Jay Johnstone

I was born in Hanover in Germany, the youngest of 3 sons. My father, a soldier was stationed in Sennelager, a village in Germany that forms part of the City of Paderborn. I was lucky to have a great childhood with fun adventures in ancient woodland with my friends and lots of fun days out with my family visiting the likes of Hamlin and the Ruer dam. We moved back to the UK in 1976 when I was 13 and finished my schooling.

At 16  I went to art college to study illustration and design. I found art college a freedom of creativity and self expression that previously I didn't know existed. Painting, girls, beer and Tolkien, It just couldn't get any better.

Before the end of my fourth year I went to work at a design agency. At 22 I set up my first design business and since have worked in two agencies as a managing partner

I’ve been a Tolkien fan since my teens and have been collecting his books since college.

These illustrations, a passion as well as a hobby have brought me great pleasure but it wasn't until the onering.net asked to display some of the paintings on their website that my enthusiasm was taken to a new level.

The original concept for the style came from Tolkien story that The Hobbit was originally translated from The Red Book of Westmarch. The story goes that the original copy was made at request of King Elessar of Gondor and brought to Gondor by Frodo's companion Thain Peregrin 1st. This copy was known as The Thain's Book. A copy of a revised and expanded Thain's Book was made probably by request of Peregrin's great-grandson and delivered to the Shire. It was written by the scribe Findegil and stored at the Took residence in Great Smials. it was kept by the head of the Took family, the Thain of The Shire and was known as Findegil's copy. 

The idea that The Hobbit and The Lord of the rings had been transcibed form ancient manuscripts quite appealed to me. The Halls of Theoden was my first adventure into Tolkien art and I then started to read up on religious manuscripts, icon and fresco illustration from the medieval periods. The resulting Illustations are the result of that exploration.

I like to work in most mediums - Oils, watercolours, acylic, egg tempera with Gold powder and gold leaf.

 I hope you enjoy looking at these paintings as much as I enjoyed painting them. 


The King of the Golden Hall - Jay Johnstone

Giclee print. Fake manuscript page, like a medieval illustated manuscript. 8x11"/20 x 27 cm. Signed and limited to 80 copies.*

Gandalf the White panel - Jay Johnstone

Giclee print, hand embelished with gold powder and then varnished. 6x12"/15x30 cm. Signed and limited to 80 copies.*

Frodo the Ringbearer - Jay Johnstone

Giclee print on deep, boxed canvas. Hand embelished with gold halo and silver neck chain, and then varnished. 10x10"/25x25 cm. Signed and limited to 80 copies.*

Frodo Baggins - Jay Johnstone

Frodo, clasping the One Ring. 6x5"/15x12 cm. Glicee print, hand embelished with gold halo and then varnished. Signed and limited to 80 copies.*

Theoden of the Rohirrim - Jay Johnstone

Glicee print, hand embelished with a gold halo, and then varnished. 10x10"/25x25 cm. Signed and limited to 80 copies.*