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Larry Elmore On Composing The Companions Of The Lance Art

This iconic Dragonlance illustration by Larry Elmore was the subject of a post by the artist this week, as he talks about things behind the scenes!

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Elmore: "I think you guys will like this one!! One day I got an assignment at TSR to do a painting and I had only ten days to do it in....and it had ten characters in the painting, i nearly panicked!!! I called downstairs to my wife, Betty and told her to grab Stephanie ('cause she was tall) and come upstairs to the art room....I got all the artists there, Clyde, Jeff, Jeff Butler, and Keith, then I took everyone over to this empty large office room. We shot photos there a lot, there were some fold up chairs and I think we still had a couple of lights set up...maybe just one light that I moved around. I had an ideal of what kind of arrangement of everyone that would work for ten people in one painting. I did the painting and met my deadline, but I never dreamed it would be such a popular piece... I just wish that they had given me more time to do the painting a lot better!!"



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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

This picture is a true classic of fantasy art. We can't mention Dragonlance without remembering this picture, full with this special glamour only geek fans can appreciate.

Dragonlance in the hands by the right movie producers could be a great blockbuster and a fabulous hook to attract new followers. I bet Warner Brothers would love to use this world for a new cinematographic saga but I am afraid they aren't found the right formula.

My theory is Wotc is waiting because they want a Dragonlance movie, a good movie, in the cinemas before to publish the 5th Ed.

* Do you think a uchronias (alternative timelines or parallel earths) about Krynn should be allowed to be canon?

* But the fifth age was a "jump the shark". And it isn't easy to add new things (races and classes) from post-2nd editions.
 

A classic work, even if it stiff Tas and Flint, two of my favorites, while putting Tryhard Edgelord Raistlin up front.

Bringing Dragonlance back as an official campaign setting and as a movie has some hurdles, I think. I think there’s no world where they do anything but the War of the Lance as a movie or movie series, if they’re going to do Dragonlance. But there’s an awful lot that’s come and gone since then. Does the setting focus on the War of the Lance era, thus making said alternate timeline, or does it go with where Dragonlance last left off, and create a disconnect between the movie setting and the game setting?

Crucible 7 managed a similar situation with LOTR pretty well, but LOTR is perhaps a different case.

My theory is Wotc is waiting because they want a Dragonlance movie, a good movie, in the cinemas before to publish the 5th Ed.

* Do you think a uchronias (alternative timelines or parallel earths) about Krynn should be allowed to be canon?

* But the fifth age was a "jump the shark". And it isn't easy to add new things (races and classes) from post-2nd editions.
 

NeuroZombie

Explorer
I got a signed print of that very piece when I met Larry ages ago. Its been framed and on my bedroom for over a decade now and will always be one of my all time favorite pieces of fantasy art! Larry was amazingly gracious as well, a true gentleman!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I am less impressed by the actual artwork, but tremendously impressed by the photo with all of those people in it. Oh man, for a chance to have all them together for an hour of conversation...
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Lots of love for Elmore art having started with BECMI, and my first real fantasy books after LotR was Dragonlance
 
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PabloM

Adventurer
One can dream... An officially 5e Dragonlance setting book would be amazing! But I think it´s impossible, at least for now.
 

guachi

Explorer
If you get a chance to meet Larry Elmore at a convention, do so.

I have his huge collected artwork signed and he also signed my coverless Red Basic set Players Book and its eBay replacement with a cover.
 



Henry

Autoexreginated
This has been one of my favorite pieces of art of all time - kind of a wistful piece showing all of the companions, still together and of similar mind, before circumstances forced them to separate and everything went to hell...

With Raistlin having the night-blue bound Spellbook of Fistandantilus, I used to assume it was likely a snapshot of them recently having left Xak Tsaroth, before returning to a burning Solace, and the events that led to Pax Tharkas and their separations... however, that darned Crystal Staff on Goldmoon’s back blew that up for me. :)

Still was a piece of art that, along with Larry’s two adventurers fighting the Red Dragon on a hillside near the dragon’s lair, that defined images of my early childhood for me.
 

