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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: Voros on May 28, 2017, 04:57:29 PM

Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on May 28, 2017, 04:57:29 PM
Not to be a downer but I actually get a peverse kick out of the shittier examples of old school D&D and other RPG art.

One of the perfect examples for me is the first MM cover. I remember looking at it as a kid and finding its primitivism very odd. And not in a Erol Otus underground comix way.

I was kinda shocked to find out David Sutherland did it, his style was always a bit rough and ready but I'm not sure what went wrong here. Perhaps he has a ridiculously short deadline and wasn't comfortable working in colour yet? His maps I think are particularly strong.

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Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Shemek hiTankolel on May 28, 2017, 05:15:32 PM
Quote from: Voros;964895
Not to be a downer but I actually get a peverse kick out of the shittier examples of old school D&D and other RPG art.

One of the perfect examples for me is the first MM cover. I remember looking at it as a kid and finding its primitivism very odd. And not in a Erol Otus underground comix way.

I was kinda shocked to find out David Sutherland did it, his style was always a bit rough and ready but I'm not sure what went wrong here. Perhaps he has a ridiculously short deadline and wasn't comfortable working in colour yet? His maps I think are particularly strong.

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I agree.
I'm not a big fan of his AD&D stuff, but his Tekumel art was really top shelf, IMO.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Omega on May 28, 2017, 05:29:34 PM
This is one of those moron threads that comes up regularly. Usually posted by some idiot who couldnt tell what good art is or isnt in the first place. And a pointless debate much like whats the worst/best setting because its all subjective, even moreso with art.

Personally I think all the monster art in 4eD&D GW is an abysmal failure. But only in that it uteerly fails to capture the ha-ha slapstick image that was originally presented. These are circus freaks and the art would be better of in a Post Apoc Horror RPG.

I also have a personal grudge with Trumans art in d20 GW and quite a bit of the rest as A. Truman draws some animals well and the rest anything but. Yet someone gave him all the worst things to draw. On top of that its like half the artists didnt even read the damn descriptions. The art looks good. But it utterly fails to represent whats described or take advantage of the artists true strengths.

And then theres the 5e PHB halflings. ugh these things are deformed! The arts good. But for freaks sake dont give these people halflings to draw ever again!

Then theres the 3e Monster Manual. I really disliked the art because half the monsters looked like anorexec stick figures and others only barely looked like what they were supposed to represent. Again the arts good. But its the execution that fails.

Sanguines Albedo is another irk. The irk here being that they inserted art that is blazingly NOT Steves art. In an RPG based on a comic series. The arts good. But it has no place in the book.

Im on the fence with the artist for revised AD&D. The arts really good. But the artist loooooves to use stills from movies and such to prop up his work. But then this is an artist who uses models and stills so it makes sense. Its just a little jarring sometimes to recognize what he was using. Same with some of the art in OD&D. Except there they just used another image as a pose refference and did their own thing mostly... mostly.

I am not a fan of style of the artist who did most of Dark Sun. But his art isnt bad. Just not my thing.

Holloway s art is another odd one. Some stuff he does really well. Some others just really turns me off. Yet damnably still is done well.

Alot of people seen to despise the artist who did Rules Cyclopedia. Personally I really like the immense intricacy of alot of his art and the diversity of people he represents. But he seems to have an occasional problem with perspecta and so limbs sometimes look off kilter. Exact same problem with one of the artists for Pathfinder. His perspecta are frequently off kilter somehow. Or things just dont align.

Gurps art I tend to not like much, but thats usualy only because the style and sometimes simplicity used just isnt my thing.

So usually my gripe is when an artist is either used badly. Or the artist is just being plain lazy and not even bothering to read the description of what they are supposed to be drawing. Followed by just personal flaws that creep into pieces like perspecta flubs.

One of my players doesnt like the character art from 3e. But is ok with the monster art. Another one didnt think much of Willinghams art for some reason. I've heard a few people decry Otus' art. Personally I like his very organic style, but wish hed pay more attention to the descriptions.

And so on.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 28, 2017, 05:46:43 PM
My favorite "old school RPG art" is 1977 Traveller, so my taste may not match yours, but I'd say the cover of the first Monster Manual was laughably bad to the point that it's embarrassing to be seen with it.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on May 28, 2017, 05:55:22 PM
I like the Traveller art I've seen but I can't recall what edition it may be for. I'm not a fan of most 3e or 4e era art and most of the 5e covers are too close to that slick style but I find the interior 5e art pretty excellent. Not really interested in debating endlessly, more posting some goofy looking pics.

I'm peverve enough to have picked up a used copy of Cyborg Commando recently and may post a seperate thread for it soon but while most of the art is uninspired it does have a certain comicbookish energy I appreciate, this one though...

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Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: rawma on May 28, 2017, 07:45:53 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;964906
I'd say the cover of the first Monster Manual was laughably bad to the point that it's embarrassing to be seen with it.


Compared to the art in 0e D&D? In 1977 it was quite a step up in quality. And today it has that old school cachet, too.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 28, 2017, 08:20:36 PM
Quote from: rawma;964940
Compared to the art in 0e D&D? In 1977 it was quite a step up in quality. And today it has that old school cachet, too.


Well, I wasn't comparing it to even worse art...just saying it's pretty bad, especially if you assume you'd want a really nice cover piece to help sell your book, but then maybe the market for Monster Manual in 1977 was starved enough with no alternatives that the art didn't matter; you were either playing D&D and probably going to buy it no matter how the cover looked.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on May 28, 2017, 08:34:40 PM
The dragon is the thing on the Monster Manual cover that makes it completely off-putting to me. We are supposedly looking at a cross-section of a scene,  but the dragon seems to be significantly in front of the tree, and the tree is clearly in front of the unicorn. It takes it beyond simply being crude into something that actively bothers me.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on May 28, 2017, 08:39:55 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;964951
The dragon is the thing on the Monster Manual cover that makes it completely off-putting to me. We are supposedly looking at a cross-section of a scene,  but the dragon seems to be significantly in front of the tree, and the tree is clearly in front of the unicorn. It takes it beyond simply being crude into something that actively bothers me.

Yeah, but do you see the Giant Spider in the tree?  I know people who have had the damn thing for 40 years and never saw the spider. :D
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: The Scythian on May 28, 2017, 10:48:21 PM
The art on the covers of the Monster Manual was pretty rough, but I grade it on a curve because it was produced by hobbyists who stumbled into the world of professional publishing for the first time, were out of their depth in some ways, but tried to reach for the stars anyway.  Sutherland probably wasn't cut out to do a painting of the scale necessary for a full-color wraparound that used pretty much every inch of space on both covers, but the fact that they had the ambition to do a full-color wraparound that used pretty every inch of space on both covers is remarkable in and of itself.  (The fact that those covers and the binding were nigh unto indestructible makes it more remarkable.)

And while there's a lot not to like about the Monster Manual's cover, I find the three-level schematic composition extremely charming.  A more professional publisher and more accomplished illustrator would have never taken an approach like that.  They would have gone with a more dynamic, or dramatic image.  But the people at TSR's were amateurs coming out of the wargaming hobby cobbling this stuff together as they went, so they approached the (full-color wraparound nearly indestructible) cover to their first hardcover book in this really blunt and functional way.  

By the time they published the Players Handbook, they were well on their way to become more professional (and conventional), but for this one book, they were weirdos charting their own course.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: JeremyR on May 28, 2017, 11:30:30 PM
To me it always looked like the above ground scene was simply originally painted blank and then the various monsters were taken from elsewhere and simply stuck on, like a sticker.

Underground, you can see the Troll sitting down and the carrion crawler crawling over a mound and the orcs running from the purple worm. But the above monsters are almost just random, even the spider seems like he was added to the tree afterwards. Only the manticore looks like it was painted before the rest of the terrain (part of it is behind the grass).

But eh, regardless of its artistic merit, it's certainly eye catching with that topaz sky and weird looking dragon (which always reminded me of our local monster, the Piasa Bird, more than actual dragon)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: David Johansen on May 29, 2017, 12:18:55 AM
Have you ever seen the original cover for High Fantasy?  Or the interior art?  Well have you?  What about KABAL?  Don't talk to me about bad art until you have.  :D
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Nerzenjäger on May 29, 2017, 02:14:20 AM
Bad black and white illustrations are part of the fun of old RPGs. They define the DIY aesthetics of games that basically had no budget.

Now the 1E Monster Manual on the other hand...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: finarvyn on May 29, 2017, 07:04:30 AM
Quote from: rawma;964940
Compared to the art in 0e D&D? In 1977 it was quite a step up in quality. And today it has that old school cachet, too.
I agree. Putting things in context for the time, the only RPG books out there were pretty primitive. The OD&D brown books and Traveller black books were top of the line, and then this color-cover D&D hardback came out ... well, I never felt it was an embarrassment or anything like that. It was cool, and the interior art was a lot better than OD&D's as well. I've owned the MM for 40 years and never even thought of the art as bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Shawn Driscoll on May 29, 2017, 07:45:11 AM
Traveller (all versions/editions/3rd-party) had terrible human art. Except for the work done by David R Deitrick, and the artist that did Chthonian Stars. They could draw human races just fine.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Larsdangly on May 29, 2017, 10:35:28 AM
Complaining about the look of the original printing of the 1E Monster Manual should be a capital offense. That book basically launched table top roleplaying games as a widespread hobby.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 29, 2017, 10:52:08 AM
Quote from: Larsdangly;965048
Complaining about the look of the original printing of the 1E Monster Manual should be a capital offense. That book basically launched table top roleplaying games as a widespread hobby.


You've mistaken assessing artistic merit with complaining. The fact that the cover art sucks doesn't bother me at all, especially not 40 years later when most RPGs still suffer from bad artwork. Monster Manual at least has the excuse of being the first hardcover out of the gate with nothing to compare itself to.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on May 29, 2017, 11:36:59 AM
Because art is a personal thing, and is in no way objective, personally I think Erol Otus was crap.  I never liked his stuff.  I will grant that some of his pieces were 'OK' but no one will convince me his stuff was 'good'.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 29, 2017, 11:51:37 AM
Quote from: Shawn Driscoll;965043
Traveller (all versions/editions/3rd-party) had terrible human art. Except for the work done by David R Deitrick, and the artist that did Chthonian Stars. They could draw human races just fine.


1977 Traveller may not be familiar to you but the only "human art" is a portrait of a Van Rijn-like merchant and it's quite good.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on May 29, 2017, 06:39:48 PM
The interior art in the MM ranges from excellent to charmingly wonky but I'd give the edge to excellent with Trampier's Firegiant, Lich, Minotaur, etc. Sutherland was obviously capable of much better than the MM cover, his Paladin in Hell in the PHB is iconic. The 1e DMG also had a weak cover I think, it is only the PHB that had a class A cover still referenced today.

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Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on May 29, 2017, 06:44:38 PM
It's odd that Darlene was never given a cover, just look at the interior art she did for the DMG. Perhaps she wasn't comfortable working in colour yet either?

