Favorite Classic RPG Artists

Especially in the 80s and early 90s, roleplaying games had a distinctive look because of the relatively small pool of prolific artists bringing their worlds to life. Giants like Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, and Clyde Caldwell defined certain facets of the D&D lines with their iconic covers. Other talented artists defined the looks of other games, so much so that you’d see their work and immediately think of the game.

Some of my favorites artists were better known for interior illustrations or magazine covers. For instance, I was always more interested in reading a module if it included Jeff Dee artwork. I particularly loved his incarnation of the Elric-mythos characters in the original Deities & Demigods (still one of my prized gaming possessions).

Another favorite is Den Beauvais, who created the most enduring and memorable Dragon magazine covers. One of the thrills of my freelancing career was seeing a few new Beauvais pieces added to the Forgotten Realms Spellfire set I designed, expecting the cards would include only existing artwork.

I couldn’t possibly list all of the artists whose work I loved┬áduring that period, but I’m delighted every time I see something new from them. Check out Scott Taylor’s site for more on another editor’s love of that era’s artwork.

Who are some of your favorite RPG artists whose work you’d like to see more often?

1 thought on “Favorite Classic RPG Artists

  1. i have what i believe to be an original conspiracy theory – fairly rare in the era of fox news.

    Erol Otus is the same guy as Lemmy from Motorhead, and therefor is also God,

    Otus made dnd come alive for me, forget the prince and princess dragon stories you had been read as a kid.

    Holloway prepared me for life in the 21st century via PARANOIA

    I hate to post KS or youtube links, but i thought this one was relevant enough to merit

    New art from classic artists

    Jeff Easley
    Fritz Haas
    Jim Holloway
    Doug Kovacs
    Diesel LaForce
    William McAusland
    Brad McDevitt
    Peter Mullen
    Russ Nicholson
    Erol Otus
    Stefan Poag
    Chad Sergesketter
    Chuck Whelon
    Michael Wilson


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