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gylippus
Seeker

25 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2019 :  21:54:44  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Maybe there is already a thread with cover art in it, if so, I apologize. I thought it would be interesting to post feedback about the cover art of fr books. I will start this out by posting this excerpt from Red Magic by Jean Rabe.

"Maligor's head was completely bald and adorned with tattoos...Only slaves had long hair...Maligor's tattoos included a bright red flame lapping on a purple field...and a flawless snow white skull on an ebony triangle..."

A little bit farther in the book it says..."She used the other to gently run a sharp blade over his temples and across the top of his head, shaving the fine stubble growing there."

Ok, if you look at the cover of Red Magic the wizard is moderately bald but has long hair and one tattoo that has nothing to do with what was just described. How hard can it be to give the artist that one paragraph and ask them to make a picture of it? On a side note, I think the picture itself is nice, but it clearly isn't Maligor.

Edited by - gylippus on 05 Mar 2019 22:07:06

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6777 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  00:15:35  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maligor does briefly enjoy having long hair at least once in the novel. Not wanting to post spoilers but the hair growth as an unusual side effect from other magics.

I'm not sure which specific scene/moment in the novel might be depicted on the cover art, but the hair detail may in fact be correct.

[/Ayrik]
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AJA
Learned Scribe

USA
209 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  01:12:56  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You're in for quite a slog when you get to the Drizzt books.

I also seem to that remember Elaine Cunningham wasn't a fan of the artwork for at least one of the Starlight and Shadows covers.

EDIT: This is what I was thinking of, from VikingLegions "Once More Unto the Breach" thread;

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

@Irennan - thanks for letting me know about that short story. I just pulled all the anthologies from my bookcases, and see that it appears in the Best of the Realms III: The Stories of Elaine Cunningham. That is a 2007 book, so one I won't get to for awhile, as I'm still in 2003/2004. Liriel looks like Whoopi Goldberg on the cover.


Yeah, the cover for that book is one of the worst in TSR/WotC history. It looks like a very rough draft, not something you'd put on an actual book. And seriously, LIME GREEN?




AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 06 Mar 2019 01:25:54
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  04:32:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

How hard can it be to give the artist that one paragraph and ask them to make a picture of it?



TSR and WotC both had a horrible habit of accepting any artwork... WotC actually changed the skintone of drow, in canon, because artists kept turning in weirdly colored drow. Rather than force the artists to actually render the art they were paid to render, WotC decided it was clearly too difficult to pull off (despite past artists having done it!) and changed the race's description to match the art.

They're not even consistent with the artwork, either. There was an entire run of comics with Kyriani as a main character, and her look was well-established: curvy, light skin, way attractive, looked like a standard issue half-elf. Then, in 3E, they made her non-curvy, dusky-skinned, more average looking, and in the Lords of Waterdeep game, she looks like a drow! Yes, it is canon that she's a half-drow, but her heritage was unique and she never looked like anything other than any other normal half-elf.

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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  08:02:47  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Its not that. Both the novel and the cover were commissions. I highly doubt the artist ever read it before painting the cover. I certainly don't think that is a cover to complain about - it's great.

The artist in question, by the way is Fred Fields. Very talented. He's not my favorite but his images are memorable on many covers and I have no complaints.

From the Harpers series he also did Ring of Winter, Curse of the Shadow Mage, Night Parade and Masquerades. He did Crown of Fire and at least one of the aforementioned Drizzt covers. You'd also probably recognize the illithiad cover, several Dragon Mag covers, the cover to the original undermountain box, the Spellbound box, Ruins of Greyhawk, and the Book of Artifacts.

Here's his web page: https://fredfieldsart.com/

Edited by - The Masked Mage on 06 Mar 2019 08:11:40
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  08:05:19  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


Here's his web page: https://fredfieldsart.com/


Also he does some really nice naked ladies :P
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  10:12:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another comment for me and the cover art... Some of the novels that came out in the 3E era I avoided *because* of the cover art. The Howling Delve is a particular example -- that art not only fails to intrigue, it repulses me.

I was burning out on the novels at the time, and the horrible cover art on so many of them was enough to turn "maybe, maybe not" into "definitely not".

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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2352 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  11:49:52  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

How hard can it be to give the artist that one paragraph and ask them to make a picture of it?




