Alan Lee's office is at the end of the hall. He will fly home to England tomorrow before returning to finish up his work, but we spend a bit of time together. Over a photograph of a beautiful hill, with Alpine mountains visible in the distance, he has laid a piece of tracing paper, and drawn Edoras. You will surely have seen photographs of this full-size set under construction. Looking carefully at the mountains in the background I imagine I can see the Starkhorn, the Irensaga, and between them the Dwimorberg. Only change the Mediterranean scrub for grassy savannah, and this is Rohan.
Chris is very impressed with Alan's work, and in fact there is something to the quick pencil sketches, an organic spontaneity perhaps, which doesn't come across in his paintings. Alan seems at ease in the dynamic world of film imagery. Looking at the paintings now, I can see that his process is very much three dimensional. There was a time when Chris was practicing illustration, but he was and still is very self-critical. Alan reassures him that no sketch is a waste of time, even if it doesn't come out the way you would like. At the last minute he casts around for something to give to Chris, and picks up a drawing pencil. Perhaps Chris will take up illustration again.
-Bill Welden, www.lordoftherings.net