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Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 29, 2017, 08:37:54 PM
Quote from: Voros;965121
The interior art in the MM ranges from excellent to charmingly wonky but I'd give the edge to excellent with Trampier's Firegiant, Lich, Minotaur, etc. Sutherland was obviously capable of much better than the MM cover, his Paladin in Hell in the PHB is iconic. The 1e DMG also had a weak cover I think, it is only the PHB that had a class A cover still referenced today.

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The original DMG cover was mediocre but inoffensive, and at least the efreeti looked cool.  But PHB definitely has the best cover of any D&D book I've ever seen.

I always thought the first Champions cover was fairly poor.

I'm trying to think of other bad covers but I tend to remember the good ones and block out the bad ones, so I'll have to look at my boxes and books to single out the worst offenders.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 29, 2017, 08:39:35 PM
Quote from: Voros;965124
It's odd that Darlene was never given a cover, just look at the interior art she did for the DMG. Perhaps she wasn't comfortable working in colour yet either?

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She should have gotten a cover or three. Her artwork is on a higher level than most of the other contemporary D&D artists. Maybe color or price was an issue.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Just Another Snake Cult on May 29, 2017, 08:56:24 PM
I like it all. Even the bad art has punky charm and captures a mood. Otus is a fucking master and is the Ditko of RPG art. I agree that Darlene is tragically underrated.  

When the slick art in more recent editions of D&D tries to take the goofball anything-goes monsters of the 1st Ed Monster Manual and depict them "Realistically" it's somehow more absurd and laughable than the original. There is no such thing as a non-goofy rust monster.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on May 30, 2017, 03:47:07 AM
The work of SCAR studios (which consisted of artists Steve Carter and Antoinette Ryder--see what they did there?) is still notorious in some circles as a low-water mark for the Old World of Darkness books.

And because they are both Australians, they got to do a little more than half the art for the book Rage Across Australia, which to this day is really hard to read or even page through, because all the SCAR art is a crime against eyeballs.

John Cobb also deserves a mention--his human figures fail so hard to look passably human that they actually inspired an appearance-related Flaw in Infernalism: The Path of Screams whose description actually included the phrase, "Oh my god, you look like a John Cobb drawing!"
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Coffee Zombie on May 30, 2017, 07:07:53 AM
Quote from: Barghest;965218
The work of SCAR studios (which consisted of artists Steve Carter and Antoinette Ryder--see what they did there?) is still notorious in some circles as a low-water mark for the Old World of Darkness books.

And because they are both Australians, they got to do a little more than half the art for the book Rage Across Australia, which to this day is really hard to read or even page through, because all the SCAR art is a crime against eyeballs.

John Cobb also deserves a mention--his human figures fail so hard to look passably human that they actually inspired an appearance-related Flaw in Infernalism: The Path of Screams whose description actually included the phrase, "Oh my god, you look like a John Cobb drawing!"

ARGH! These were exactly the two I was going to post about. SCARs work in Werewolf was so bad my friends and I used to scream "SCARRRRRRR" like pirates every time we came to one of his art pieces looking at a new book. COBB was frustrating too - his work started in Ars Magica, I believe, and slowly infiltrated all of the White Wolf lines. I actually wrote into White Wolf back in the 90s to beg them to stop using him.

In terms of old, laughable art, there are some pieces done by Kevin Siembieda that were decent. I actually looked at some of his Robotech drawings, and they weren't too awful. But his other stuff. Giant cartoon noses, strange proportions, and a very curious quirk of making his characters look like there were part 2D, part 3D. I can't even describe it. His arts sadly fallen off as well, as he's got either older or too busy to take the time.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Nerzenjäger on May 30, 2017, 07:12:19 AM
Hell, even purposefully bad illustrations don't lack charme.

Point in case, Encounter Critical's "Warlord of Unheroic Decay"

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Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on May 30, 2017, 08:35:40 AM
Sutherland's drawings annoy me. I think it's the jarring combination of how the drawings clearly took a lot of effort, yet he never manages to get poses, proportions, or perspective anywhere close to right. Paladin in Hell is a great example. I'm sure he spent hours, maybe even days, on that sketch. And the hero in the picture has contorted his body into possibly the most impossible sword-striking pose anyone has dreamed up.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on May 30, 2017, 12:20:08 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965259
Sutherland's drawings annoy me. I think it's the jarring combination of how the drawings clearly took a lot of effort, yet he never manages to get poses, proportions, or perspective anywhere close to right. Paladin in Hell is a great example. I'm sure he spent hours, maybe even days, on that sketch. And the hero in the picture has contorted his body into possibly the most impossible sword-striking pose anyone has dreamed up.

I agree.  I don't how it's considered iconic when he doesn't even have the basics of anatomy.  It's a cool concept, I'll grant it that, and the armour looks authentic, if awkward.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on May 30, 2017, 01:15:26 PM
I think a lot of it has to do with when and how you first saw the drawings and what sort of reactions they first triggered. Like I know that Rob Liefeld is objectively a bad artist, but I thought his drawings were awesome when I was a middle schooler reading comics, so they trigger the "WOW AWESOME" part of my brain to this day. I never got any AD&D books until about 2 years ago, though, so Sutherland drawings mean nothing to me. Really love Otus and Trampier, though.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Larsdangly on May 30, 2017, 01:16:26 PM
Hating on 'Paladin in Hell'?!? That belongs in the 'Best Old School Art' thread, not this one.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on May 30, 2017, 02:11:43 PM
Quote from: Larsdangly;965307
Hating on 'Paladin in Hell'?!? That belongs in the 'Best Old School Art' thread, not this one.

Art is subjective.  It's not right nor wrong to hate on a style that doesn't appeal to you.  If you don't like that you're favourite piece is not universally loved, that's really too bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 30, 2017, 02:13:55 PM
Quote from: Larsdangly;965307
Hating on 'Paladin in Hell'?!? That belongs in the 'Best Old School Art' thread, not this one.

Paladin in Hell was  a page I kept turning back to all the time as a kid.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 30, 2017, 02:15:04 PM
Quote from: Just Another Snake Cult;965144
When the slick art in more recent editions of D&D tries to take the goofball anything-goes monsters of the 1st Ed Monster Manual and depict them "Realistically" it's somehow more absurd and laughable than the original. There is no such thing as a non-goofy rust monster.


100% correct.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 30, 2017, 02:17:04 PM
Quote from: Christopher Brady;965295
I agree.  I don't how it's considered iconic when he doesn't even have the basics of anatomy.  It's a cool concept, I'll grant it that, and the armour looks authentic, if awkward.

Jack Kirby is iconic and his anatomy post-1960s was (to put it politely) highly stylized. One has nothing to do with the other.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on May 30, 2017, 02:35:35 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;965329
Paladin in Hell was  a page I kept turning back to all the time as a kid.

I think if something looked great to you as a kid, you'll always see it with different eyes than adults who see it for the first time. And Sutherland's poses aren't so much "stylized" as they are "awkward, stiff, and unnatural."
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Whitewings on May 30, 2017, 02:40:23 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965306
Like I know that Rob Liefeld is objectively a bad artist


That's the saddest part about him: he's not a bad artist. He's a very lazy artist. When he can be made to give it his all, his artwork is quite amazingly good. I know; I have in my digital library an example of Liefeld at his best. It's called "Armageddon Now," and you can find a preview on Comixology or just do an image search on the title with the addition of "Liefeld."
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on May 30, 2017, 02:50:29 PM
I see "learn to draw feet" is still on his to-do list.

(http://robliefeldcreations.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/assem6_7.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on May 30, 2017, 03:04:10 PM
Quote from: Whitewings;965337
That's the saddest part about him: he's not a bad artist. He's a very lazy artist. When he can be made to give it his all, his artwork is quite amazingly good. I know; I have in my digital library an example of Liefeld at his best. It's called "Armageddon Now," and you can find a preview on Comixology or just do an image search on the title with the addition of "Liefeld."

A lot of the issues people have with him in the comics are also the fault of his inkers and colourists.  Also, here's the thing of being a comic art director, you want three things in an artist:  Good to work with, on time and skilled at their craft.  However, they have to settle for two of those three.

From what I heard, Leifield is on time, and nice guy.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Shawn Driscoll on May 30, 2017, 03:23:44 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;965060
1977 Traveller may not be familiar to you but the only "human art" is a portrait of a Van Rijn-like merchant and it's quite good.

I had that book. Maybe 2 other clip arts were in it. No one bought that edition for the art in it (because of no-art, basically).
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 30, 2017, 03:30:04 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965335
I think if something looked great to you as a kid, you'll always see it with different eyes than adults who see it for the first time. And Sutherland's poses aren't so much "stylized" as they are "awkward, stiff, and unnatural."

I never said it looked great.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on May 30, 2017, 03:30:57 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965338
I see "learn to draw feet" is still on his to-do list.

(http://robliefeldcreations.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/assem6_7.jpg)

Based on that, you could drop the last word from that sentence. Check the calves, biceps, thighs, etc. None of it is correct.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Shawn Driscoll on May 30, 2017, 04:15:28 PM
People need to look at their old RPG books and view the artwork in them without nostalgia doing its mind-control.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on May 30, 2017, 04:24:41 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;965342
Based on that, you could drop the last word from that sentence. Check the calves, biceps, thighs, etc. None of it is correct.

You mean your bicep doesn't connect directly to your forearm?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on May 30, 2017, 05:43:39 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965354
You mean your bicep doesn't connect directly to your forearm?

I hope so!  Cuz if it doesn't then he's a deformed mutant!  And he can't move his arms!
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Just Another Snake Cult on May 30, 2017, 07:31:25 PM
I recall reading somewhere (Looooooooong ago) that Liefeld is a big Traveller fan.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: David Johansen on May 30, 2017, 07:36:22 PM
If I remember right Liefield did the sketches in the back of T4's Alien Archive.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 02, 2017, 08:25:39 AM
I like the nostalgia value of old-school art, but it bugs me a bit when modern OSR products try to slavishly reproduce the style.  Note that I'm not talking about intentional high-quality homage like what DCC did, though.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Herne's Son on June 02, 2017, 11:51:45 AM
Quote from: Voros;964909
I like the Traveller art I've seen but I can't recall what edition it may be for. I'm not a fan of most 3e or 4e era art and most of the 5e covers are too close to that slick style but I find the interior 5e art pretty excellent. Not really interested in debating endlessly, more posting some goofy looking pics.

I'm peverve enough to have picked up a used copy of Cyborg Commando recently and may post a seperate thread for it soon but while most of the art is uninspired it does have a certain comicbookish energy I appreciate, this one though...

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I remember being perplexed at the time why Cyborgs ate and drank through their noses...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Zirunel on June 02, 2017, 11:53:26 AM
I remember having the MM before the PHB came out, and even when the MM was the only colour-cover hardback around, and nothing to compare it to, I still thought that cover was awkward.

As for the interior art, Trampier definitely seemed to be the more sure-handed consistent artist of the two. And yet, I have this recollection that at the time there was a poll to vote on the best illustration in the book. And the winner? Not one of Trampier's, but Sutherland's night hag. Anybody else remember this? Anyway, Sutherland could be very good at times.

Quote from: Shemek hiTankolel;964898
I agree.
I'm not a big fan of his AD&D stuff, but his Tekumel art was really top shelf, IMO.