You are assuming that the writers did NOT do this. That's not an unreasonable assumption, I suppose, given the gap betweeen the stories and the illustrations. For what it's worth, here's how the process worked. This is my experience; other writers might have different stories.

I was asked for art notes for every novel. One page, to include character descriptions and suggestions for two or three scenes from the story that suggested an interesting, dynamic composition. Sometime the artists followed the art notes, sometimes they didn't. TSR employed more than one artist who didn't bother to READ them.

For the first edition cover of Daughter of the Drow, Fred Fields knew he needed a human male and a dark elf female, so he painted himself and his significant other (in drow blackface) in a static, "portrait" pose. It was about as generic as you could get, so editor Brian Thomsen called me and asked for some little detail that might tie the illustration to the story. I suggested Liriel's spider-in-amber pendant, and the artist added that in.

I met the artist who painted the cover for Evermeet at a convention. He informed me that he doesn't like to read art notes because they "interfer with his vision." His vision included an Evermeet filled with weird snow-covered mountains, a male elf who looked like a young John Travolta, and the inexplicable inclusion of a young human female. For good or ill, I saw the cover art before the novel was finished, so I did significant revisions to add the character of Maura, Prince Lamruil's human lover, to explain who the heck was on the cover.

It was common practice to keep the authors and artist apart. The editors asked for art notes and passed them along. There are good reasons for this. Most writers have little training in either the artistic or the marketing aspects of cover design. Giving writers direct access and input might easily translate to a presuption of "cover approval," which could be problematic. In only one case did I communicate directly with the artist. Todd Lockwood called about the covers for the reprint of the Liriel books. Over several phone conversations, we talked about character arc, descriptions, and elements from the stories that he could include into the background frieze on the three covers. These covers are truly ILLUSTRATIONS, as well as wonderful bits of visual storytelling. This colloboration is one of the high points of my time in the Realms.

I suspect most of the writers would have been willing to do whatever it took to have the cover and the story work together. Speaking from my own experience, an opportunity to have any real impact on the cover was extremely rare.


Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 06 Mar 2019 11:54:09
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  11:50:18  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Clyde Caldwell to me did a great job of representing the characters as written, like Alias's famous cleavage armour in Azure Bonds (given to her as a joke by her "mother") and Giogi's look towards the end of Wyvern's Spur - the exception being the cover of Tantras where apparently Mourngrym is shown as really skeevy and surrounded by pleasure girls? I actually always viewed that as Bane in a human avatar, not the peaceful ruler of Shadowdale, but apparently that cover is meant to be Moungrym prior to the trial.

I like his cover of Streams of Silver, it's a cool picture of Drizzt and Bruenor in particular (not as iconic as Larry's cover of the Crystal shard though!).

Edited by - Seravin on 06 Mar 2019 11:52:57
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2352 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  12:00:28  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage


The artist in question, by the way is Fred Fields. Very talented.




He truly is. His ability to paint photo-realistic portraits is remarkable. These days, he is also designing some spectacular tattoos, and often posts pictures of them on his Facebook page.
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1376 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  12:30:55  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could be misremembering, but I think Jeff Grubb said once they changed the Azure Bonds novel to explain the picture.

--Eric

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

Clyde Caldwell to me did a great job of representing the characters as written, like Alias's famous cleavage armour in Azure Bonds (given to her as a joke by her "mother") and Giogi's look towards the end of Wyvern's Spur - the exception being the cover of Tantras where apparently Mourngrym is shown as really skeevy and surrounded by pleasure girls? I actually always viewed that as Bane in a human avatar, not the peaceful ruler of Shadowdale, but apparently that cover is meant to be Moungrym prior to the trial.

I like his cover of Streams of Silver, it's a cool picture of Drizzt and Bruenor in particular (not as iconic as Larry's cover of the Crystal shard though!).


--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2352 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  12:48:50  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

I could be misremembering, but I think Jeff Grubb said once they changed the Azure Bonds novel to explain the picture.

--Eric




That was my reaction, as well. I wouldn't swear to it, but I do have a faint recollection of hearing that the character description was altered to fit the illustration.

