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Erol Otus Art!
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Author:  marjasall [ Sun May 31, 2009 12:02 am ]
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I'd love to hear that discussion? Im a big fan of Frazetta's work.
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Author:  Akrasia [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:25 am ]
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Quote:
gideon_thorne wrote:
Actually, as I understand it Otus is working in the computer games industry.



In the graphics/visual side of things.

Quote:
gideon_thorne wrote:
And, I hate to say it, but anyone who calls Elmore bland has no aesthetic sense about art what so ever.



I find Elmore's figures to have a kind of 'plastic' quality to them -- no sense of motion, vitality, or life. (There are a few exceptions -- his cover for the D&D Basic Set, for example.)

The thing that I love about the first generation of TSR artists -- Trampier, Otus, Willingham, Roslof, Sutherland, Dee, DSL, Truman, et al. -- is that their styles were all so distinctive. While I personally didn't like all of their art (I always have been somewhat mixed with respect to Roslof and Sutherland, for instance), they each had a very unique vision. Trampier's 'faux wood cut' illustrations in the PHB and MM could never be confused with those by any other artist. Likewise for Otus's dreamy, colourful, slightly surreal images.

In contrast, Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, and the other artists of TSR's 'late 1e' and '2e' eras all seemed to be aiming for the same kind of 'broad' look. They didn't convey a unique vision. I guess that they aimed at what Mr. Bradley would call a 'popular' style. I don't deny the technical skill of these artists -- and I do like some of their pictures -- but overall these later artists lacked the vitality and uniqueness of the earlier ones. (Don't even get me started on the whole 'dungeonpunk' style of 3e!)

I like artists who have a strong, distinctive vision, and convey that in their work, even if their styles are not especially 'popular'.

I also like to see a variety of different styles. With some notable exceptions (the M&T book, CZ:UW), I've been somewhat disappointed with C&C products in this respect.

All IMO of course.
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Author:  Omote [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:50 am ]
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Quote:
Akrasia wrote:
I find Elmore's figures to have a kind of 'plastic' quality to them -- no sense of motion, vitality, or life.





Wow, while I only quoted you in part, one of Elmore's distict attributes in my mind is his portrayal of life in certain works of his. I cite both the cover of the recent DragonLance book, Races of Ansalon (also the same art inside cover to the AD&D 2nd Edition Players handbook) as well as cover of the Tales of the Lance box set from the also from the 2E days.

-O
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Author:  gideon_thorne [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:16 am ]
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Yup. The second one is one of my favorite pictures. But I have my #1 all time favorite, signed by both Larry Elmore and Frank Menzter, set on my wall. That would be the cover of the old red box basic set.
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Author:  Akrasia [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:35 am ]
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Quote:
Omote wrote:
Wow, while I only quoted you in part, one of Elmore's distict attributes in my mind is his portrayal of life in certain works of his. I cite both the cover of the recent DragonLance book, Races of Ansalon (also the same art inside cover to the AD&D 2nd Edition Players handbook) as well as cover of the Tales of the Lance box set from the also from the 2E days.

...



::shrug::

Those pictures look like static poses of wax figures to me. YMMV, obviously.

I did think that most of Elmore's covers for the D&D box sets were good, however.
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Author:  jaybird216 [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:02 pm ]
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Quote:
Akrasia wrote:
In contrast, Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, and the other artists of TSR's 'late 1e' and '2e' eras all seemed to be aiming for the same kind of 'broad' look. They didn't convey a unique vision.



I can tell the difference between any of those folks (plus Caldwell and Holloway) at the slightest glance. Unless you mean that they were all going for something along the lines "fantasy realism". I'd agree with that in a general sense (aside from Holloway).
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Author:  gideon_thorne [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:43 pm ]
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Quote:
jaybird216 wrote:
I can tell the difference between any of those folks (plus Caldwell and Holloway) at the slightest glance. Unless you mean that they were all going for something along the lines "fantasy realism". I'd agree with that in a general sense (aside from Holloway).



Quite so. Elmore, Easley, Parkinson and Caldwell's styles are all quite distinctive. They might have learned a lot from each other when they all worked together in the same office, but each went with their own style.
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Author:  Akrasia [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:10 pm ]
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Quote:
jaybird216 wrote:
I can tell the difference between any of those folks (plus Caldwell and Holloway) at the slightest glance. Unless you mean that they were all going for something along the lines "fantasy realism". I'd agree with that in a general sense (aside from Holloway).



Yes, what I meant is that they were all aiming at the same look, "fantasy realism" as you say (although perhaps "high fantasy realism" would be more accurate -- as opposed to the grimmer, darker "swords and sorcery" style of some of the earlier artists, and non-RPG artists like Frazetta).

I easily can tell the difference between Easley, Elmore, Parkinson, and Caldwell as well, I just think that they all aimed at the same (somewhat bland IMO) look in their art. (Although I definitely have a soft spot for Caldwell's Gazetteer covers.)

Holloway is in a different category altogether IMO.
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Author:  jaybird216 [ Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:39 pm ]
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Quote:
Akrasia wrote:
Holloway is in a different category altogether IMO.



True dat.
The beauty of the current situation is that there are so many styles to choose from! I think we can all agree that preference of style is subjective, technical skill aside. Current releases from the full spectrum of publishers allow people to enjoy art from any era of the hobby. It's a good thing!
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Author:  gideon_thorne [ Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:42 am ]
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Quote:
marjasall wrote:
I'd love to hear that discussion? Im a big fan of Frazetta's work.



Ok. Now that my convention schedule is clear for a bit, I can answer this.

There is much to admire about Frazetta's work. I even own a bit. His dynamic action and mastery of colour an anatomy is beyond debate. However, the part that gets Steve laughing at me is my own quirk about detail.

I am not fond of impressionistic work. This is a matter of personal taste. I would like Frazetta's work a lot more, not to say I dislike it, and even admire it in many ways, for my initially stated reasons, if the work was more finished.

We likes our realism we does. But this is a purely subjective perspective.
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Author:  Treebore [ Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:28 pm ]
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I like Parkinson best, as for Elmore, my problem with him is his "people" look too similar. So I appreciate his art when I look at them one at a time, but side by side they start to look too similar, and therefore lose a lot of appeal.
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