Totally agree. The same two artists illustrated Legions of the Petal Throne (which Sutherland wrote) and Trampier's woodblock style, although great design, just didn't have the detail to convey the ornate Tekumel style. For me Sutherland's illustrations were more appropriate. Some of his best work.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Gronan of Simmerya on June 02, 2017, 02:58:18 PM
The quality of Dave Sutherland's artwork varied drastically based on the amount of time he was given to do the piece.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Elfdart on June 02, 2017, 09:50:53 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;965306
I think a lot of it has to do with when and how you first saw the drawings and what sort of reactions they first triggered. Like I know that Rob Liefeld is objectively a bad artist


Anyone who uses the word objectively to describe their own personal tastes is a cunt. Objectively a cunt, that is.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Shawn Driscoll on June 02, 2017, 10:32:38 PM
I thought Rob Liefeld did fan art. When he draws a character twice, he ends up with two different looking characters. Maybe he traces his artwork now so that it looks reasonable, if he still does fan art.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Thornhammer on June 02, 2017, 11:42:25 PM
Quote from: Christopher Brady;965059
Because art is a personal thing, and is in no way objective, personally I think Erol Otus was crap.  I never liked his stuff.  I will grant that some of his pieces were 'OK' but no one will convince me his stuff was 'good'.


My first real exposure to RPG art was the cover of the Mentzer Basic set, Larry Elmore's mindblowing (to me) Ancient Red.  A few months later I saw some of the older Otus stuff and thought "what is this crap?"

I have since come to appreciate his style (sue me, I was six when I first saw it), but not nearly as much as Larry's.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 03, 2017, 03:03:14 AM
Quote from: Thornhammer;966074
My first real exposure to RPG art was the cover of the Mentzer Basic set, Larry Elmore's mindblowing (to me) Ancient Red.  A few months later I saw some of the older Otus stuff and thought "what is this crap?"

I have since come to appreciate his style (sue me, I was six when I first saw it), but not nearly as much as Larry's.


I started with Moldvay. No question that Elmore's cover is cooler than Otus', but I think Otus' cover feels more like D&D with a small party working together instead of a lone hero charging in.

The original sketch for Elmore's cover does look much more D&D-like, but the image they went with probably was the right choice to be eye-catching on the shelf.
(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sNox80dXNa8/WSncRxI0GPI/AAAAAAAAnJ8/F7Te0NOb9CEUxFKxLctHzXLakIJwYvUKgCLcB/s1600/D%2526D%2BBasic%2BAncient%2BRed%2B%2B17X22.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 03, 2017, 09:52:43 AM
Quote from: Elfdart;966059
Anyone who uses the word objectively to describe their own personal tastes is a cunt. Objectively a cunt, that is.

Anyone who thinks where your muscles attach to your bones is a matter of taste is a retard. Objectively a retard, that is.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Gronan of Simmerya on June 03, 2017, 02:38:45 PM
Anybody who uses "cunt" as a bad word is objectively a piece of shit.

Cunts are nice.  Cunts are good.  Cunts are friendly.  Cunts are fun.  Cunts are tasty.

Why would anybody use something as wonderful as cunts as a pejorative term?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 03, 2017, 02:46:55 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;966124
Anyone who thinks where your muscles attach to your bones is a matter of taste is a retard. Objectively a retard, that is.

As someone that runs life drawing sessions with models once a week, I will say that the anatomy in a picture can be objectively correct or incorrect. That doesn't make it objectively bad art. There is plenty of art I don't care for with good anatomy and plenty of art that I find amazing where the anatomy is not correct.

Personally, I am not really into Liefeld's art, but he does have a distinctive style that some people really like.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Elfdart on June 03, 2017, 05:42:40 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;966124
Anyone who thinks where your muscles attach to your bones is a matter of taste is a retard. Objectively a retard, that is.


Like multitudes of other fucktards, you can't distinguish between your own personal likes and dislikes on one hand, and objective facts on the other. Where a muscle attaches to bone (or to ligaments that attach to bone) is a matter of fact. How well an artist depicts something that does not exist, never did exist and never will exist is a matter of opinion. The fact that you can't tell the difference is why you're a retarded cunt.

Quote from: Gronan of Simmerya;966154
Anybody who uses "cunt" as a bad word is objectively a piece of shit.

Cunts are nice.  Cunts are good.  Cunts are friendly.  Cunts are fun.  Cunts are tasty.

Why would anybody use something as wonderful as cunts as a pejorative term?


Probably the short, sharp staccato effect of the word more than anything else. The word itself sounds harsh and guttural. On the other hand, pussy sounds warm, soft and inviting.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 03, 2017, 05:45:49 PM
Quote from: Gronan of Simmerya;966154
Anybody who uses "cunt" as a bad word is objectively a piece of shit.

Cunts are nice.  Cunts are good.  Cunts are friendly.  Cunts are fun.  Cunts are tasty.

Why would anybody use something as wonderful as cunts as a pejorative term?
Brits of course, but they generally don't know what tasty is.  The Irish had to show them beer, the Scots whisky, and the Indians/Pakistanis had to show them food.

I'm with the author of the Vagina Monologues, women should reclaim that term and turn it into a compliment.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 03, 2017, 05:50:31 PM
Yeah, he has a style, and rather vivid, eye-catching one at that (which is why he's hung around so long). But I wouldn't consider his need to always hide feet, his total incomprehension of how a bicep works, or star-crotches to be essential parts of it. His work would only be improved with better anatomy.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 03, 2017, 05:51:09 PM
Quote from: Elfdart;966186
Like multitudes of other fucktards, you can't distinguish between your own personal likes and dislikes on one hand, and objective facts on the other. Where a muscle attaches to bone (or to ligaments that attach to bone) is a matter of fact. How well an artist depicts something that does not exist, never did exist and never will exist is a matter of opinion.

Biceps and feet exist in the real world, idiot.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 03, 2017, 05:53:42 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;966189
Biceps and feet exist in the real world, idiot.

You mean that guy's superpower isn't to have a completely deformed torso yet stll be able to move? :D  
There's only ever been one answer to anything concerning Rob Liefield.
[spoiler](http://www.superdickery.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cap.jpg)[/spoiler]

This site (http://unrealitymag.com/images/a-gallery-of-rob-liefleds-anatomical-abominations/) is fun too.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 03, 2017, 06:02:44 PM
Wait, you mean I can't achieve that? My trainer LIED to me.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 03, 2017, 06:13:22 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;966193
Wait, you mean I can't achieve that? My trainer LIED to me.

Don't you even P-90x17 bro?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: sureshot on June 03, 2017, 06:34:03 PM
Quote from: CRKrueger;964953
Yeah, but do you see the Giant Spider in the tree?  I know people who have had the damn thing for 40 years and never saw the spider. :D

Up until you pointed it out I never did notice the Spider in the tree. It's funny how the mind and sight works sometimes.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Gronan of Simmerya on June 03, 2017, 10:51:36 PM
Quote from: Elfdart;966186
On the other hand, pussy sounds warm, soft and inviting.

I love little Pussy, her coat is so warm,
And if I don't hurt her, she'll do me no harm.
So I won't pull her tail, nor chase her away,
But Pussy and I very gently shall play.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Simlasa on June 03, 2017, 11:16:52 PM
All I know is that I prefer this...
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1027[/ATTACH]

to this!
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1028[/ATTACH]
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 04, 2017, 12:13:46 AM
Quote from: Simlasa;966227
All I know is that I prefer this...
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1027[/ATTACH]

to this!
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1028[/ATTACH]


Those Dragonlance covers are a case of great skill applied to make a boring end product. They are all tourist photos. Elmore has done some great fantasy art, but he got stuck doing a lot of stagey, boring paintings. I suspect the Dragonlance covers are exactly what the art director asked for, so I think he probably did the best he could with the assignment in this case.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Elfdart on June 04, 2017, 12:19:34 AM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;966189
Biceps and feet exist in the real world, idiot.

Not the ones belonging to comic book characters, moron.

Apparently, you think comic book characters are real people. Another reason you're one dumb twat.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 04, 2017, 01:57:23 AM
Quote from: Zirunel;966012
And the winner? Not one of Trampier's, but Sutherland's night hag. Anybody else remember this? Anyway, Sutherland could be very good at times.


The Night Hag is evocative for sure.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 05, 2017, 05:00:31 AM
I definitely agree that a lot of the 2e art, though technically superior to a lot of the 1e art, was usually far more soulless.

That said, there were some pieces of old-school art that people claim were amazing due to nostalgia, that if looked at objectively were just bad art.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 05, 2017, 07:42:31 AM
Depends, Erol Otus is often sniffed at but his style fits very much in with the underground comix style of Clay S. Wilson, Crumb, etc.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 05, 2017, 08:34:08 AM
Otus' drawings are really something else. There's a lot to be said for the impression visuals give you, and Otus' works definitely don't convey the same impression to me that Elmore, Easley, etc do. Kinda wonder where things would have gone if he'd set the visual style for the overall line of products.

I'm flipping through my 1e MM, and the only Sutherland drawings I've found that I think are worth a damn are the Frost Giant and Clay Golem so far. The elemenals aren't bad. It's hard for me to name a favorite Trampier sketch, but it's probably either the Intellect Devourer or the Remorhaz.

2e's MM has pretty bad art. Definitely not a big fan of Elmore's portrait-style paintings. They're nice, but boring. However, the cover of Mentzer Basic is so good that he could have just drawn stick figures for everything else and still be one of my favorites.

Not old-school, but the 3rd edition drawings are overrated. They have a lot of detail, but they're surprisingly bad once you get past the initial impression of "Hey, wow, these are so much cooler than those half-assed sketches in the 2e books!"
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on June 05, 2017, 08:44:29 PM
Check out the cover of 1e Metamorphosis Alpha. It is sort of charmingly bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 05, 2017, 09:31:17 PM
Quote from: Voros;966427
Depends, Erol Otus is often sniffed at but his style fits very much in with the underground comix style of Clay S. Wilson, Crumb, etc.


There is just a lot of genuine imagination in Otus' work, something that is surprisingly lacking in a great deal of D&D art. I get that some people find his loose style off-putting, but the guy never phoned it in like Elmore could at times.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_g5h76UahDMo/S_Vv6_VgtzI/AAAAAAAAAqQ/nuzgb-FwQQI/s1600/Otus_GW_Ref_web.jpg)
When it comes to RPG inspiration, I'll take this cover over that Dragonlance cover earlier in the thread.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: MonsterSlayer on June 05, 2017, 10:29:26 PM
Ehhh...the Elmore hate. I grant that some of the Dragonlance covers were rough but that was probably the fault of the publisher. Could you imagine if they came to you and said, " we need 3 characters on the cover because it is a trilogy (get it?) And shoe horn a dragon in there.and make it fit a seasonal landscape. Ohhh and make it look cool...."

Some of Elmore's other work is the very definition of what I think of when I imagine the fantasy characters. And though many may not appreciate it, I love the "Western" style of naturalism that infuses his fantasy. His paintings tend to be more focused and evoke not just a single subject but the entire ecosystem in which they exist.

