Many years ago when I thought that Games Workshops White Dwarf magazine was worth reading they used to run a section called “Illuminations” where each month they would show some drawings or artwork from one of their artists.
These are the artist that did the work that went into their rule books or codex’s across their whole range, and I loved looking at them trying to imagine what it would be like to be able to draw as well as these guys did.
Although they had some great artists around at the time like John Blanche and Ian Millar who produced some incredible work I had my favorites, people like Paul Bonner and Russ Nicholson, these two I guess more than any others were producing the art that I really wanted to emulate, but… there is always a but, I found that it was very hard for my brain to come up with anything original which was very frustrating I can tell you.
I just loved the pen and ink line drawings that these guys did.
One of my first forays into adventure gaming was playing through the Warlock of Firetop Mountain by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston, this book was illustrated by Russ Nicholson and I still have it along with about twenty others, solo adventuring at its best and full of great images that really set the scene for the adventures.
One day while looking at the books in a charity shop I found a slightly worn but beautiful book called Goblins of the Labyrinth by Brian Froud & Terry Jones, in this book are some of the goblins that were in the 1986 David Bowie movie Labyrinth, and again I so wanted to be able to produce drawings like these.
There is something about this type of fantasy drawing that I find so good, I know over the years fantasy art has evolved somewhat, just have a look on any of the digital fantasy art sites out there and see what can be produced today on a computer it’s incredible.
But even with all that incredible art out there I still love the way a black and white line drawing can have so much character and tell a story so well.
So why I am rambling on about this stuff I hear you ask, well I was looking through an old box of computer discs when I came across some scans of some of my own drawings I did a while back and thought that some one might be interested in seeing them.
They are of course not originals, they are my attempts to produce this style of drawing, these are simply copies of drawings done by Russ Nicholson and Paul Bonner, and just for a laugh the last two are from the Labyrinth book and use a little bit of colour.