Legendary D&D artists

Editors note:

Following are an non-exhaustive presentation of some of the most famous paintings in the D&D universe. All paintings presented here are under copyright of the artists and must not be distributed or used for commercial use. The owner of this site declares his support of the Artists copyright laws, and the efforts of protecting their rights and intellectual property. For legitimite purchase of the paintings please refer to the artists offical home pages. The Owner of this site is in no way responsible for misuse of any of the material on this page.

  Larry Elmore                  Jeff Easley                Clyde Caldwell    

Keith Parkinson (died 2005)                      Daniel R Horne

 

 

Clyde Caldwell, Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, Keith Parkinson and Daniel R Horne......

These were arguably the most prolific and popular artists in D&D during the 1980s and 90s. Most of the D&D manuals, source books, adventures, novels and magazines of the 80s and early 90s featured the works of one of these four artists on their covers.

 

Each edition of D&D had a different type of art that was unique to that version of the game. Art of the original D&D consisted of a lot of line drawings. They were two dimensional and simple. With AD&D, the art was taken to a whole new level. It took on a realism that was, until then, uncharacteristic in role-playing games. Artists working to illustrate AD&D understood that just because dragons don’t really exist doesn’t mean they can’t be depicted as if they do.

 

This realistic approach was applied to more than the monsters. The heroes of various races and classes were shown battling these monsters of fantasy. You believed that this scene could really exist. The details were exquisite. The weapons and armor were authentic and accurate. With these works gracing the covers for D&D rule books, modules, magazines and novels it made you want to buy these books.

 

The artistic giants of AD&D were, unfortunately, left behind when the game was reinvented as 3e D&D. The artistic direction changed. Third edition D&D paid less attention to the art and more attention to the new rules. Just look at the covers of the 3e books. For the first time they didn’t depict dragons or adventurers.

In AD&D Caldwell, Elmore, Easley, Parkinson and Horne were the best of the best. The images that these five created set the stage for D&D. You’d look at the heroes in their paintings and think, that’s how I want my character to look like.........

 

Clyde Cadwell

For almost 10 years Clyde's work graced the covers of TSR, Inc.'s game and book lines. For TSR he did paintings for the 1985 through 1993 calendars, including the covers for the 1987 Dragonlance Calendar and the 1990 Forgotten Realms Calendar. He was also the cover artist for the D & D Gazetteer module series, and the popular Ravenloft series, and has had work included in several TSR Art Books.

 

In 1992 Clyde left TSR to pursue a freelance career.

Azure Bonds                     Allisa of the mists                   Vampire

knight of illusion                         Tantras            Dreams of the Red Wizard

The House of gryphon Hill                             Forgotten Realms

Ravenloft                                                    Dragons of Triumph

Captured                                                    Dragons of despair

Dragon of desolation                                   The hands of doom

 Spellfire                                                         The Worm has turned

Celtic Princess                            Elsbeth                         The Sea Fox

 

Larry Elmore

Thock was raised in Elmore joined the staff of TSR, Inc., the producers of Dungeons & Dragons, as its first professional illustrator, in November 1981 and created art work for adventure modules, game books, and novels, as well as paintings for posters and calendars and more. Elmore created the SnarfQuest comic which appeared in Dragon, and was also in charge of creating a look for the Dragonlance saga, and did much of the early sketches for the series.

Elmore was a staff artist at TSR Inc. and contributed to product development and design.He left TSR in 1987. Elmore has illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game. He also provided cover art for the MMORPGEverQuest. In 1996, Elmore wrote the novel Runes of Autumn with his cousin Robert. Over the years, Elmore has sold the majority of his published artwork but he has retained the copyrights.Elmore scaled back his activities in 2006, switching to contract work only. Of the change, he stated, "A friend of mine, Keith Parkinson, who also worked at TSR, died of leukemia three years ago. We shared a studio, and we were always talking about how when we hit 50 we'd be doing our own thing. ... He didn't make it, and I was 57 and still pulling all-nighters.

His work appears in the book Masters of Dragonlance Art. Elmore released a book of artwork called 20 Years of Elmore in 2005. He has frequently been described as a legend in the fantasy and gaming communities.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight                      Dragons of Spring Dawning

Dragons of Autumn Twilight- 93                 Dragons of Winther Night

Basic box set - D&D                                         Expert box set - D&D    

 Companion box set - D&D                       Dragonslayers and proud of it

Teamwork                                   Castle of deception                       

Bloodstone Lands                                                    

No second thoughts                                                    Death of Sturm

Close Combat                                          Ice Boats

Avalyne the Life giver                            Dragonlance

Companions of the Lance                                       Crystal Shard               

The portal                                                 Lord gunther and Fisban

Raistlin and Crysania                                  Two for the road

Might and Magic 6

 

Jeff Easley

 

Born in 1954 in the Kentucky, graduated from an Art School, his artist career took an important move when he met Lary Elmore. When Elmore was hired by TSR (D&D’s editor), Jeff Easley followed him. The legend began in 1982, with mythical books covers for the Advanced Rules of Dungeons & Dragons.

He then took an important part in the D&D legend, drawing illustrations for different D&D universes such as the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Al Qadim, Oriental Adventures. Easley also provided illustrations for forty-nine cards for the Magic: The Gathering game sets

                                                                      Ambush in the Swamp

Dragon Arena                                                       Dragon Duel

Dragon Scout                                                       Dragon of Faith

Dragons of Flame                Epic Battle

Red Dragon

                                                                                Skeleton Rider

Raistlin                                                                

                                                                    Wizard and Dragon

The Epic Quest                                               Deities and Gods

Legend of Dritzz                Lurking Danger               Mezzoboranza

                                                                             The Immortals

 

Keith Parkinson

 

Keith started up in November 1982 at TSR, Inc., Parkinson also worked on projects including book covers, game boxes, magazines and calendars.Among his book covers are such titles as Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Gamma World.

After five years working at TSR, Parkinson left and pursued a freelance career for seven years. During this time, most of Parkinson's work was painting covers for the New York publishing market. His clients included Bantam Books, Palladium Books, Penguin Books, and Random House. Some of the authors that he painted covers for includes Terry Goodkind, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and Terry Brooks.After a long battle with Leukemia, Keith Parkinson died on 26 October 2005

Arcane Summons                                           Forgotten Realms

Fire Sea

The Eye of the Hunter    

Great Red Dragon                                   Ice Dragon

Kings Gold                                                      The Shining Ones

Orcus                                 North Watch

Lord Soth

 

Daniel R Horne

 

Perhaps the least known of the five legendary artists - Daniel Horne has produced interior and cover illustrations for role-playing game books since 1986. In addition to several covers for Dragon and Dungeon magazine, Horne illustrated the covers of several Dungeons & Dragons books including Talons of Night (1987), The Shattered Statue (1987), Fate of Istus (1989), Dark and Hidden Ways (1990), and the World Builder's Guidebook (1996). Horne also did role-playing game work for Iron Crown Enterprises, West End Games, Alderac Entertainment Group, and Troll Lord Games.

Horne also illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game.

His work is included in the book Masters of Dragonlance Art.

      Saving the best for last

                           ccc                                              Vampirella

                     Yeti                                                       Barbarian

            My son the Wizard                                      Red Sonja

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