The Erol Otus style has grown on me, mostly due to embracing a more Gonzo style of campaign through DCC.

But a Red Dragon will always be that one on the red box.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 06, 2017, 02:44:03 AM
Quote from: MonsterSlayer;966568
Ehhh...the Elmore hate. I grant that some of the Dragonlance covers were rough but that was probably the fault of the publisher. Could you imagine if they came to you and said, " we need 3 characters on the cover because it is a trilogy (get it?) And shoe horn a dragon in there.and make it fit a seasonal landscape. Ohhh and make it look cool...."

None of those images are actually the covers of the modules. Of the modules it is only true of Dragons of Truth, the best of which tend to be very dynamic with good use of colour cf. Dragons of Despair, Dragons of War and especially Dragons of Dreams and Dragons of Faith.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on June 06, 2017, 09:03:20 AM
Elmore's work has always been a little too smooth and polished for me, like Boris Valejo. I prefer Frazetta. I don't hate Elmore, he's just not my favorite. But I agree that red dragon is great.

Erol Otis took a little while to grow on me, but he has a distinctive style. The Albuquerque Starport fits Gamma World to a T.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 06, 2017, 12:34:38 PM
I've got a book of AD&D art. There are other artists in the book whose work is as polished as Elmore's, but their poses are more dynamic, and they make good use of lighting to focus the viewers eye on key points in the work (Jeff Easley is particularly good at this). Elmore paints these beautiful landscapes that are broken up by heroes standing around in vaguely awkward poses. Elmore's red box cover is iconic because it isn't that. The viewer's eye is drawn immediately to the dragon's face, then downward to the hero, who is charging forward. The pose is a little weird, but the whole image conveys action. This, by contrast, is just folks posing on a landscape:

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/2c/41/87/2c41877dd1c2ece3fd03e5970c95e6a9.jpg)

There's no real focus to this image. Everything looks still, like a mannequin. My gut feeling when looking at this image is that the artist was enchanted by his landscape and treated the figures as a homework project.

Contrast with this by Easley:

(http://www.drachenserver.de/wordpress/wp-content/gallery/jeff-easley/jeff_easley_epic_battle.jpg)

There's a lot to be said about this one. The most obvious is that the most intense light and color are centered on the battling dragons. The background is no less detailed than Elmore's, but the way he colors and shades it ensures that it doesn't draw attention away from the main battle. Everything about how the dragons' wings are shaded and contoured conveys motion, while Elmore's dragon wings are completely flat and lifeless.

Another thing to notice is that Easley's landscapes follow the contours of the action, whereas they're mostly independent in Elmore's paintings. Another good example:
(http://www.jeffeasleyart.com/images/Gallery16.jpg)

Note how the crags of the cliff and the clouds are used to enhance the look of the warrior charging right out of the page. The whole image is part of the action. When Elmore draws a horse (er, centaur) running at the viewer, the landscape is just a place for the horse to be.

(https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/999483.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 06, 2017, 01:02:00 PM
Your criticisms are entirely correct pirate, and Elmore's landscapes would look better blank of characters.... but... '80s Big Hair Centaur Elves? How cool is that? :D
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 06, 2017, 01:58:09 PM
I think Easley is better than Elmore no doubt.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Just Another Snake Cult on June 06, 2017, 02:09:41 PM
There was a rather obscure (And now quite collectible) Boot Hill module from the tail end of the line that had Elmore doing Western art.

Great stuff, if you can find it.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 07, 2017, 11:04:04 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;966563
There is just a lot of genuine imagination in Otus' work, something that is surprisingly lacking in a great deal of D&D art. I get that some people find his loose style off-putting, but the guy never phoned it in like Elmore could at times.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_g5h76UahDMo/S_Vv6_VgtzI/AAAAAAAAAqQ/nuzgb-FwQQI/s1600/Otus_GW_Ref_web.jpg)
When it comes to RPG inspiration, I'll take this cover over that Dragonlance cover earlier in the thread.


Agreed.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 09, 2017, 12:06:01 AM
Quote from: Voros;966427
Depends, Erol Otus is often sniffed at but his style fits very much in with the underground comix style of Clay S. Wilson, Crumb, etc.


I kind of wish Erol Otus had drawn a cool D&D comic strip or comic book. I remember those old ads (not drawn by Otus) in comic books way back when and thinking, "Gee, I wish this story continued." It was kind of a cool series of ads with the werewolf druid guy and the party in the tavern and the mysterious castle...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Tetsubo on June 09, 2017, 03:24:27 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;966563
There is just a lot of genuine imagination in Otus' work, something that is surprisingly lacking in a great deal of D&D art. I get that some people find his loose style off-putting, but the guy never phoned it in like Elmore could at times.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_g5h76UahDMo/S_Vv6_VgtzI/AAAAAAAAAqQ/nuzgb-FwQQI/s1600/Otus_GW_Ref_web.jpg)
When it comes to RPG inspiration, I'll take this cover over that Dragonlance cover earlier in the thread.


Besides being one of my all-time favorite games (though I prefer the 1992 edition) this image is just so evocative and inspirational. Loose yes. But not dull.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 09, 2017, 06:32:20 PM
Quote from: Tetsubo;967393
Besides being one of my all-time favorite games (though I prefer the 1992 edition) this image is just so evocative and inspirational. Loose yes. But not dull.

I love how I can't tell who are the PCs and who are the 'monsters'...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 09, 2017, 06:41:31 PM
Quote from: S'mon;967423
I love how I can't tell who are the PCs and who are the 'monsters'...

That is pretty awesome. Could go either way.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 09, 2017, 10:07:27 PM
Quote from: Tetsubo;967393
Besides being one of my all-time favorite games (though I prefer the 1992 edition) this image is just so evocative and inspirational. Loose yes. But not dull.


I completely missed the 4th edition. Gamma World was the second game I ever owned, and I love it. As a testament to my inexperience with RPGs in 1983, I own the 2nd edition boxed set and all the 1st edition supplements.

Fourth edition does look interesting, but the prices on it right now are a little high.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 09, 2017, 10:08:09 PM
Quote from: S'mon;967423
I love how I can't tell who are the PCs and who are the 'monsters'...

My PC is probably the skeleton in the bottom left of the picture.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on June 10, 2017, 04:07:58 AM
Quote from: Baulderstone;966086
I started with Moldvay. No question that Elmore's cover is cooler than Otus', but I think Otus' cover feels more like D&D with a small party working together instead of a lone hero charging in.

The original sketch for Elmore's cover does look much more D&D-like, but the image they went with probably was the right choice to be eye-catching on the shelf.
(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sNox80dXNa8/WSncRxI0GPI/AAAAAAAAnJ8/F7Te0NOb9CEUxFKxLctHzXLakIJwYvUKgCLcB/s1600/D%2526D%2BBasic%2BAncient%2BRed%2B%2B17X22.jpg)


I think they should have went with that one.  The one warrior vs. the dragon thing is a bit dishonest, not to mention that D&D has always been about the group of specialists, rather than the lone hero vs the odds.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 10, 2017, 05:30:22 AM
It wouldn't have had thr punch and icongraphic power. Gygax made the right call, it was about eyeballs and that cover, in addition to the whole layout and look of the set, no doubt contributed to it being the number one seller ever for TSR.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 10, 2017, 09:00:36 AM
Quote from: Voros;967490
It wouldn't have had thr punch and icongraphic power. Gygax made the right call, it was about eyeballs and that cover, in addition to the whole layout and look of the set, no doubt contributed to it being the number one seller ever for TSR.

I agree - and solo-PC Fighter campaigns are certainly doable in D&D, I've run several.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: soltakss on June 10, 2017, 11:01:58 AM
Quote from: Dumarest;965342
Based on that, you could drop the last word from that sentence. Check the calves, biceps, thighs, etc. None of it is correct.

Why should it be correct? It looks good, to me, so why should I care if it is anatomically correct?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: soltakss on June 10, 2017, 11:04:24 AM
I liked all the artwork included in this thread.

However, I am surprised that nobody has included the RQ3 artwork that attracted so much criticism in its time.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 10, 2017, 10:03:03 PM
Quote from: soltakss;967533
Why should it be correct? It looks good, to me, so why should I care if it is anatomically correct?


Where did I say it should be correct? Where did I say you should care? You're inferring things and jumping to conclusions. I was merely pointing out what a lousy artist he is. There is a difference between Jack Kirby discarding correct anatomy that he learned and a clown who never learned to draw the human figure in the first place.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on June 11, 2017, 12:51:05 AM
Quote from: Dumarest;967627
Where did I say it should be correct? Where did I say you should care? You're inferring things and jumping to conclusions. I was merely pointing out what a lousy artist he is. There is a difference between Jack Kirby discarding correct anatomy that he learned and a clown who never learned to draw the human figure in the first place.

You're right but very few non-artists will notice it unless it's clearly bad
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 11, 2017, 12:54:00 AM
My favorite basic cover is Holmes, I just always liked the look of that Dragon.  Yeah the wings were small but I liked the head and pose.

(https://smolderingwizard.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/holmes_basic_box.jpg)

Otus's cover is more abstract than Elmore, but I liked how the Basic and Expert Set went together...

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/3ay41fe3c4rbi5l/m9ZFDbf.jpg?dl=0)

As far as the Elmore cover, the group one is better I think.  It makes me think of the Willingham Frontpiece.  This is always what D&D was to me...

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/f8gyhzyv7rjwm6w/willingham9.png?dl=0)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 11, 2017, 12:56:28 AM
Quote from: soltakss;967534
I liked all the artwork included in this thread.

However, I am surprised that nobody has included the RQ3 artwork that attracted so much criticism in its time.

You mean this...?
(http://www.rpgcollecting.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Runequest.jpg)

People had a problem with that?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 11, 2017, 05:27:44 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967662
You mean this...?
(http://www.rpgcollecting.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Runequest.jpg)

People had a problem with that?

I'm guessing it was the painted-on bikini cover of Runequest 2e?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 11, 2017, 06:45:52 AM
Quote from: S'mon;967690
I'm guessing it was the painted-on bikini cover of Runequest 2e?


Hmm, I thought this was first...
(http://www.waynesbooks.com/images/graphics/runequest1sted.jpg)

...and this was second...
(https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2PNR0rzhEXM/VzaFw1NPqKI/AAAAAAAAglw/tT30nvKhQvI-KgrmQgev8ET0ibaaQnd8wCLcB/s640/runequest2cover.jpg)

Now I see the Games Workshop 2nd, Holy Balls that's bad...
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wzy6z2RzORA/VMBSqddKIKI/AAAAAAAABaM/iWYCs3kH7Ng/s1600/runequest2ndgwbox.jpg)

Maybe he's talking about these, these are GW 3rd.
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OCLTivC11eE/VNvd8ytOIbI/AAAAAAAAYEU/Y5wqLXyKEF4/s1600/20150211_175530.jpg)
Those look pretty good I think.

