Art and Literature News

Interview with Tolkien Artist Regula Auckenthaler

Inspiring as Middle-earth is, it’s no surprise that the community of fans is full of talented artists who want to share their versions of our beloved characters. We have tons of talented artists on our site, but we found Swiss artist Regula Auckenthaler on Twitter, where she was posting realistic portraits of the cast of The Lord of the Rings movies.  For an amateur artist, Regula has received some very encouraging responses on her art, and not just from us adoring fangirls and boys at Middle-earth News – Brad Dourif himself has even complimented one of her drawings of Grima! Recently, Regula graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us.

Brad Dourif as Grima Wormtongue, by Regula Auckenthaler

1. How long have you been drawing? Have you had any formal training in drawings?

I started approximately a year after I saw The Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema. By that time I was still in school (15 years old)  and we were forced to draw our classmates faces. Later on, my first drawing of Frodo was created which was a total disaster so I kept that one secret and safe til now 🙂

2. What tools do you use to create your art?

Because I never went to art-school I use the simpliest equipement, only pencils and normal 80 gramme weighing paper. But I’m very interested to develop myself and to get more precise in my drawing-style. I’m also very open for advice.

3. What inspired you to start drawing Lord of the Rings movie characters? On a related note, what is your favorite thing about Lord of the Rings?

Regula first used colored pencils to emphasize Elijah Wood's eyes

One word: Frodo. 🙂 I was and still am enthusiastic about how Peter Jackson created such wonderful visual recordings. He put Frodo perfectly in the picture. And it was the first sight of Frodo which encouraged me to make a drawing of him. Later on, it was my goal to draw every LOTR character as a portrait (I only used a black pencil and the portraits are small). Maybe around two years ago I dared to use for the first time a coloured pencil to emphasize something in my drawing. So my first drawing then, was again Frodo with his beautiful eyes.

Besides The character Frodo I love the story and the style of the movie. For me it is still a masterpiece and ever since no other director has managed what Peter Jackson did.

 4. How do the celebrities you draw usually respond to your drawings of them?

I recieved one positive response from Brad Dourif when I showed him the drawing of Grima on Twitter. After that I made another drawing of Grima but unfortunately he didn’t see or respond to it. But I think it is not my goal to get in contact with many celebrities because the drawings are for my very own LOTR wall. 🙂 But of course I would be very flattered if a celebrity would respond or even sign my drawing. But it makes me already happy when I can share my passion trough a social network with other LOTR fans. And I’m always very nervous and full of anticipation of what other LOTR fans think of my drawings. I take criticism very seriously and I try to increase myself as long as I’m true to my style of how I draw.

Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd, immortalized on the wall

5. Are any of your pieces for sale?

I couldn’t sell the drawings I’ve made so far because every piece has a special place in my heart and in my home. Besides that, it was Tolkien and Peter Jackson who created that masterpiece and deserve all the glory. I only try to show with my drawings my passion for the movie and I don’t want to make a financial benefit. But if somebody would like that I make a drawing of a character he likes a lot, I would do that for free (as long as I have time).

6. What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are inspired by Tolkien?

Just go for it and express your passion through that medium you feel comfortable with, to create your own artwork. There is no wrong or right. Life is a learning process and  if I had given up after my first drawing of Frodo, I would probably still have boring, plain, white walls at home. I know what I’m talking about. Have a look at my first drawing which I mentioned before and the drawing I created after a bit practice:

Regula's first drawing of Elijah Wood as Frodo


A later drawing showing drastic improvement

Now that’s improvement! None of us now have any excuse not to stay dedicated to any artistic craft we’d like to pursue. I’d like to thank Regula for taking the time to talk to us about her passion for art and Peter Jackson’s movies. Hopefully she’ll be creating some Hobbit-inspired art soon! The best place to connect with Regula and to see her newest art is on Twitter: @raucki.

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  1. Ahh I love this post! It actually reminds me of me and my drawings of the characters! Though Regula is much better 😉 very inspiring.

  2. Beautiful work! The eyes are just stunning! Your wall reminds me of my wall of character paintings, hehehe 😀

  3. Julie Denner says:

    I love the drawings and I also loved the fact that the movie was faithful to them. There are many movie book-to-movie adaptations that makes the transition difficult. Usually, one that suffers most is the appearances.