What came first: chicken or egg? The debate continues.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  13:45:19  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haha! That's certainly a twist...and ties in with Elaine having to edit some of Evermeet to match the cover art as well.

For this topic, I think to me Red Magic has one of the best covers of all the books, the Red Wizard is an icon - although I don't think this art was commissioned *for* this novel to my recollection it was used previously on some early Realms sourcebook? It could be that Maligor took the potion to grow hair as a result of the cover art (similar to Alias's iconic cleavage-mail).
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gylippus
Seeker

25 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2019 :  14:02:17  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

How hard can it be to give the artist that one paragraph and ask them to make a picture of it?




You are assuming that the writers did NOT do this. That's not an unreasonable assumption, I suppose, given the gap betweeen the stories and the illustrations. For what it's worth, here's how the process worked. This is my experience; other writers might have different stories.

I was asked for art notes for every novel. One page, to include character descriptions and suggestions for two or three scenes from the story that suggested an interesting, dynamic composition. Sometime the artists followed the art notes, sometimes they didn't. TSR employed more than one artist who didn't bother to READ them.

For the first edition cover of Daughter of the Drow, Fred Fields knew he needed a human male and a dark elf female, so he painted himself and his significant other (in drow blackface) in a static, "portrait" pose. It was about as generic as you could get, so editor Brian Thomsen called me and asked for some little detail that might tie the illustration to the story. I suggested Liriel's spider-in-amber pendant, and the artist added that in.

I met the artist who painted the cover for Evermeet at a convention. He informed me that he doesn't like to read art notes because they "interfer with his vision." His vision included an Evermeet filled with weird snow-covered mountains, a male elf who looked like a young John Travolta, and the inexplicable inclusion of a young human female. For good or ill, I saw the cover art before the novel was finished, so I did significant revisions to add the character of Maura, Prince Lamruil's human lover, to explain who the heck was on the cover.

It was common practice to keep the authors and artist apart. The editors asked for art notes and passed them along. There are good reasons for this. Most writers have little training in either the artistic or the marketing aspects of cover design. Giving writers direct access and input might easily translate to a presuption of "cover approval," which could be problematic. In only one case did I communicate directly with the artist. Todd Lockwood called about the covers for the reprint of the Liriel books. Over several phone conversations, we talked about character arc, descriptions, and elements from the stories that he could include into the background frieze on the three covers. These covers are truly ILLUSTRATIONS, as well as wonderful bits of visual storytelling. This colloboration is one of the high points of my time in the Realms.

I suspect most of the writers would have been willing to do whatever it took to have the cover and the story work together. Speaking from my own experience, an opportunity to have any real impact on the cover was extremely rare.





Wow! Elaine Cunningham. Sorry, I am new to this forum so I am a little starstruck that you replied to this post. I am a huge fan of your work btw. Anyway, maybe I worded the initial post wrong. I guess I assumed an editor or someone in charge of the overall process would provide the description to the artist, not necessarily the author, so no disrespect intended. Thank you for giving us your insight into the process. I found your description of events entertaining, especially the John Travolta reference For the record, I think the art on the cover of Red Magic is good, in and of itself. The artist is obviously talented, but the picture is not 100% accurate to the character.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  04:37:38  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Like I was saying - for books like this in a shared world, as opposed to cover art made to fit a specific writer's novels (think Tolkien), the idea is really just to make a cover that will help sell the product. 100% accuracy isn't the real goal there. For the most part I think they did achieve these goals. I do think that refusing to read a 1 page description is pretty diva-ish.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2352 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  13:04:52  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Like I was saying - for books like this in a shared world, as opposed to cover art made to fit a specific writer's novels (think Tolkien), the idea is really just to make a cover that will help sell the product. 100% accuracy isn't the real goal there. For the most part I think they did achieve these goals. I do think that refusing to read a 1 page description is pretty diva-ish.



Cover art, in general, is all about marketing. Visual appeal is important--the main purpose of a cover is to hook people into picking up the book--but cover design also has to factor in current trends and genre identification. Readers and booksellers can usually tell at a glance whether a particular book is a high fantasy novel, a historical romance, or a cozy mystery. If a book is being marketed, either subtly or overtly, as "If you liked X, you'll love this book," then the cover is likely to borrow design elements from the cover of the popular book whose audience is being courted. With all the tasks that a cover must accomplish, accurately depicting the characters gets pushed down the priority list.