Not a big fan of the newest RuneQuest...
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6j_2UbV4AALL9s.jpg)

I think RQ6/Mythras is much better.
(http://www.unboundworlds.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/TDM100-Cover.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 11, 2017, 07:18:53 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967706

Now I see the Games Workshop 2nd, Holy Balls that's bad...
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wzy6z2RzORA/VMBSqddKIKI/AAAAAAAABaM/iWYCs3kH7Ng/s1600/runequest2ndgwbox.jpg)

Maybe he's talking about these, these are GW 3rd.
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OCLTivC11eE/VNvd8ytOIbI/AAAAAAAAYEU/Y5wqLXyKEF4/s1600/20150211_175530.jpg)


Yeah those are the ones I have. Rules-wise the 2e version looks much better, 3e is far far too fiddly with its encumbrance & fatigue point rules. I heard somewhere the 2e pic was drawn topless then the publisher made the artist draw a bikini on, which is why it looks so bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: soltakss on June 11, 2017, 07:25:48 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967662
You mean this...?


People had a problem with that?

Nope.

Quote from: S'mon;967690
I'm guessing it was the painted-on bikini cover of Runequest 2e?

Nope again.

The art for Troll Gods/Elder Secrets contains a lot of howlers.

(http://www.soltakss.com/badart01.jpg)
(http://www.soltakss.com/badart02.jpg)
(http://www.soltakss.com/badart03.jpg)
(http://www.soltakss.com/badart04.jpg)

Some of it is OK, but some of it, well, isn't.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on June 11, 2017, 08:03:06 AM
Yeah, it's the RQ3 interior art. The covers were generally nice, but some of the interior pieces...0D&D called, it wants its art back.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on June 11, 2017, 04:48:07 PM
Quote from: DavetheLost;967712
Yeah, it's the RQ3 interior art. The covers were generally nice, but some of the interior pieces...0D&D called, it wants its art back.

Ah, I only have the GW 3e version, with loads of excellent GW art! :)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Just Another Snake Cult on June 11, 2017, 10:05:44 PM
All of those RQ covers are actually pretty sweet. Some moreso than others, but still better art than most games get.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 11, 2017, 10:09:25 PM
Quote from: DavetheLost;967712
Yeah, it's the RQ3 interior art. The covers were generally nice, but some of the interior pieces...0D&D called, it wants its art back.

Yeah, that makes a little more sense, I can see why RQ3 people prize the GW versions.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 12, 2017, 01:44:55 PM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967661
My favorite basic cover is Holmes, I just always liked the look of that Dragon.  Yeah the wings were small but I liked the head and pose.

(https://smolderingwizard.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/holmes_basic_box.jpg)

Otus's cover is more abstract than Elmore, but I liked how the Basic and Expert Set went together...

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/3ay41fe3c4rbi5l/m9ZFDbf.jpg?dl=0)

As far as the Elmore cover, the group one is better I think.  It makes me think of the Willingham Frontpiece.  This is always what D&D was to me...

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/f8gyhzyv7rjwm6w/willingham9.png?dl=0)


Those are all awesome, inviting, and evocative. Makes me want to play D&D and I don't even like D&D very much!
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Hrugga on June 12, 2017, 05:13:14 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;966563
There is just a lot of genuine imagination in Otus' work, something that is surprisingly lacking in a great deal of D&D art. I get that some people find his loose style off-putting, but the guy never phoned it in like Elmore could at times.

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_g5h76UahDMo/S_Vv6_VgtzI/AAAAAAAAAqQ/nuzgb-FwQQI/s1600/Otus_GW_Ref_web.jpg)
When it comes to RPG inspiration, I'll take this cover over that Dragonlance cover earlier in the thread.


A future Techno-Wizard that is somehow connected to The Dead Kennedey's...Never noticed that before!!!

H:0)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 12, 2017, 06:20:47 PM
Quote from: Hrugga;968031
A future Techno-Wizard that is somehow connected to The Dead Kennedey's...Never noticed that before!!!

H:0)

I heard somewhere that Easley and Otus were sharing a studio at the time of this painting. They were listening to the Dead Kennedys while they were working, so Otus just added the symbol as an embellishment. I have that GM screen, and it was years before it jumped out at me one day.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Hrugga on June 12, 2017, 06:35:34 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;968050
I heard somewhere that Easley and Otus were sharing a studio at the time of this painting. They were listening to the Dead Kennedys while they were working, so Otus just added the symbol as an embellishment. I have that GM screen, and it was years before it jumped out at me one day.


Cool. I've seen that cover many times. This is the first time I've ever noticed it. Never played the game. Good stuff.

H:0)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 13, 2017, 03:44:09 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967661


As far as the Elmore cover, the group one is better I think.  It makes me think of the Willingham Frontpiece.  This is always what D&D was to me...

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/f8gyhzyv7rjwm6w/willingham9.png?dl=0)


That is a great one, Willingham went on to have a big hit with the Fables comic. His D&D work has an appealing 70s vibe. (https://youtu.be/mdxJovpQjCE)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on June 13, 2017, 06:11:43 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;967661
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/f8gyhzyv7rjwm6w/willingham9.png?dl=0)


I agree with Voros, I like this image.  It's dynamic, despite its the cartoon look.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on June 13, 2017, 06:53:28 AM
This is the image I would use to sell the sort of D&D we played.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 15, 2017, 10:37:52 PM
Quote from: Voros;968154
That is a great one, Willingham went on to have a big hit with the Fables comic. His D&D work has an appealing 70s vibe. (https://youtu.be/mdxJovpQjCE)

Huh. I had no idea that was the same guy!
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Vile on June 16, 2017, 09:45:19 AM
Quote from: Voros;968154
That is a great one, Willingham went on to have a big hit with the Fables comic.
And he almost had a big hit with the Elementals comic. Although I loved his D&D art, and I had all the Elementals comics (though the ones not drawn by him were not great), I only realised this year that they were the same person.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Just Another Snake Cult on June 16, 2017, 12:56:09 PM
I like the way how everybody in that pic (Even the old pointy-hat wizard- Actually, ESPECIALLY the old pointy-hat wizard) looks hardcore bad-ass without it being dungeonpunk or "Kewl/EXXXTREME!".
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 19, 2017, 04:38:57 PM
Quote from: Just Another Snake Cult;969061
I like the way how everybody in that pic (Even the old pointy-hat wizard- Actually, ESPECIALLY the old pointy-hat wizard) looks hardcore bad-ass without it being dungeonpunk or "Kewl/EXXXTREME!".

yeah, that aesthetic really sucked.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on June 19, 2017, 04:55:04 PM
I like Dungeonpunk.  It doesn't fit D&D, but I like it, if used well.  There needs to be a game that embraces the idea and then runs with it screaming into the night.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 20, 2017, 03:22:01 AM
Quote from: Christopher Brady;969934
I like Dungeonpunk.  It doesn't fit D&D, but I like it, if used well.  There needs to be a game that embraces the idea and then runs with it screaming into the night.

I liked it well enough; I could never think of a reason that people in Sigil wouldn't dress that way, after all. It fits the Jaded Dungeoneer approach well enough.

...up to the point that wondering how the hell Hennet kept track of all those buckles took me right out of the fantasy mindset I was aiming for, and dumped me into "No, wait, how the fuck is that supposed to work anyway?"
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Christopher Brady on June 20, 2017, 02:02:27 PM
Quote from: Barghest;970039
I liked it well enough; I could never think of a reason that people in Sigil wouldn't dress that way, after all. It fits the Jaded Dungeoneer approach well enough.

I agree.

Quote from: Barghest;970039
...up to the point that wondering how the hell Hennet kept track of all those buckles took me right out of the fantasy mindset I was aiming for, and dumped me into "No, wait, how the fuck is that supposed to work anyway?"

MAGIC!  I think Prestidigitation could actually do all the buckling needed...  Yeah, I'm overthinking it.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 20, 2017, 05:56:23 PM
Quote from: Christopher Brady;970173
MAGIC!  I think Prestidigitation could actually do all the buckling needed...  Yeah, I'm overthinking it.

I always imagined the morning routine among the adventurers: the Wizard studies his spellbook and memorizes his spells, the Cleric fervently prays for her spells, and the Sorcerer...spends forty-five minutes fastening all his buckles. :)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Eric Diaz on June 23, 2017, 01:09:57 PM
I like a lot of old school art, and Russ Nicholson is probably my favorite, maybe because FF books. OD&D books have bad art IMO, but who can blame them at this point.

For me the worse art is 2e revised version. They already had better stuff to work with and they choose to go with this. I get actually annoyed by looking at it.


[ATTACH=CONFIG]1090[/ATTACH]


EDIT: it has something to do with the colors, I think. Everything looks like it was colored by crayons or pencils, and boring as hell. I can't explain exactly, but the picture above should suffice. I used to have a version of 2e that was all blue-ish inside, but I can't find that art anywhere nowadays, I would appreciate seeing a few pieces or a link if somebody has one.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 24, 2017, 12:52:55 AM
That does look terrible. I really like a lot of the original 2e PHB and DMG art although it may not be cool to admit it.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on June 25, 2017, 03:10:43 PM
Quote from: Eric Diaz;970951
I like a lot of old school art, and Russ Nicholson is probably my favorite, maybe because FF books. OD&D books have bad art IMO, but who can blame them at this point.

For me the worse art is 2e revised version. They already had better stuff to work with and they choose to go with this. I get actually annoyed by looking at it.


[ATTACH=CONFIG]1090[/ATTACH]


EDIT: it has something to do with the colors, I think. Everything looks like it was colored by crayons or pencils, and boring as hell. I can't explain exactly, but the picture above should suffice. I used to have a version of 2e that was all blue-ish inside, but I can't find that art anywhere nowadays, I would appreciate seeing a few pieces or a link if somebody has one.


Jesus that is stunningly awful. It's like they were really trying to find the least appealing images possible.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 25, 2017, 03:15:25 PM
I was always perfectly happy with black-and-white art and frankly found the full-page color art in 2nd edition to be a waste of space. Although I did like this piece:
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1098[/ATTACH]

Somehow it put me in the mind of Harryhausen Sinbad movies, which is always a good thing.

But I thought 2nd edition AD&D was not considered old school?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 25, 2017, 03:43:18 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;971458
But I thought 2nd edition AD&D was not considered old school?

Much disputed in the Church of the OSR.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 25, 2017, 03:48:39 PM
Quote from: Voros;971467
Church of the OSR.

(https://i.imgflip.com/17zwol.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 25, 2017, 05:25:35 PM
I'll repeat myself from another thread:


This factionalism over minor variations in rules is reminscent of the various splinter denominations of the Protestant Reformation. Except extra silly. Is desecending AC the new Trinity?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 25, 2017, 05:35:51 PM
Quote from: Voros;971495
I'll repeat myself from another thread:


This factionalism over minor variations in rules is reminscent of the various splinter denominations of the Protestant Reformation. Except extra silly. Is desecending AC the new Trinity?

What's not really all that silly is you being a geek who continually tries to jab geeks who annoy you by pretending they have some metaphorical relationship to real world groups and conflicts responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 25, 2017, 05:41:53 PM
I am a geek but I don't make excuses for geeks.

As for the metaphorical relationship to those responsible for death of thousands, I assume you mean the OSR Taliban?? Not sure that I ever used the term, just defended the idea that there are assholes out there who take the variations in the rules of D&D far too seriously. I compare them to the Church, the Pope and Protestant splinters for humour and irony. It is bathos to mock their earnestness about something so insignificant.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 25, 2017, 05:51:59 PM
Quote from: Voros;971501
I am a geek but I don't make excuses for geeks.

