Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Art Order Challenges

Have you been by the Art Order blog? It's maintained by Jon Schindehette, who is the Creative Art Director for D&D at WotC. Among other things, they apparently do a lot of themed art challenges. These seem to be really popular right now. Artists really like them because they offer all sorts of great opportunities for discussing different approaches towards tackling any particular theme, and great examples for demonstrating the strengths of different techniques. Most recently, the Art Order blog did one on dungeon delving. Some poor fool was to be depicted in an underground environment, battered and clearly in over their head, navigating by lantern light. You can see all 121 entries here. To my eye, Krisztian Balla’s stands head-and-shoulders above a lineup full of exceptional art. Part of it, of course, is the you-are-there simplicity of the setting and the gear of the explorer. Beyond that, the muted, washed-out palette really plays up how his only source of light is his lantern. He looks both battered and capable, and you can see he's carrying the sorts of gear we typically mark on our character sheets. Here’s hoping we see a lot more of Balla’s work in the future.

4 comments:

Matt said...

Balla does some nice work. I was impressed at how many nice pieces were done for that challenge, and at how many of them seemed more "old school" - i.e. realistic armor, weapons - than "new school".

Bigby's Left Hand said...

Thanks for linking that. Lots of nice, evocative imagery over there. Makes me want to get out some graph paper and dungeon-doodle like I'm a kid again on my next day off.

faoladh said...

There's a lot of semi-"old school" stuff there, like Matt said, but I was surprised at how many of these dungeon looters were carrying nothing but a lantern, the clothes on their back (and sometimes not a whole lot of that), and a sword. That's one of the things that I particularly liked about Balla's entry (there were a couple of others, as well, that made sure that their adventurers were actually prepared for something other than fighting).

E.G.Palmer said...

I like the idea, with the light in the image all coming from the lantern. I think the modern design of the lantern jars me though.
If he had a lever action rifle and a cowboy hat, it would fit.