G is for Gimli

This may be the drawing that causes me to break my heretofore unbroken AlphaBooks rule of only doing one character from a particular book. I really want to do Tom Bombadil also… but we’ll see.

G is for Gimli – From The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

There are a lot of things not to like about the film version of The Lord of the Rings, but pretty high on my list is the way the character Gimli is dealt with. One of my favorite parts of the novels is the way the relationship between the dwarf, Gimli, and the elf, Legolas, grows and develops over the course of the books from animosity into great friendship. In the films we get “dwarf tossing” jokes and Legolas doing a “rail ride” on his shield. Ugh.

For this drawing I tried as much as possible to expunge the look of the film Gimli from my head and come up with something closer to what I might have imagined for the character the first time I read the books. Keeping with the Germanic/Nordic origin of mythological dwarfs (or, more properly when discussing Tolkien, “dwarves”) I took a lot of ideas about the costuming from this website about Viking Age clothing.

Process-wise, I went with what’s now becoming my standard AlphaBooks procedure: pencil sketch on paper, tight pencils over that in SketchBookPro, digital inks in Manga Studio, and color in Photoshop. Here’re the first two drawings from that sequence:

Next week: “H”…

You can find all the AlphaBooks entries to-date at the AlphaBooks tumblr: http://alphabooks.tumblr.com. You can also follow many of the entries as they’re posted in real-time by following the #AlphaBooks hashtag on Twitter on Mondays.



  1. Isaac says:

    I think you should just go ahead and let yourself break your rule before you get to T, since I will be bummed if Q is not for Queequeg.

  2. Ben says:

    @Isaac – We’ll see about Queequeg. I think there’re gonna be a lot of Queequegs because of the scarcity of “Q” choices.

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