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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

Bagpuss

Adventurer
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.

Doesn't seem your young self minded that much. Or was that a different sort of sigh.
 

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Bagpuss

Adventurer
There are plenty of other Elmore illustrations that feature women wearing what we'd think of as more appropriate attire. The one below is probably my favorite Elmore work. But I hear ya, some of those old fantasy illustrations just look plain silly with their bikini armor.

View attachment 132363

Well the elf on the left is wearing a mini-skirt, but to be fair it was off it's time. Also the female fighters pants are skin tight unlike the males. Still D&D was clearly aimed at young males in those days, even if it actually had a much wider audience back then. Plus Elmore grew up in the '60s where mini skirts were popular, you draw what you know and like, ie: the culture you grew up in. Nothing wrong with a bit of skin showing, especially if the character is clearly not a front line fighter.

Still to give you an idea of how far we have come and IMHO daft some things are getting I heard that picture got taken down in one of the D&D Facebook groups, not because of the bare legs but because it was accused of being racist.
 


Vallejo was THE fantasy artist to me, as a kid. Brom was the best in 2e. WAR has been one of my favorites since 3.5 but I feel like we have guys like Tyler Jacobson in the game now who are blowing away pretty much all of those old 2e guys. Just the technical level of contrast, color, lighting, depth, etc., is on another level.
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Necrozius

Explorer
Vallejo was THE fantasy artist to me, as a kid. Brom was the best in 2e. WAR has been one of my favorites since 3.5 but I feel like we have guys like Tyler Jacobson in the game now who are blowing away pretty much all of those old 2e guys. Just the technical level of contrast, color, lighting, depth, etc., is on another level.
View attachment 132378
Modern artists have the luxury of digital paint for endless experimentation and exploration. The old school artists were much more limited in terms of material. Also modern artists have plenty of inspiration and reference thanks to social networks and, well the internet in general. You hardly need to pay people to model when millions of stock art photos are constantly within your reach.
 

Modern artists have the luxury of digital paint for endless experimentation and exploration. The old school artists were much more limited in terms of material. Also modern artists have plenty of inspiration and reference thanks to social networks and, well the internet in general. You hardly need to pay people to model when millions of stock art photos are constantly within your reach.
I guarantee you that Elmore's stuff would still look like a group of average folks posing for a photo in their cosplay if he was a fresh 30 year old working in digital medium. All of the color decisions, composition, naturalistic rendering, etc, is the artist. There's no magic button that you push to make the internet paint for you.
 

My first contact with Elmore's work was the covers of the gamebooks "Endless Quest".

I have got a book a Dragonlance art. I bought it in the first middle of the 90's, this means more 25 years ago.

I wonder how Dragonlance would look with a style of Disney cartoon, or a CGI cinematic trailer of Magic: the Gathering.

* Do you know digital algoritm allows to imitate a painter's style?

 

DND_Reborn

I don't debate opinions.
Doesn't seem your young self minded that much. Or was that a different sort of sigh.
LOL, honestly it is both!

Being older (and hopefully wiser and more sensitive to such issues) I understand how such exposure to over-sexualized material affected my development, but in my youth and eagerness it was exciting (understandably) to me. 🤷‍♂️
 






Zardnaar

Legend
Vallejo was THE fantasy artist to me, as a kid. Brom was the best in 2e. WAR has been one of my favorites since 3.5 but I feel like we have guys like Tyler Jacobson in the game now who are blowing away pretty much all of those old 2e guys. Just the technical level of contrast, color, lighting, depth, etc., is on another level.
View attachment 132378

It's CGI I'll always respect hand drawn over CGI.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
Not quite as fond of his paintings anymore*, but I do still love the B&W illustrations in the BECMI books. Must be nice to be able to commission one the original DL artists.

*with some exceptions
If you don't mind me asking, why not? What changed in your opinion of his work?? If you don't want to respond, no worries, just curious.
Larry Elmore is a fantastic fantasy artist, but . . . . I do think he peaked at some point in the 90s. I absolutely love most of his early work, but his later work isn't up to that standard, IMO. You can see some of it in his early work too, characters looking stiff, not quite in proportion to others in the picture, an overly "staged" look . . . .

I almost feel blasphemous holding that opinion, as his best work is so emblematic of my introduction to the game!
 

dave2008

Legend
Larry Elmore is a fantastic fantasy artist, but . . . . I do think he peaked at some point in the 90s. I absolutely love most of his early work, but his later work isn't up to that standard, IMO. You can see some of it in his early work too, characters looking stiff, not quite in proportion to others in the picture, an overly "staged" look . . . .

I almost feel blasphemous holding that opinion, as his best work is so emblematic of my introduction to the game!
Yes, that is pretty much exactly my opinion as well.
 

dave2008

Legend
It's CGI I'll always respect hand drawn over CGI.
Is Tyler's work CGI or traditional? I realize he is of the generation that means it is in all likelihood done digitally, but I couldn't find out for sure.

Also, as am amateur artist (both traditional and digital) I can attest that digital work of the quality that Tyler is producing (assuming it is digital) takes as much skill as traditional art. The big difference is time, not skill, IMO.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Cool to see, especially as it progresses, Larry Elmore is still one of my favourite fantasy artists. Looked at the image for a while trying to remember the names, only managed two though I knew who all four were (5 if you count the dragon).
 

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