Probably one of the most important elements when choosing a game is its rules system. However, artwork plays an equally important part in immersing the player in to the game itself. Excellent artwork helps convey characters, situations and adds to the overall enjoyment of the game. I see it much like how decent special effects nowadays in films help with a dramatic and believable action scene.
The following artists are some of the best I’ve seen. Some of you may agree or disagree and I hope that you’ll pass on your thoughts in the comments section below.
An artist I admire simply for his skill in creating some seductive fantasy females. You can find his artwork in WIzard of the Coasts products such as Magic the Gathering. This talented artist already has a growing following in amongst digital artists
Innistrad – Magic The Gathering – Steve Arygle
Larry Elmore (larryelmore.com)
A name which goes hand-in-hand with classic Dungeons and Dragons. His artwork inspired generations of fantasy artists and his paintings for D&D are incredibly iconic such as the cover of the Red Box starter set back in the early 80s. Artist Ralph Horsle recently did the updated Redbox art in 2010 which was directly inspired by Larry’s original masterpiece.
Classic Red Box Cover Art – Larry Elmore
Check out these other D&D artists:-
Keith Parkinson - www.keithparkinson.com/main.php
Clyde Caldwell - www.clydecaldwell.com
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons – Clyde Caldwell
Paul Bonner (www.paulbonner.net)
Paul works exclusively in water colour and has provided art for Rackham, Games Workshop and FASA in the past. Bonner’s paintings are incredibly detailed and contain rich narrative inspired from folklore and legends. He still works for GW on a freelance basis and creates illustrations for World of Warcraft.
Oriental flavour to the proceedings with Mario’s exquisite fantasy art for AEGs Legend of the Five Rings CCG and RPGs. His digital artwork offers a dynamic realism which is quite unlike most artists in the industry I know of.
Franz Frazeta (frankfrazetta.net)
The Grandfather of Fantasy Art and not necessarily table top games artwork . His excellent reputation for me comes from his work on Conan which supplied the template for most artists when approaching fantasy artists. Again, ‘pin up’ style women with equally buffed up strong men were the staple. Frazeta’s work portrayed the brutally and romanticism needed to bring Robert E Howard’s Conan world alive. Frazeta died in 2010 but left a huge legacy of work for future artists to admire.