AmerginLiath

Explorer
This picture is a true classic of fantasy art. We can't mention Dragonlance without remembering this picture, full with this special glamour only geek fans can appreciate.

Dragonlance in the hands by the right movie producers could be a great blockbuster and a fabulous hook to attract new followers. I bet Warner Brothers would love to use this world for a new cinematographic saga but I am afraid they aren't found the right formula.

My theory is Wotc is waiting because they want a Dragonlance movie, a good movie, in the cinemas before to publish the 5th Ed.

* Do you think a uchronias (alternative timelines or parallel earths) about Krynn should be allowed to be canon?

* But the fifth age was a "jump the shark". And it isn't easy to add new things (races and classes) from post-2nd editions.

I always think about how you could take the three books of The Chronicles, the intistial books of The Lost Chronicles, the various bits of Tales and Meetings Sextant that occur within and around the two trilogies, and have the complete through-line of a television series on he War of the Lance. It already has a dynamic cast of characters (complete with a range of ages and races and a bunch of strong female protagonists and antagonists), a well-realized world with lots of zoomed-in locations and cultures, and a style that can appeal to both adults and youth (it’s a high fantasy war-romance series, with lots of action and military drama but not the blood ‘n bits of GoT, so it fits a PG-13 window).

Forgotten Realms still strikes me as the property to use for film, since its source material tends to be focused upon one or two protagonists in a single area of Faerun. Dragonlance, by comparison, has the stock in trade of a large cast being split up and recombining with new characters along the way across a continent being changed by whichever war is at hand. That’s perfect for modern streaming television (especially with how sci-fi and fantasy adaptations are being used across platforms, including those without the breadth of the War of the Lance).
 

AmerginLiath

Explorer
I am less impressed by the actual artwork, but tremendously impressed by the photo with all of those people in it. Oh man, for a chance to have all them together for an hour of conversation...

I always love how delightfully 1980s Elmore’s DL work always looked (the lack of perms in modern DL art throws me off). It’s the sources and models that make it work!
 

With Raistlin having the night-blue bound Spellbook of Fistandantilus, I used to assume it was likely a snapshot of them recently having left Xak Tsaroth, before returning to a burning Solace, and the events that led to Pax Tharkas and their separations... however, that darned Crystal Staff on Goldmoon’s back blew that up for me. :)

But Tika and Laurana didn't join the Companions until after they returned to Solace. So the scene could never have really taken place for multiple reasons.
 

guachi

Explorer
I always love how delightfully 1980s Elmore’s DL work always looked (the lack of perms in modern DL art throws me off). It’s the sources and models that make it work!

Absolutely. Flipping through the massive tome of Elmore art you see a lot of the models used and it becomes immediately obvious why the final pictures look like they do.

EDIT: The text from The Complete Elmore for this picture:
When I started to paint this piece the marketing department wanted me to hurry and get it done so they could start advertising it and get some advanced sales. There are ten characters in this paining and they wanted it done in about three or four days. I knew I couldn't do a halfway decent job in that amount of time. When I drew it out, I tried to hide some of the characters so I wouldn't have to take the time to paint all their costumes. To save time I gathered up a few people, we went to an empty room and I photographed them, roughly in these poses. I remember Jeff Butler posed as Raistlin, Caramon, and also Riverwind. Clyde posed as Tanis and my wife posed as Tika (and it looks like her.) I think there was another girl that posed for Goldmoon and Laurana, but I can't remember her name. I made up the rest of the characters.
 
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Koloth

First Post
Kind of scary that something this good was created that fast. Takes me several days to paint a flat wall one color as that one coat covers all paint rarely does.
 

Superchunk77

Explorer
I wonder if this will have anything to do with any of the 5e books supposedly in the works? Maybe there will be some seafaring minotaurs in the two books we know about?
 


BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I saw this post on Facebook. If you don't follow Larry you should because pieces of his art are showcased every day. Anyway it was the first I had seen this particular work.

But I have lots of good memories just staring at his cover art on my copies of Chronicles. Aside from the iconic Ancient Red that's on the cover of the recent D&D art book they are my favorite pieces of Elmore Art. And except for Frazetta Elmore is the top of my list for Fantasy Art.
 


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