And sometimes, the cover makes a point of NOT depicting the character accurately. An example is historical fiction. If a story is about a real-life woman, the cover is likely to show a woman in period dress, but only up to her neck. The reader's immagination is likely to supply a more appealing image. Mary Queen of Scots was described as beautiful and charming, but her portraits are so stylized that her appeal reallky doesn't translate to the modern eye. (I find it interesting that the most flattering image of Mary is her death mask, a plaster cast taken taken her execution.). And until just recently, characters were "white-washed" on covers on the theory that pale people won't buy and read books about dark people, unless the latter are drow.

And unfortunately, there's something to that. There was a fantasy series a few years back that had a Black protagonist who falls in love with a gargoyle. Entertaining, well-written book, but it didn't sell. The publisher released it with a new cover that has the protag in deep shadows, so that her race is undetectable. The book sold much better. This is unfortunate, and it's slowly changing, but it's one of many example of the sort of things publishers consider when they're planning cover design.

Tip for writers: If you can, give the artist a solid visual hook, preferably from current pop culture.. The best depiction of any FR character on my books is Liriel on the Todd Lockwood cover of TANGLED WEBS, but a close second is Arilyn on the cover of the (sadly unpublished) RECLAMATION. When I wrote art notes for that cover, my descript of Arilyn was succinct: She looks like a pissed-off Evangeline Lily. Since the TV show "Lost" was still airing at the time, the artist could immediately envision the general idea.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 07 Mar 2019 13:08:14
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2352 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  13:23:49  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gylippus

Anyway, maybe I worded the initial post wrong. I guess I assumed an editor or someone in charge of the overall process would provide the description to the artist, not necessarily the author, so no disrespect intended.



No worries! As I mentioned in my response, your assumption was not unreasonable.

Another factor I didn't mention in my initial response was the pressure of publishing schedules. They can be pretty tight, and if an artist turns in a painting that's not quite what the author described or even what the editor had in mind, there probably isn't time to start anew.

Time pressures can influence the art in a variety of ways. It's very likely that the cover art is being painted while the book is being written. If things change during the writing process, that can cause a disconnect between the art and the story. For example, my proposal and outline for THORNHOLD included a battle in the tunnels below the fortress that included a fight against a hydra. The editor loved that idea (his personal preference for cover art was Heroes Fighting Monsters) and he was disappointed when that scene disappeared during the writing process. Admitedly, Bronwyn and dwarves battling a hydra could have been an interesting cover, so I get where he was coming from. But the story went another way--fortunately, BEFORE the art was painted.

A tight timeframe for new editions can influence artistic decisions.I was amazed and impressed when Todd Lockwood apologized for not having time to read the Liriel books before painting the covers, because I was accustomed to artists who wouldn't read the one-page art notes. He also wanted to do them in oils, but time pressure demanded acrylic paint.

It's often said that creating a novel is like making sausage, in that the less you know about the process, the more you're likely to enjoy the end result. I don't find that to be true with FR readers, who seem to like the behind-the-scenes anecdotes.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  17:20:26  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The cover art of Reclamation was amazing!
For those who haven't seen it :
https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1187199086l/1707264.jpg

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8008 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  19:40:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding Todd Lockwood.... kind of funny story... I didn't know HOW much I liked him as an artist. With D&D, there's been SO MANY artists since I was growing up, that once we got past the Larry Elmore years, I was just looking at things and not really paying attention to who painted them so much. Then I found one painting and wanted to see if I could find it online. His web page online allows you to go through ALL of his stuff and order pictures. I literally spent 2 days figuring out which paintings to order, including a calendar that I cut up and framed individual pictures from. I think I have about 15-20 pieces of his work on my wall now (almost more than I have from Larry Elmore). One of my favorites is one he made for a tattoo magazine of demons and devils fighting. Its definitely for the man cave, not where kids will be, but its been probably 3 years since I got it and he apparently still has a handful. If you're interested, look at the below.

https://www.toddlockwood.com/other-visions#/war-of-angels/


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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gylippus
Seeker

25 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2019 :  21:58:54  Show Profile Send gylippus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the spirit of fairness, I read more of Red Magic and this is the scene after Magilor drank a rejuvenation potion:

The same potion that rejuvenated his body, causing him to shed decades, also caused his hair to grow. It was long now, hanging several inches below his shoulders, and as black as a cave.It ringed his head leaving him a small bald spot on top where the symbol of Myrkul stood out.In places, the black hair was streaked with a few strands of gray.