As for the metaphorical relationship to those responsible for death of thousands, I assume you mean the OSR Taliban?? Not sure that I ever used the term, just defended the idea that there are assholes out there who take the variations in the rules of D&D far too seriously. I compare them to the Church, the Pope and Protestant splinters for humour and irony. It is bathos to mock their earnestness about something so insignificant.

Which brings us back to your "I supposedly don't care about this enough to comment like you do, but I DO care enough about it to be annoyed by what you say and thus I'll instead pretend I'm above the fray by mocking your level of interest." schtick you've had going here since day one. ;)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 25, 2017, 05:54:23 PM
So you don't think earnestness about games of pretend requires the occasional poke in the nose to remind everyone that it is just a game?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on June 25, 2017, 06:25:15 PM
Quote from: Voros;971507
So you don't think earnestness about games of pretend requires the occasional poke in the nose to remind everyone that it is just a game?

Occasional...I do not think that term means what you think it means.  You're a little closer to raison d'etre.

Also, honestly, 99.99% of SRSBNS talk is always someone propping themselves up at someone else's expense.

Unless you're some professional comedian, there is no Court Jester who shines a comic eye to better the individual or someone who really "Keeds because they love".  There's only people who are pissed at what someone else said and want to come up with a way to make themselves seem better than that person.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 26, 2017, 01:29:23 AM
Hmm...that's an oddly defensive idea of humour. I would say that humour and irony can be used to maintain a sense of perspective about oneself and others. I realize some proclaim irony dead due to 9/11 or 4chan 'ironically' racist trolls but I still think a healthy sense of irony is needed to make it through the day sane.

Perhaps the internet brand of humour and supposed irony is more often the toxic brand you are discussing. But posters here like Spinachat, Anon and Nexus and others are often at their best when approaching a subject with humour so I can't completely buy your argument.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 26, 2017, 05:13:11 AM
Quote from: Eric Diaz;970951
EDIT: it has something to do with the colors, I think. Everything looks like it was colored by crayons or pencils, and boring as hell.

A lot of the art from AD&D 2E Revised looks for all the world as if it was done in pastel chalks or colored pencils, which annoys me because it can't help but look amateurish, as if I was looking at the art class assignments of a particularly talented tenth grader.

The image you posted is actually one of the less irritating pieces in those books. There's a picture of an incorporeal wizard walking up behind a skeleton with a sword in the Player's Guide that sets my teeth on edge, because it looks for all the world like a high-school girl free-handed it on construction paper during lunch break.

EDIT: Fuck it, I'm scanning it for you guys. It's been annoying me for the last twenty-two years, so I'm sharing the pain.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1101[/ATTACH]

"Someone get me a Cleric, everything is going all soft and glowy, I think I'm going blind!"

Horrible, isn't it? Other guys buy D&D books and get sweet oil paintings, I finally shell out money for my own Player's Guide and I get crap like this.

I may scan something else later, there is plenty of suck to go around in this particular PG.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 26, 2017, 10:34:59 AM
Quote from: Eric Diaz;970951
I like a lot of old school art, and Russ Nicholson is probably my favorite, maybe because FF books. OD&D books have bad art IMO, but who can blame them at this point.

For me the worse art is 2e revised version. They already had better stuff to work with and they choose to go with this. I get actually annoyed by looking at it.


[ATTACH=CONFIG]1090[/ATTACH]


EDIT: it has something to do with the colors, I think. Everything looks like it was colored by crayons or pencils, and boring as hell. I can't explain exactly, but the picture above should suffice. I used to have a version of 2e that was all blue-ish inside, but I can't find that art anywhere nowadays, I would appreciate seeing a few pieces or a link if somebody has one.


This image appears to be a modified tracing from photographs. The elf on the left was most likely a teenager from a back-to-school advertisement with a backpack slung over his shoulder, judging by the invisible weight on it and how his hand in no way whatsoever fits the bow. At least Greg Bell could pick a cool drawing from a comic book to trace; whoever did this picked a Sears catalog.

The modifications the artist made are amateurish, resulting in an unnatural, paper-doll look to the clothes, weapons whose placement makes no sense whatsoever, and stiff, awkward poses. As critical as I am of Elmore, he's a billion times better than this.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 26, 2017, 10:36:24 AM
Quote from: Barghest;971601
A lot of the art from AD&D 2E Revised looks for all the world as if it was done in pastel chalks or colored pencils, which annoys me because it can't help but look amateurish, as if I was looking at the art class assignments of a particularly talented tenth grader.

The image you posted is actually one of the less irritating pieces in those books. There's a picture of an incorporeal wizard walking up behind a skeleton with a sword in the Player's Guide that sets my teeth on edge, because it looks for all the world like a high-school girl free-handed it on construction paper during lunch break.

The skeleton looks like he's trying his hardest not to urinate as the Lord Jesus Christ watches over the scene.

These are so incredibly bad that my guess is Williams was desperately trying to stop TSR from going under by cutting the royalties they were paying out to professional artists.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 26, 2017, 11:14:22 AM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;971617
This image appears to be a modified tracing from photographs. The elf on the left was most likely a teenager from a back-to-school advertisement with a backpack slung over his shoulder, judging by the invisible weight on it and how his hand in no way whatsoever fits the bow. At least Greg Bell could pick a cool drawing from a comic book to trace; whoever did this picked a Sears catalog.

The modifications the artist made are amateurish, resulting in an unnatural, paper-doll look to the clothes, weapons whose placement makes no sense whatsoever, and stiff, awkward poses. As critical as I am of Elmore, he's a billion times better than this.

I looked at that again (may my eyes forgive me) and I bet you're right! In fact, I think it was a photo of three teens posing for some catalogue. That's why their heads are all at the same level and the hobbit had to be standing on a convenient block. I would bet good money on it. Now we need someone to find the original photo!

Edit: And the guy on the left clearly had his left hand holding the strap of a backpack the artist then removed from the image.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Skarg on June 26, 2017, 11:22:04 AM
Quote from: Voros;971495
This factionalism over minor variations in rules is reminscent of the various splinter denominations of the Protestant Reformation. Except extra silly. Is desecending AC the new Trinity?

Quote from: CRKrueger;971499
What's not really all that silly is you being a geek who continually tries to jab geeks who annoy you by pretending they have some metaphorical relationship to real world groups and conflicts responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.

Quote from: Voros;971501
... As for the metaphorical relationship to those responsible for death of thousands, I assume you mean the OSR Taliban?? Not sure that I ever used the term, just defended the idea that there are assholes out there who take the variations in the rules of D&D far too seriously. I compare them to the Church, the Pope and Protestant splinters for humour and irony. It is bathos to mock their earnestness about something so insignificant.


Oh I thought CRKrueger meant Christians (as in crusades, inquisitions, witch burning, etc...).
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Skarg on June 26, 2017, 11:27:13 AM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;971617
This image appears to be a modified tracing from photographs. The elf on the left was most likely a teenager from a back-to-school advertisement with a backpack slung over his shoulder, judging by the invisible weight on it and how his hand in no way whatsoever fits the bow. At least Greg Bell could pick a cool drawing from a comic book to trace; whoever did this picked a Sears catalog.

The modifications the artist made are amateurish, resulting in an unnatural, paper-doll look to the clothes, weapons whose placement makes no sense whatsoever, and stiff, awkward poses. As critical as I am of Elmore, he's a billion times better than this.

Pretty much exactly what I was thinking. It looks like a view of teenagers as seen by a Sears or K-Mart catalog photographer, except with a combination of awful clothes and lame D&D props, but taking themselves seriously and trying to look cool and tough and failing horribly, and that the artist thinks the readers will think this is cool, maybe. It's painful and would be excellent trollbait for making fun of fantasy roleplayers.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Skarg on June 26, 2017, 11:32:33 AM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;971618
The skeleton looks like he's trying his hardest not to urinate as the Lord Jesus Christ watches over the scene.

These are so incredibly bad that my guess is Williams was desperately trying to stop TSR from going under by cutting the royalties they were paying out to professional artists.

Yeah, and yet I don't actually dislike that one.

I think merely amateur art tends to remind me of art a player or GM might do, and so can feel like it invites imagination to fill it in. I sometimes prefer it to overly-detailed art which seems to over-specify details (and so need to get everything right or it really is a flaw). The one shown above looks like a spectral ghost and skeleton having trouble walking (which makes sense) which look like they might look less dangerous than they might turn out to be.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 26, 2017, 05:12:53 PM
Quote from: Skarg;971631
Yeah, and yet I don't actually dislike that one.

I think merely amateur art tends to remind me of art a player or GM might do, and so can feel like it invites imagination to fill it in. I sometimes prefer it to overly-detailed art which seems to over-specify details (and so need to get everything right or it really is a flaw). The one shown above looks like a spectral ghost and skeleton having trouble walking (which makes sense) which look like they might look less dangerous than they might turn out to be.

"Jesus Watching Skele-Man Hold It In" has a bit more kitschy appeal than "Back To School...With Daggers!" I must say. This is interesting, as I never knew that the the revised 2e books (I assume the ones with black borders on the cover?) had different art than the original, which I always liked just fine.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 26, 2017, 11:39:32 PM
The revised 2e art is pretty bad. But I still like the original 2e DMG and PHB art.

I've mentioned before that I'm a big fan of the 2e Skullport FR supplement but the cover is pretty terrible. Don't judge this book by its cover.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1103[/ATTACH]
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 27, 2017, 01:07:49 AM
Quote from: Barghest;971601
A lot of the art from AD&D 2E Revised looks for all the world as if it was done in pastel chalks or colored pencils, which annoys me because it can't help but look amateurish, as if I was looking at the art class assignments of a particularly talented tenth grader.


You can do amazing work with colored pencils and pastels, so you can't blame the medium here.

Here is a colored pencil piece by a friend of mine.
(http://img04.deviantart.net/cda5/i/2015/106/6/e/sun_kissed_by_jlaartbug-d7x0tbc.jpg)

And here is a random one I just found.
(http://wwwcdn.artistsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/colored-pencil-portrait.jpeg)

The problem with colored pencils is that it is incredibly time-consuming. Applying with a colored pencil takes a lot more time than with a brush. It's a terrible medium for a professional illustrator, a job where turn around time matters a lot. My friend that does colored pencils makes most of her money at it from teaching, not the pieces themselves.

As for pastels, my avatar is a quick pastel that another friend of mine did when I sat in a class of his as a last-minute model. He has stuff in the Smithsonian, so it is far from his best work, but it is a lot better than that 2nd Ed. Revised work.

I will agree that the skeleton one has some charm to it thought. The Sears catalog one is fucking awful though.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 27, 2017, 07:35:47 AM
Quote from: Baulderstone;971750
You can do amazing work with colored pencils and pastels, so you can't blame the medium here.

Wow. Okay, yes, I stand corrected.

Quote from: Baulderstone;971750
I will agree that the skeleton one has some charm to it thought. The Sears catalog one is fucking awful though.

