Dragons & Fellowships

With these altered art paintings, I was inspired by the world of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien. I am very fond of Tolkien's thoughtful stories and aimed  to capture that quiet, slow feel in my paintings.  


Artists have forever sought to capture their culture and world around them in their paintings, and we look back on those moments as art history. By subtly altering these vintage artworks to include elements of Middle Earth, I am creating a faux art history. 

Over the month of March I enjoyed painting and sketching the ideas before delving into the finished pieces... I've met many hobbits as I've shared the work in progress along the way on social media! In case you missed the process, I've put a link by each piece to the reel of them being painted so you can watch the transformation happen.

I've shared more details for each paintings below... you can find the originals and reproductions here.


"The Dragon"
Original, Prints & Downloads
Watch the reel of it being painted on Instagram.

O Smaug, how shall we describe you? Smaug the Tremendous, the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities, the Mighty. Smaug the Unassessably Wealthy, the Impenetrable, the Terrible. Your Magnificence, Smaug the Dreadful, Old Worm, Smaug the Golden… The Dragon.   

With so many names to capture the essence of the worm that infamously smote the dwarven kingdom of Erebor, I wanted to capture this moment when the young beast was on his journey to the Lonely Mountain.

As Tolkien describes in his stories, Smaug the terrible descended on the dwarves of the Lonely Mountain one evening in the year 2077 of the Third Age. The dwarves were utterly decimated.  Years later they would return with a thief to reclaim what they lost beneath the mountain. And we all know what precious object came to Bilbo in the depths of the mountain. 

I chose to paint this view of the dragon to emphasize the impending doom to the dwarves of the mountain. It is like watching a bird of prey flying... it has a calm beauty to it, but you know it is on the hunt. This view from the back of the dragon flying away is intended to make you as the viewer feel small and insignificant to the great dragon, like you are helplessly watching it fly towards some dark purpose.

The original vintage painting is on canvas and signed Sino. I spent some time cleaning and repairing the damaged art. The autumn colours and thick texture are really lovely, I was sure to use those as part of the palette for the dragon's wings. 

This original has been claimed by my son... sorry, the thirteen year old called dibs! If you are really disappointed, drop me a note... I'd love to do more dragon paintings!




"Fellowship Along the River Anduin"
Original art, Prints & Downloads 
Watch this being painted here on Instagram.

This old painting was rather beautiful, but I felt the little canoe with the man fishing brought it into a more modern realm... and this painting had a timelessness to it and felt it needed a more meaningful story to it. (Sorry Dad, I know you love fishing stories!) 

The journey of the remaining eight companions from Lothlorien along the Riven Anduin was not featured for long in the films before they reached Amon Hen. But it was a melancholy adventure. Having just lost Gandalf in the mines of Moria, their grief would have been close by. I imagined a quiet journey along the river, each lost in their own thoughts about the ordeals they had been through, and apprehensive about the journey ahead.

If you've never been portaging in a canoe, I recommend it. Paddling through back country is a different kind of quiet... void of people but filled with the sound of lapping of water on rocks, the breeze in the trees, the occasional bird or animal snapping a twig in the forest. Time moves slower when you're on the water, when you're only aware of one paddle stroke at a time. 

So as I imagined the eight companions portaging along the River Anduin, I realized this would have been their last restful moments together, truly as companions, before the ring took hold of Boromir.  So when I painted the companions into this old artwork, my aim was to capture that quiet, last moment together. 

The original painting is unsigned and was collected locally in Ontario. It had a significant scratch across the front and a gouge out of the paper. Both have been touched up but are not invisible if you look for them.

The frame is very old and the plaster is delicate and has chipped off in places. I love the Japanese art of “kintsugi“ where you repair broken pottery but don’t hide the breaks… instead they are painted with gold. I love how it cherishes the object and illustrates the story it had gone through. So in repairing the frame, I have touched it up in a way that is not distracting to the remaining detail and finish, but doesn’t hide the fact that it was broken or missing pieces. 


Watercolour studies
Printable download
Watch them be painted here on Instagram



Charcoal study
Printable download
Watch the dragons being drawn here on Instagram


I have set aside a few more pieces that would be wonderful with elements of Middle Earth... but will save those for a little ways down the road! I'm a full-time mum of three school aged kids, being here for them is my full-time job and time with them is precious! I am reminded by the words of a very wise wizard : 

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
-- Gandalf

So I hope to paint more soon... until then, please drop me a note if you are hoping for something in particular and I'll keep in touch!

Yours deeply,


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