So, on a scale of 1 - 10, I have to give this art a 9/10. There are a few details about tattoos that I could quibble about, but in the end the picture seems a pretty good representation of Magilor.
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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2019 :  03:11:17  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Regarding Todd Lockwood.... kind of funny story... I didn't know HOW much I liked him as an artist. With D&D, there's been SO MANY artists since I was growing up, that once we got past the Larry Elmore years, I was just looking at things and not really paying attention to who painted them so much. Then I found one painting and wanted to see if I could find it online. His web page online allows you to go through ALL of his stuff and order pictures. I literally spent 2 days figuring out which paintings to order, including a calendar that I cut up and framed individual pictures from. I think I have about 15-20 pieces of his work on my wall now (almost more than I have from Larry Elmore). One of my favorites is one he made for a tattoo magazine of demons and devils fighting. Its definitely for the man cave, not where kids will be, but its been probably 3 years since I got it and he apparently still has a handful. If you're interested, look at the below.

https://www.toddlockwood.com/other-visions#/war-of-angels/




I was never a big fan of Lockwood's stuff. It was one step too cartoony for me. There are a couple exceptions of course but in my mind I associate him with the WOTC takeover - so that doesn't help much :P
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
911 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2019 :  12:29:41  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't care for Lockwood either, personally. Give me Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley, or (the late great) Keith Parkinson any day.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2019 :  17:38:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

I don't care for Lockwood either, personally. Give me Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell, Jeff Easley, or (the late great) Keith Parkinson any day.



Larry Elmore was and remains my favorite. Clyde Caldwell has some good stuff*, though I'm not a fan of how his female characters show skin**. Jeff Easley did some really good stuff, too.

I've liked a lot of Keith Parkinson's stuff; in fact, I like some of his individual pieces more than some of the stuff from the other artists. Overall, though, I rank him one step below them.

Todd Lockwood, too, has done some good stuff, but he's not impressed me as much as the others.

*I've never understood Caldwell's fixation on that round red gem. Any time I see unfamiliar artwork that I know or suspect to be his, that round red gem is the first thing I look for. And at one point, on his website, you had to click on a big round red gem to access the main site!

**Don't get me wrong, I'm all for seeing as much skin on attractive women as I can. That said, the way it's presented counts for a lot. And even as a teenager, some of Caldwell's stuff just didn't work for me. A notable example was the pic of Laurana in chains, with Takhsis behind her -- the way Laurana's dress was ripped away to barely a loincloth, with all her other clothing reasonably intact, just seems gratuitous.

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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2019 :  21:26:49  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some of Calwell's are just classics now. Alisia of the Mists from the Adventures cover, Strahd on his balcony, Meredoth on his island, the Azure Bonds cover with the cleavage chainmail, the songs of Saurials cover, and Wyvern's spur, and Spellfire and streams of silver the one that became Varalla in the trading cards, the one of Raistlin doing a meteor shower and my personal favorite, Kitiara and Lord Soth.

As for his scantly clad women I always like the one I think was Red Sonya (redhead in mail loincloth bikini). The random naked chick on the moon was strange.

Larry Elmore did a ton of the mostly naked lady thing too... and I loved his dragons and I wish D&D dragons still looked like that (many of these were covers for dragonlance books and some for dragon mag.). He also did a lot of covers for the old choose your own adventure books that were great. (I wish they'd release all those books for ebook). The cover for the Crystal Shard is classic. His painting of a knight fighting a priest with a ram helmet in the snow was awesome (I think that became a cover for one of the Bloodstone products).

I was never a big fan of Easley's paintings... the were always too busy for me. I really loved his drawings in the old old D&D books; I think they set the high standard. Much the same for Parkinson. He had a couple red dragons that were fabulous as they looked over treasure but that's about all I remember of his stuff... I think he did a lot more of the techno-fantasy which I never got into. I know he did the skeletons that were from the Lankhmar book which is classic.

