.

you have such talent, and such compassion for the work and your fellow artists.

blessings on your head.

Shelly Wan said...



WOW. Amazing~ really. The Rivendell piece makes me cry if i stare at it... and the Fangorn Forest! Yummmmm~ Thank you soooooo much for posting these. How do you make the waterfalls shine like they are emitting light...? is it the undertone showing through...?

(Save save save...cry. Save save save...)

Bobby Chiu said...

Beautiful. I'm going to watch LOTR again just because of your wonderful post.

So let me ask you a question. Do you get to keep any of the original paintings you did for the film?

Diantres said...

pure awesomeness!!

very inspirational work Mr. Lasaine!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

SUPERB !! Really amazing work !

david hong said...

your work is so inspiring! i really thank you for uploading these paintings. i learn so much by just looking at your work!!

Kaek said...

thank you for uploading, are AMAZING O_O!!!

Tanqueta said...

Woooaaa!!! Great Job!

Chris Sears said...

AWESOME!!! And even more awesome that you still get to paint traditionally here and there!

What do you use for your traditional stuff?

Paul Lasaine said...

Chris Sears asked:
What do you use for your traditional stuff?

Acrylic (on heavyweight illustration board.)

Actually it's been quit a while since I've picked up real brushes. I'm pretty digital these days. But I have a big canvas sitting on my easel at home waiting for some love. It's staring at me right now.

Shuku said...

Wow. This is just the loveliest thing to come back to from Jakarta! *wipes the drool off the floor*

All right. I have to watch the -other- two movies in the trilogy now just to see what some of these turned into.

And as for -my- story like you were trying to figure out the other day...well, call it 'stick one foot in everything to test the waters and mistress of -none- of it at all'! I'll throw up the sketches I did in Jakarta at some point; I came back with the flu so my brain is sort of stuck halfway between 'functional' and 'let's drop medication on the road and not notice' (this did happen this afternoon, yes. Stupid germs...)


Ramses said...

Great Paul! this paints are awesome and inspired!

Marcelo Vignali said...

Mr. Lasaine, if I may be so bold, your LOTR work is truly brilliant. I love the Wraith piece. It is the perfect combination of digital painting and digital reference. For me, one of the most striking images in the film.

The Tower at Barad-Dur is quite the icon.

I also like the architecture of Helms Deep. It looks like a 1930 dam, which is psychologically fitting since it had to hold back the hords of orcs. Nice touch!

Paul Lasaine said...

Thanks Marcelo,
I liked the architecture of Helms Deep too. Kind of "Art Deco". But once again, I can't take credit for the design of the architecture...that was Alan Lee.

roque said...

My eyes are bleeding...

Joseph Sapulich said...

I bow, sir. Your talent is amazing. Thank you for sharing these.

smoothatwork said...

I'm looking at the digital paintings and wondering which brushes you use in Painter to mimick what you use traditionally. Theres soo many settings one can get lost. Trying to get a paintbrush with similar texture to work. Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks.

Tony Lovett said...

Your work is amazing!!. Really inspiring. First saw your stuff in the Prince of Egypt book, and it really caught my eye! This is a great blog, keep em' coming! I particularly like your loose colour sketches! Cool, and everything else too,,Wow!

Ruth said...

I am beyond a LOTR fan, it is one of my loves. My son sent me this link. I am glad to "meet" you and see your work. As fans we hear much more about the "main" artists so I am extremely glad to see your hand and talents. I may be able to pick a favorite if I had them all in a room... then again...

How big are the actual paintings? I stand amazed at your talent. Thank you.

wout said...

thanks for sharing! I love all the different moods set. Keep up the awesome work!

credlich said...

are any of these for sale in the original??

Сергей said...

It something unimaginable! Night Bree it is very fine! Thank you! Greetings from Russia!

Krumhur said...

Wonderful, wonderful paintings! I had already seen the Sauron overlooking the Battle at Gorgoroth on the net, but I am glad I can finally congratulate it's proper author for it!

Furball62 said...

Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful paintings!

Shani said...

hello Paul
it's wonderfull
I write a book in french on the web
and I look for an illustrator
do you make paintings for people ?

can you join me on

(sorry for my bad english :s i'm french )

Anonymous said...

you will probably like this ..........Yellow Treehouse - Pacific Environments Architects :

Beth said...

My entire family is in LOVE with your representation of Lothlorien. We've been trying to find how/where we might buy a full size print and have come up short. Any suggestions? Thank you for sharing your beautiful work!

sentient06 said...

Paul, is it possible afford hi resolution version of some of your pictures? How so?

Anonymous said...

incredible work
some of the best I have seen!!

Matt said...

The Night Bree painting might be my favourite piece of work by any artist, ever. I'm sure you'll feel that to be hyperbole, and I don't claim to be an expert, but the quality of light and the sense of water and fire intermixed is breathtaking. That it was 'just' a piece of concept art makes it all the more remarkable. Thank you very much for making it accessible here.

Unknown said...

I would love to purchase a print of one or more of these images. Is there any way that would be possible?

Unknown said...

I would love to purchase a print of one or more of these images. Is there any way that would be possible?

Mëanor said...

I love the brushwork