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5E About the artwork...

Horwath

Hero
Now that we saw some previews of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and some fine artwork in it.

Starting with this:
dd-tashas-1604041136985.jpg


can we in the future be spared of your acid trip induced visions, starting with this:

ranger.jpg


now you have proven that you can do excellent artwork,

so please, do continue.

 

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oreofox

Explorer
Different commissioned artists have different art styles. I enjoy the first image of Tasha, while the (I assume) elven ranger I find not very pleasing to my eyes despite it being rather well done. However, I also cannot stand the vast majority of the monster art in the Monster Manual done by the Conceptopolis people. Again, their skill is definitely visible, but holy crap do they not look good aesthetically (to me).

Of course, I am an outlier on these boards in that I enjoy much of Wayne Reynolds's art pieces (except for his goblins in Pathfinder, and Pathfinder2e's kobolds). There have been artists in previous editions that I really enjoyed and some that I absolutely loathed and thought the product was ruined with their inclusion.

For me, Paizo commissions artists with art styles I prefer while WotC seems to prefer artists with styles I cannot stand for the most part. Art like Tasha, that is clean, is miles better than art like the elven ranger, which looks like someone trying to recreate the look of "classical" artists oil paintings.
 


Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I liked lockwood’s style in 3e (but not the dungeon punk aesthetic). I like the clean tashas artwork and the warlcok’s style in the phb.

I think the grainy or impressionistic stuff is just jarring in comparison. I know diversity of style is probably intentional but it is sort of distracting.

the half orc in the phb? Not good for example.
Contrast that with Bruenor in the front of the phb....
 

Both Lockwood and Reyonlds are great! They have very strong distinctive art styles and are visually innovative rather than merely derivative. A lot of 5e art is technically good, but it is rather forgettable and generic. The both art pieces in the OP are kinda like that, though the wizard pic has powerful composition. And whilst I appreciate certain amount of realism in artwork, I don't rank photorealism super highly in art. It was a big deal before photography was invented, but now if you want a photo you can just take one! In a painting or a drawing I want to see some stylisation, flair and flavour!
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I guess to each it's own, I personally like Tasha's artwork as I mostly like almost photo-like portraits of people.
Yep, to each their own. I like artwork that actually looks like art/paintings/etc. not digital work. shrug

That is also why I love a lot of the older fantasy art by Elmore, Caldwell, Parkinson, etc. done in oils and acrylics, and such from the 80's and 90's.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I would prefer if all D&D art was brom, Lockwood, Elmore and The artist that did the elf (drizzt) in phb. I think the dwarf (female with a maul is great as well. Don’t know who painted those...but the style is great.

I also like the Adventuring party in Xanathar’s: the female dwarf with and axe and the halfling spell caster.

i suppost I like the more realistic style vs. the impressionistic stuff as mentioned. But it’s funny because tastes in art are like tastes in D&D! Very individual without a right answer...
 


Mercurius

Legend
I'm not a fan of the second picture, mainly because the face of the elf, but it seems that the OP either simply prefers more realistic art and/or confuses realism with quality.

Todd Lockwood is a very skilled technical artist, but some--including myself--feel that his art is somewhat flat, lacking a sense of magic and mystery. I still enjoy looking at it, but I generally prefer artists that are both technically proficient and add their stylistic quality. Wayne Reynolds is a good example of this: very skillful, but has a very distinct style: A gonzo vibe that is obviously strongly inspired by comic books and extremely detailed.

The first picture is well done and I like it overall, but like Lockwood's work, it doesn't have that "extra something" quality that the best fantasy artists have. What I mean is a feeling that the art is more than its sum of shapes and colors. Think of the dynamism of Frank Frazetta, or the gothic gloom of Gerald Brom.

My current favorite RPG artist is the Symbaroum guy, Martin Bergstrom (renamed to Martin Grip, presumably to differentiate himself from another artist named Martin Bergstrom). Technically proficient, extremely atmospheric, and just awesome. Also, Simon Stalenhag - the artist who does the covers for Forbidden Lands. I also love Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, who is better known for non-rpg art but has done some game art.
 



Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
When it comes to the elf, I'm okay with it except for the face. It seems like the artist was trying to put a hawk's face on an elf. The angle of the eyes, the proportions of the nose just feel wrong.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Art is subjective and y’all need to stop treating your preferences as universal standards of quality.
I hear what you are saying and think it is very common for people to do this, but it is an oversimplification that too easily leads to the performative contradiction of "everything is relative." I mean, we view everything through our own subjectivity and see the world as we are, not as it is - but there also do seem to be deeper truths, and more "truer truths," even in the domain of art. And while personal preferences are all equally valid (you can't tell someone their preference is the "wrong favorite"), not all opinions on what is good art are equally valid.

But your point is relevant to my point about mistaking technical proficiency with quality. If a person prefers technique over style or atmosphere, they'll tend to think that technically proficient art is inherently "better" than art that goes a different route, or is more impressionistic.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I actually quite like both pictures just fine.

(For what it is worth, the second photo is clearly a Half-Elf based on the descriptions in the PHB, which seems to match their style guide for the whole edition)
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I hear what you are saying and think it is very common for people to do this, but it is an oversimplification that too easily leads to the performative contradiction of "everything is relative." I mean, we view everything through our own subjectivity and see the world as we are, not as it is - but there also do seem to be deeper truths, and more "truer truths," even in the domain of art. And while personal preferences are all equally valid (you can't tell someone their preference is the "wrong favorite"), not all opinions on what is good art are equally valid.

But your point is relevant to my point about mistaking technical proficiency with quality. If a person prefers technique over style or atmosphere, they'll tend to think that technically proficient art is inherently "better" than art that goes a different route, or is more impressionistic.
Sure. Certainly there are things that are objective. There are even things about art that are objective - for example, the elf’s cloak is objectively green. But the quality of art is absolutely not objective.
 

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