Tony DiTerlizzi did a ton for Planescape, and gave those products their own look and feels that was pretty great.

If you go all the way back to the beginning 1st ed books, David A. Trampier - the guy who did those heavy line art drawings in all the early stuff - was good. Mostly it was very simple - the devils - Geryon specifically comes to mind there, but it made the foundation. I had never imagined any of these things before and he gave me all the information I needed to do that. He also did Wormy if you remember that comic from Dragon.

Jim Halloway did a lot of this type of thing as well - mostly in Dragon I think. They were slightly more "realistic" than Trampiers which I liked. Jeff Dee was in there too but i can't remember what he drew except the aarakocra.

Erol Otus did the covers of the original books as well, but I never really liked those much.

I loved Valarie Valusek's illustrations. All of them.

Those are all the biggies that did many many things for TSR, as far as I know I'm sure I forgot a few of them. Sorry :P



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VikingLegion
Senior Scribe

USA
409 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2019 :  01:16:56  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

The cover art of Reclamation was amazing!
For those who haven't seen it :
https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1187199086l/1707264.jpg




Holy crap that is terrific!! It looks like a really pissed off Evangeline Lilly from that show Lost.
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VikingLegion
Senior Scribe

USA
409 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2019 :  01:20:35  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

Some of Calwell's are just classics now. Alisia of the Mists from the Adventures cover, Strahd on his balcony, Meredoth on his island, the Azure Bonds cover with the cleavage chainmail, the songs of Saurials cover, and Wyvern's spur, and Spellfire and streams of silver the one that became Varalla in the trading cards, the one of Raistlin doing a meteor shower and my personal favorite, Kitiara and Lord Soth.

As for his scantly clad women I always like the one I think was Red Sonya (redhead in mail loincloth bikini). The random naked chick on the moon was strange.

Larry Elmore did a ton of the mostly naked lady thing too... and I loved his dragons and I wish D&D dragons still looked like that (many of these were covers for dragonlance books and some for dragon mag.). He also did a lot of covers for the old choose your own adventure books that were great. (I wish they'd release all those books for ebook). The cover for the Crystal Shard is classic. His painting of a knight fighting a priest with a ram helmet in the snow was awesome (I think that became a cover for one of the Bloodstone products).

I was never a big fan of Easley's paintings... the were always too busy for me. I really loved his drawings in the old old D&D books; I think they set the high standard. Much the same for Parkinson. He had a couple red dragons that were fabulous as they looked over treasure but that's about all I remember of his stuff... I think he did a lot more of the techno-fantasy which I never got into. I know he did the skeletons that were from the Lankhmar book which is classic.

Tony DiTerlizzi did a ton for Planescape, and gave those products their own look and feels that was pretty great.

If you go all the way back to the beginning 1st ed books, David A. Trampier - the guy who did those heavy line art drawings in all the early stuff - was good. Mostly it was very simple - the devils - Geryon specifically comes to mind there, but it made the foundation. I had never imagined any of these things before and he gave me all the information I needed to do that. He also did Wormy if you remember that comic from Dragon.

Jim Halloway did a lot of this type of thing as well - mostly in Dragon I think. They were slightly more "realistic" than Trampiers which I liked. Jeff Dee was in there too but i can't remember what he drew except the aarakocra.

Erol Otus did the covers of the original books as well, but I never really liked those much.

I loved Valarie Valusek's illustrations. All of them.

Those are all the biggies that did many many things for TSR, as far as I know I'm sure I forgot a few of them. Sorry :P







Great post. I was going to mention Tony DiTerlizzi as a personal favorite that massively influenced me, but you beat me to it. I live not too far from the Norman Rockwell museum which not too long ago dedicated an entire wing to Tony D's work, it was an amazing exhibit. Another of my personal faves is one probably few will recognize - Stephen Fabian, who did much of the early Ravenloft illustrations. His 2nd edition tarokka deck in the Black Box still ranks amongst some of my favorite D&D artwork.

An insanely good book to own, if you can handle the price tag (and it is absolutely worth it if you love visuals) is [u]Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History]/u]. It is something I will probably re-read/savor every couple of years, it is stunning.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 09 Mar 2019 01:25:30
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