I don't deny that the pastel skeleton picture has a certain charm. It's just really, really not what I want my D&D to look like. And that's important--I can't draw worth a crap, so I need the art in any corebook as a visual aid to help me and my players get on the same page when I'm describing things to them. If I'm trying to describe a gritty, drippy, fungus-infested dungeon and they're picturing softly-glowing ethereal floating Jeebus-wizards in their minds' eyes, I'm working at a handicap.

Anyway--to really appreciate the Sears Dungeoneers, we need to see the other half of their membership. From two pages earlier in the same book:

(http://i.imgur.com/ulg06Fg.jpg)

You know that really cool Dwarven warrior one person in every group wants to play? The stone-cold armor-plated badass who cleaves skulls with his mighty war axe? Well, here is his dad.

And don't mind the unsettling thousand-yard stare of the Gnome, there--he just got back from Cracker Barrel, and his tummy is full, so that weird look on his face is probably just indigestion.

But the real hero of the party is the Douchebag Elf, complete with an Old Navy sweater tied around his neck.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on June 27, 2017, 10:52:29 AM
Quote from: Barghest;971773
I don't deny that the pastel skeleton picture has a certain charm. It's just really, really not what I want my D&D to look like.


That's fair. The picture really isn't in keeping with the overall look of AD&D 2E. which would make it jarring in context.

I'm a little glad I passed on the recent AD&D 2E megabundle as I heard it was the revised books. I almost went in on it as I passed on the whole 2E era of AD&D at the time. I was curious just to give the books a read, but everything I hear about revised makes it sounds bad.

Anyway--to really appreciate the Sears Dungeoneers, we need to see the other half of their membership. From two pages earlier in the same book:[/QUOTE]

What really turns my stomach with these is the colors. Someone really needed to give this guy a color wheel and lesson on color theory. That mint green sweater/cape on the elf, the hot pink cardigan on the gnome and the violet background is just nauseating when you put it all together.

As for the cape, the part at the top where he was copying a sweater is clearly rendered with shading. The parts hanging behind the elf are just an area of flat green without any contrast or line definition because he didn't have a reference. He also used the lightest shade of green, which looks wrong. He might have gotten away with making the whole area one flat color if he had gone with the darker shade of green he was using in the folds of the sweater portion.

Color theory was something that Erol Otus has a good grasp of. With his basic set cover, he was already working from a tough position with needing to match a magenta box, but that green dragon really pops against the muted purple dungeon background. Making the water green as well was a great choice to keep the palette simple. Then the sorceress is using the same green in her spell, which reflects on her cape and leg. Some of the red she is wearing can be seen in the dragon she is facing. The fighter down the bottom is wearing the same purple as the background in the top portion, creating a balance.

He is playing with some really risky colors, but it all comes together. It's a little garish, but in a pulpy way that suits the subject matter.
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C8gXxG0_1mU/VeT158Xb5hI/AAAAAAAAChE/pHGuUP22TI4/s1600/BasicDDbox.jpg)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 28, 2017, 04:12:21 PM
I want to adventure with The Sears Dungeoneers.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Steven Mitchell on June 28, 2017, 04:51:49 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;972012
I want to adventure with The Sears Dungeoneers.

With less experience and treasure to split up amongst those that make it out, you should come out ahead.  Assuming you didn't need more competent help to make it out yourself. :)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on June 28, 2017, 04:59:11 PM
Quote from: Barghest;971773
Wow. Okay, yes, I stand corrected.
You know that really cool Dwarven warrior one person in every group wants to play? The stone-cold armor-plated badass who cleaves skulls with his mighty war axe? Well, here is his dad.

I really want to know who did these. The worst artist on the 2e Revised credits I can find is David O. MIller, but none of the work he displays is anywhere close to this bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Skarg on June 29, 2017, 12:50:15 AM
Quote from: Dumarest;972012
I want to adventure with The Sears Dungeoneers.


I do too. I am looking through old catalogs looking for the perfect character portrait to go with my character's backstory.

But I can't decide. Should I play an enchantress
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1109[/ATTACH]

, a ninja,
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1108[/ATTACH]

or a druid specializing in owl magic?
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1110[/ATTACH]
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 29, 2017, 12:51:01 AM
Quote from: Baulderstone;971797
I'm a little glad I passed on the recent AD&D 2E megabundle as I heard it was the revised books. I almost went in on it as I passed on the whole 2E era of AD&D at the time. I was curious just to give the books a read, but everything I hear about revised makes it sounds bad.

To be fair, there is also some really good art in the AD&D 2E Player's Guide. (And I'm not certain, but I believe the art for the Revised Monstrous Manual is unchanged from its previous iteration.) It's just that the example art that goes with the Races and Classes in the first three chapters is crap like this, so you notice it more, because those pieces are supposed to be examples for the reader as far as what to expect from the setting, and...well.

It's just, you know, this isn't the thread for putting up good gamebook art, so I don't really feel justified in busting out counterexamples.

As I mentioned, the example art for the Classes is also dodgy. Some of it's okay, and then we have this:

(http://i.imgur.com/t1WPIyb.jpg)

GM: "So here is what a Bard looks like in this game--"

Player: "NO. No, that is not what my Bard is going to look like. Just NO."

I'm thinking "Errol Flynn in fabulous striped leggings" is a look that never really caught on among Bard players, you know? I'm starting to wonder if the Dungeonpunk aesthetic came about as a direct counter-reaction to pictures like these. When I bought this book in 1995, I remember thinking, "Oh, this is supposed to be charmingly old-fashioned. I bet this is art from the early 80's or something. It's all Robin Hood-y!"

On the other hand, this may be the only time you ever see a Bard whose favored instrument is an authentic hurdy-gurdy, which actually is sort of cool in a "I'm smart enough to make a reference to Canterbury Tales", Planescape-and-the-kitchen-sink, quirky, someone-just-hit-me-in-the-head-with-a-stick kind of way. Dude needs a monkey animal companion in a little bellhop costume to complete the ensemble. If ever there was a legitimate reason for a one-level dip into Druid...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on June 29, 2017, 12:57:55 AM
Quote from: Baulderstone;971797
What really turns my stomach with these is the colors. Someone really needed to give this guy a color wheel and lesson on color theory. That mint green sweater/cape on the elf, the hot pink cardigan on the gnome and the violet background is just nauseating when you put it all together.


I think you're on to something--the more I look at the Gnome in his hot pink cardigan, the more it hurts my face.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 29, 2017, 01:37:52 PM
Quote from: Skarg;972074
[ATTACH=CONFIG]1109[/ATTACH]


That is clearly your Doctor Who character. Break out the old FASA Doctor Who boxed set and get your game on.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: san dee jota on June 29, 2017, 02:03:13 PM
Quote from: Voros;964895
Not to be a downer but I actually get a peverse kick out of the shittier examples of old school D&D and other RPG art.

One of the perfect examples for me is the first MM cover. I remember looking at it as a kid and finding its primitivism very odd. And not in a Erol Otus underground comix way.

I was kinda shocked to find out David Sutherland did it, his style was always a bit rough and ready but I'm not sure what went wrong here. Perhaps he has a ridiculously short deadline and wasn't comfortable working in colour yet? His maps I think are particularly strong.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1003[/ATTACH]


Since nobody else mentioned (that I could see)....  I keep looking at this, and think "the spacing, colors, and details are all wrong".  This isn't the Monster Manual cover, but another artist's reproduction (https://laughingsquid.com/painted-reproductions-of-first-edition-dungeons-dragons-cover-art-without-the-text/) from 1990 apparently.  

Here's the cover on my book (http://multiverse.world/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/monster-manual.png), which people are fine to hate as well.  I just don't want people to confuse an homage with an original.

As for my pick: Tim Bobko's work on Bloodshadows is the low mark for art in my RPGs.  Which is odd, as he could do better work for Star Wars (still not "good", but often times at least adequate).  Not sure if he had a contract to do work, just needed to meet deadlines, or really didn't "get" the project he was working on, but it was pretty much shite.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on June 29, 2017, 05:17:08 PM
As far as Monster Manual goes, the real one is much better than the "reproduction." But it still is not all that good. It has a certain funky charm, though.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Spinachcat on June 29, 2017, 06:38:26 PM
I love OD&D...but much of the art was wanker even for its day. Though I've seen wargames from the era, and most of their art wasn't too hot either.

But as a kid, I loved the AD&D 1e Monster Manual cover because it was exciting to see all the beasties together and how I was gonna whack them with my Vorpal sword.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Anselyn on June 29, 2017, 07:05:53 PM
wanker ?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on June 29, 2017, 10:05:19 PM
Quote from: Spinachcat;972194
... how I was gonna whack them with my Vorpal sword.

I don't think dirty talk is allowed on the forum.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Willmark on June 29, 2017, 11:04:31 PM
Willingham was one of my favorites, I like his B/E stuff a lot.

For worst, of course its subjective, but the worst of 0e and 1st is really bad in comparison to the worst of say 2nd. After 2nd, 3rd really went off the rails in a direction that didn't really appeal to me. At least in the 1st through 2nd there is at least some continuity. The art of the early days was ultra primitive and that's being kind, but considering that was what they could afford back then? By early 2nd the level of skill of the artists increased dramatically. One can argue whether or not the "feel" or "tone" was good or not (whatever that means). The skill level can't really be denied as improving by 2nd however.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on July 01, 2017, 01:34:25 AM
Quote from: Dumarest;972159
That is clearly your Doctor Who character. Break out the old FASA Doctor Who boxed set and get your game on.

Doctor Who, a Rule 63 Mad Hatter, a Steampunk Assassin for Victoriana 3rd Edition, a Fishmalk--who knew a checkered-and-striped women's suit from the 70's could be so versatile?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on July 01, 2017, 01:53:33 AM
Let's have another image from AD&D 2E Revised, shall we?

Here is where things start to get complicated, at least for me. I give you what the book considers a typical, example Druid.

(http://i.imgur.com/6MO5GA8.jpg)

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this picture. I don't hate it. I'm not crazy about those plaid pants, and I kinda like how the little falcon there looks a bit embarrassed to be sitting on the shoulders of such a sourpuss. I kinda dig the big-ass sickle, though. There's something about this Druid--he looks just dorky enough to somehow suggest authenticity. On the other hand, he has an emo hairstyle. I'm pretty sure I've drunk beer with a guy that looks just like that, at an SCA event, once during my misspent youth.

What do you guys think? Bad art, or adequate?
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on July 01, 2017, 02:29:43 AM
Adequate bordering on bad.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Ronin on July 01, 2017, 07:12:40 AM
Quote from: Dumarest;972012
I want to adventure with The Sears Dungeoneers.


Next time I run a D&D adventure. Evey sword the players find will now have craftsman stamped on it. If it should break and they take it back. There will be a huge run around/bureaucracy/denial of replacement. I envision a frustrated group, and a Sears on fire.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Thornhammer on July 01, 2017, 11:48:10 AM
Quote from: Barghest;972442
What do you guys think? Bad art, or adequate?

Adequate.  Lower middle adequate, but not "bad."
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on July 01, 2017, 01:49:43 PM
Quote from: Barghest;972442
What do you guys think? Bad art, or adequate?


