Behind the Scenes: The Last Homely House

This piece has been a labor of love.

It has been one of the most taxing, most detailed, and time consuming pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.

But even with all the difficulties, it has also been one of my favorite pieces. I love the subject matter and just seeing all the detail sets my heart soaring.

Art is my happy place!

But back to the reveal:


Title: The Last Homely House (Rivendell)

Medium: Graphite on paper

Size: 11 x 14, framed and matted to 14 x 18


Time to complete: Easily over 30 hours over 6 months time

Purpose: Commissioned by Vanessa and Stephen J. with the gift certificate from the 2015 mission’s auction at our church

Thought process: After completing A Bastion Against the Darkness, my brother-in-law, husband and I were planning out what the next Lord of the Rings/Hobbit drawing would be. We were making a list of different locations, and Rivendell from the Hobbit movies was high on my list. A lot of the ones the guys were choosing will be coming later as drawings, so stay tuned for those!

When Stephen and Vanessa got the certificate from the auction, they were bouncing around various ideas of what to choose, and decided, much to my delight, on Rivendell based on the Hobbit movie!

After that we decided on which reference images to use, I just made sure to crop out the dwarves as best as I could and replace where they were standing with some well placed bushes and rocks.

Favorite parts: Umm, all of it?

I really love the buildings. I think they turned out beautifully, and am super pleased with the amount of detail that is in such a small space and how the contrast ended up working out between the darks and lights.

Size detail

Seeing it finished was pretty amazing, as well! Towards the end I was wondering if it would ever be done.

Least favorite part: Soooo many trees and rocks!!!! I spent about 10 hours just drawing trees. It gets a little tedious after awhile, and my hand would cramp up often. It was worth it in the end!

Fun tidbits: This is the second in my Lord of the Rings series.

This is the most time per square inch I’ve spent on a drawing since a 20 hour drawing in college; that piece was 3″ x 3″ and took 20 hours.

Detail 1

My brother-in-law was put in charge of naming this piece. He commissioned the first LotR drawing and did such a great job with naming that piece that I asked him to do this one as well. It’s based off of this quote:

“Frodo was now safe in the Last Homely House east of the Sea. That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all’. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness.” — The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

I was so frustrated with the monotony of the trees at the end of the piece that if this wasn’t a commission, I probably never would have finished it! Okay, I probably would have…but not for a long time.

Product availability: This one will be available as a print very very soon! I’m hoping to have it ready next week some time. I will probably have it in note cards once I have more LotR drawings done and have an assorted set.

*** UPDATE! This is now available as a print! You can check it out in my Etsy store here.

Detail 2

Frequently asked questions:

Why did you choose Rivendell from the Hobbit movie rather than the Lord of the Rings?

Honestly, I just liked it better.

What location are you drawing next? When will you start it?

Next up is Dale before Smaug comes, and I will be finishing the planning for that one in the next week or so and then starting it. I hope to have it finished much quicker (as in less months!) than this one, but with the final push for Boathouse 2 coming, I’m not sure that will happen.

How can I buy one of these drawings?

All of these so far have been commissioned. You can get the Minas Tirith/Gondor location as a print here, and the Rivendell one is available here. If you have a particular location you’d like done, let me know in the comments below or email me at to talk about commissioning it. I hope to have other locations available for purchase later this year.


What location would you like to see sometime this year?

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: The Last Homely House

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