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D&D General "The Women of Dragonlance" -- Larry Elmore's New Dragonlance Painting

Iconic D&D artist Larry Elmore has been working on a new Dragonlance painting. He has been sharing progress pictures over recent weeks. This is apparently a commission for a client, and is entitled "The Women of Dragonlance".

There's a new trilogy of Dragonlance novels coming from authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman featuring "classic Dragonlance" branding.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

teitan

Hero
THis is my favorite Elmore piece, it is dynamic and interesting, the design is very well done. I used to be meh on him after his heyday. I really felt like his SHadowrun cover was dated with all the beautiful Bradstreet art in the 2e book but as I have gotten older he has returned to being one of my favorite artists. His work has a timelessness that a lot of the post 2e artists seem to lack. His "posing" is because he was needing to show off characters and compared to the more action and panoramic oriented art we see now, his paintings for covers fit right in with the style of art used for novel covers back in the 80s n& 90s. He was better at it than most. TSR just had an amazing roster of artists in those days. He does action very well as demonstrated in this and the red box cover and BECMI art. I took graphic design in college and he is one of the few artists from that era that can still hold up in that sense. Now if I got a commission I would want Erol Otus and Easley!

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Clyde Caldwell is also. I bought a print of one of his more recent works a year or so ago, and ended up having a very pleasant email exchange about it with him afterward. He's quite the class act!
Same. Also, a few years ago I talked to Larry about some work and he was also very nice and accommodating.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Her pose is a bit stiff, but I like his, and I love the background and setting and such.

Yes, left quite an impression on my young self as well... sigh.

My biggest complaint of art of the period (and still) is the scantly clad women and over sexualization of them. My female PCs are just as well covered and protected as their male counter-parts.
One of the reasons Holloway was one of my favorite artists. His work kept it real in an era where gonzo was reigning supreme.
 



Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
In much the same way that my foundational understanding of Dungeons & Dragons came from Dragonlance (specifically the Chronicles, which I read well before realizing that D&D even existed), my visual conception of D&D is pretty much Larry Elmore's work. While some of his work suffers from the sexist and exploitative mores so common to fantasy art in the 70s and 80s, he was my first favorite TSR artist and I remain a fan.

I do find it interesting that Skie is in the piece, given the name of the painting. Though I suppose it could be a different, as-yet-unknown blue dragon, that seems unlikely given the dragons proximity to Kitiara.
 

Ace

Adventurer
A lot of artists at the time had clearly never really seen a woman.
Nah. Elmore was married in 1971 probably before most people on this board were born. Another counter example Boris Vallejo modeled his wife Julie Bell for a very long time back I think in the 70's as well You can search his works for yourself, Frank Frazetta was married in the 1950's

In Fantasy exaggeratedly female women were the mainstream fashion from the mid 1960's to the middle 2000's or so. Even non fantasy genres emphasized female attractiveness .

Over the last couple of decades among the younger generations tastes have shifted a lot and away from this and in other directions.
 

Scribe

Hero
Nah. Elmore was married in 1971 probably before most people on this board were born. Another counter example Boris Vallejo modeled his wife Julie Bell for a very long time back I think in the 70's as well You can search his works for yourself, Frank Frazetta was married in the 1950's

In Fantasy exaggeratedly female women were the mainstream fashion from the mid 1960's to the middle 2000's or so. Even non fantasy genres emphasized female attractiveness .

Over the last couple of decades among the younger generations tastes have shifted a lot and away from this and in other directions.
Yeah, simply look at the foundational aspects of what created Fantasy art. Questionable at best by today's standards, but it was a product of the time period.
 


Scribe

Hero
Women modeling nude goes back a looong way.

Sex sells along with violence.
I mean seriously, look at Frazetta.

Straight from the wiki "He is often referred to as the "Godfather" of fantasy art, and one of the most renowned illustrators of the 20th century."

Thats your baseline...so yeah. Depending on ones age, this stuff (the Dragonlance era) defined Fantasy for you. I know it did me, when I was 10 or 11.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I mean seriously, look at Frazetta.

Straight from the wiki "He is often referred to as the "Godfather" of fantasy art, and one of the most renowned illustrators of the 20th century."

Thats your baseline...so yeah. Depending on ones age, this stuff (the Dragonlance era) defined Fantasy for you. I know it did me, when I was 10 or 11.

Not for me I like the classic artists but don't care if they put more clothes on people.

Growing up probably had a bit more variety and british art.
 

teitan

Hero
It was all advertising and also a lot of what Elmore et. al. enjoyed painting and drawing. I don't fault people for that. Frazetta's women were hardly the skinny ladies of the 90s, most were very thick. Of all the artists in the time period I think the only ones who weren't doing over the top fantasy illustration were the Tolkien artists like the Hildebrandt's etc. Because they weren't being asked to do covers but art that told a story, the Tolkien artists would become more influential with the younger crowd. The style of the TSR artists was more than just emblematic of Fantasy but also of sci-fi, romance novels, historical fiction and pretty much every genre. So it wasn't just a genre issue. Some of those old Star Trek novels used sex to sell as well.

I do like the return to the more story centered art in 3.5, 4e, Pathfinder and 5e as a way to sell a game though but that was always a thing in the D&D books, just not the novels where their most famous pieces were displayed aaaaaaaaaaand made them their money. I think the cover to Pathfinder was the coolest and most exciting cover on an RPG book since the Red Box! But I like WAR, probably my favorite contemporary fantasy artist.
 






Stormonu

Legend
Love Elmore's art. He was at a convention I went to years ago (sometime during 2E). I got to talk to him briefly, bought a 5-minute sketch from him (watching him draw it in front of me was amazing, as I've struggled with drawing myself for years) and got him to sign a PHB for a tournament D&D game I was running (gave the PHB as a player prize). He's a wonderful, jovial fellow.
 



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