Both this piece and the picture of the bard solidly convey the sense of some illustration from an old children's adventure book. If you were doing an Ivanhoe RPG, these would be perfect. They just don't work as core class illustrations for AD&D 2E. That isn't they feel that edition was going for at all.

My verdict: Good art. Bad art direction.

Quote from: Ronin;972477
Next time I run a D&D adventure. Evey sword the players find will now have craftsman stamped on it. If it should break and they take it back. There will be a huge run around/bureaucracy/denial of replacement. I envision a frustrated group, and a Sears on fire.


The final indignity is when they finally get a refund from Sears, but it is only available as credit on their Discover cards.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: sureshot on July 01, 2017, 04:28:31 PM
Quote from: Barghest;972075
(http://i.imgur.com/t1WPIyb.jpg)

That image to me never cried adventuring Bard imo. It was not helped that when they used examples to explain some of the Bard abilites they used Cwell The Fine as a name. Already the art is not that great. Attaching terrible names to it does not help.

Quote from: Baulderstone;972511
Both this piece and the picture of the bard solidly convey the sense of some illustration from an old children's adventure book. If you were doing an Ivanhoe RPG, these would be perfect. They just don't work as core class illustrations for AD&D 2E. That isn't they feel that edition was going for at all.

My verdict: Good art. Bad art direction.

Agreed and seconded. The problem was and it's a theory of mine is that they went with that style of art simply to not offend the MADD (mothers against Dungeons and Dragons) and similar types. I kind of agree to a certain extent. The art in the first run of the 2E was better it was also more bloody and violent. Hardly something that was going to sit well with some parents.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on July 01, 2017, 04:33:25 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;972511
My verdict: Good art. Bad art direction.


Yep.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 03, 2017, 09:21:49 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;971458

But I thought 2nd edition AD&D was not considered old school?


Properly speaking, it's not. It's the end of Old School and the beginning of the post old-school era. I assume it's being talked about here in comparison to the older art.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Tetsubo on July 03, 2017, 09:59:17 PM
Quote from: Voros;971495
I'll repeat myself from another thread:


This factionalism over minor variations in rules is reminiscent of the various splinter denominations of the Protestant Reformation. Except extra silly. Is descending AC the new Trinity?


THAC0 or DEATH!*

*Actually I am not an OSR supporter. I am a fan of a good deal of the art from that era however.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on July 05, 2017, 08:26:34 AM
Quote from: RPGPundit;972905
Properly speaking, it's not. It's the end of Old School and the beginning of the post old-school era. I assume it's being talked about here in comparison to the older art.

Should I stop putting up scans from this book because it's off-topic?

Because there are a few more on which I'd like to see opinions.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on July 05, 2017, 10:18:10 AM
Quote from: Barghest;972075
GM: "So here is what a Bard looks like in this game--"

Player: "NO. No, that is not what my Bard is going to look like. Just NO."

I'm thinking "Errol Flynn in fabulous striped leggings" is a look that never really caught on among Bard players, you know?

Oh, my bard was absolutely a foppishly dressed dandy. The leggings are maybe a tad much, and mismatched boots would have been a pain to walk in, but this bard otherwise is a near-perfect representation of the bard I played for Rise of Tiamat.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Voros on July 05, 2017, 10:07:32 PM
Quote from: Barghest;973255
Should I stop putting up scans from this book because it's off-topic?

Because there are a few more on which I'd like to see opinions.

Nah keep going.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 09, 2017, 03:45:20 AM
Quote from: Barghest;973255
Should I stop putting up scans from this book because it's off-topic?

Because there are a few more on which I'd like to see opinions.

No, like I said I think it's valid to post here particularly to bring up in a comparative nature of 2e vs. 1e/old-school art that immediately preceded it.  I think the change in art style was reflective in the change in the hobby (and not for the better).
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Barghest on July 10, 2017, 08:09:55 AM
Alright, then, let's continue. Here's another one that I have mixed feelings about.

(http://i.imgur.com/luDk9Aj.jpg)

It's a full-page painting by Carol Heyer. Back when I first got the book, I thought it was a pretty neat picture, mostly because it was a full-page painting.

Now? Well, those are some scrubby-looking adventurers. The curiously androgynous Wizard has just saved the lives of his/her companions, the Douchebag Thief/Ranger/Whatever (complete with mid-life crisis ponytail and dad's-trying-to-look-cool earring) and That Dwarven Cleric We Found Passed Out In Our Garbage, by casting exactly the right spell for the occasion. Little do they know that they are about to be surprise-attacked/swallowed whole by a giant catfish looming up from the benthic shadows.

On the one hand, you probably wouldn't want to play as one of these guys. And looking at this picture, I feel like I now know waaaay too much about the inside of that giant catfish's mouth, and it looks waay too much like a puckered butthole. Carol Heyer probably could have gotten away with some more tastefully-obscuring shadows inside that thing's maw, and I don't think anyone would have minded, or even noticed.

On the other hand, there's something kinda delightfully old-school about this whole image. Hey, there are giant catfish in the 2E Revised Monstrous Manual, so it's not like it couldn't happen. Sometimes adventurers get swallowed by giant catfish--not because the giant catfish is the Sinister Villain of the Campaign and it was an Epic Finale, but just because it's a dangerous world out there where there are dangerous giant animals, and you should be careful. New player who is building his first character, take heed.

So--an ugly but well-done picture about something ugly happening to a party of ugly people, that still makes a good point about the nature of the setting. Probably not a poster you'd want to put up on the wall of your gaming room, though.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on July 10, 2017, 09:47:00 AM
Quote from: Barghest;974292
Now? Well, those are some scrubby-looking adventurers. The curiously androgynous Wizard has just saved the lives of his/her companions, the Douchebag Thief/Ranger/Whatever (complete with mid-life crisis ponytail and dad's-trying-to-look-cool earring) and That Dwarven Cleric We Found Passed Out In Our Garbage

2e AD&D art definitely took "You can be the hero!" a step too far. :D All those portly middle-aged 'adventurers' who look suspiciously like 1990s suburban Americans... When it wasn't Clyde Caldwell's girlfriend (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/0b/0f/2b0b0fa9f4381702a33797895b368dde--celtic-warriors-female-warriors.jpg).
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Zevious Zoquis on July 10, 2017, 10:54:29 AM
Quote from: Barghest;970039
I liked it well enough; I could never think of a reason that people in Sigil wouldn't dress that way, after all. It fits the Jaded Dungeoneer approach well enough.

...up to the point that wondering how the hell Hennet kept track of all those buckles took me right out of the fantasy mindset I was aiming for, and dumped me into "No, wait, how the fuck is that supposed to work anyway?"



haha, yes...this is also an issue I have with Liefeld's stuff.  I often find myself driven to distraction by all the straps, buckles, pouches, and layers of overlapping swords and knives strapped to backs and forearms and thighs.  And the way those straps bind characters in what looks to me like incredibly uncomfortable ways.  There's a bizarre obsessive quality there that I sort of find I can't look away from, lol.  Something similar applies to this classic video!  :D

Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on July 10, 2017, 12:57:17 PM
Quote from: Barghest;974292
Carol Heyer probably could have gotten away with some more tastefully-obscuring shadows inside that thing's maw, and I don't think anyone would have minded, or even noticed.


I don't know about that. It's the attention to detail on the inside of the mouth that causes the viewer to dwell so much on the idea of being swallowed by the thing. It is ugly and kind of gross, but I think it works. I agree completely that it isn't something you want hanging on your wall, but I like a touch of horror in my D&D.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: CRKrueger on July 10, 2017, 03:47:21 PM
Quote from: S'mon;974309
2e AD&D art definitely took "You can be the hero!" a step too far. :D All those portly middle-aged 'adventurers' who look suspiciously like 1990s suburban Americans... When it wasn't Clyde Caldwell's girlfriend (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/0b/0f/2b0b0fa9f4381702a33797895b368dde--celtic-warriors-female-warriors.jpg).

God bless Clyde Caldwell.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 14, 2017, 04:41:14 AM
Quote from: S'mon;974309
2e AD&D art definitely took "You can be the hero!" a step too far. :D All those portly middle-aged 'adventurers' who look suspiciously like 1990s suburban Americans... When it wasn't Clyde Caldwell's girlfriend (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/0b/0f/2b0b0fa9f4381702a33797895b368dde--celtic-warriors-female-warriors.jpg).

The weird thing is that back then, most gamers weren't middle-aged, yet.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on July 14, 2017, 07:10:11 PM
Quote from: Zevious Zoquis;974329
haha, yes...this is also an issue I have with Liefeld's stuff.  I often find myself driven to distraction by all the straps, buckles, pouches, and layers of overlapping swords and knives strapped to backs and forearms and thighs.  And the way those straps bind characters in what looks to me like incredibly uncomfortable ways.  There's a bizarre obsessive quality there that I sort of find I can't look away from, lol.  Something similar applies to this classic video!  :D


But for Kiss that is utterly appropriate and awesome. I want to play those guys next time I break out The Price of Freedom.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on July 14, 2017, 07:57:05 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;975397
The weird thing is that back then, most gamers weren't middle-aged, yet.


I guess the artists were drawing their friends & co-workers?

This is the image that sums up 1990s D&D for me:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1149[/ATTACH]

Nearly-naked girl with crotch-sporran and two fat geezers, all out LARPing.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Trond on July 14, 2017, 09:18:51 PM
Quote from: S'mon;974309
2e AD&D art definitely took "You can be the hero!" a step too far. :D All those portly middle-aged 'adventurers' who look suspiciously like 1990s suburban Americans... When it wasn't Clyde Caldwell's girlfriend (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2b/0b/0f/2b0b0fa9f4381702a33797895b368dde--celtic-warriors-female-warriors.jpg).

What's with all the crosses? Were they a religious symbol in this setting? (if there is an implied setting at all)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on July 14, 2017, 09:28:55 PM
Quote from: Dumarest;975566
But for Kiss that is utterly appropriate and awesome. I want to play those guys next time I break out The Price of Freedom.

I call dibs on The Catman.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Whitewings on July 16, 2017, 09:54:14 AM
Quote from: Trond;975592
What's with all the crosses? Were they a religious symbol in this setting? (if there is an implied setting at all)

To communicate immediately to the viewer the concept of "ancient Celtic graveyard."
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on July 16, 2017, 10:51:50 AM
Quote from: Trond;975592
What's with all the crosses? Were they a religious symbol in this setting? (if there is an implied setting at all)

To off set the "Satanic Panic".
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on July 16, 2017, 02:04:13 PM
Quote from: Baulderstone;975594
I call dibs on The Catman.

One down, three to go. Can't wait to see what they do when the godless Commies try to take away their rock'n'roll.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Philotomy Jurament on July 17, 2017, 01:42:40 AM
Quote from: S'mon;975574
I guess the artists were drawing their friends & co-workers?

This is the image that sums up 1990s D&D for me:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1149[/ATTACH]

Nearly-naked girl with crotch-sporran and two fat geezers, all out LARPing.

Hah! Yeah, I have to agree. Good choice.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Ratman_tf on July 17, 2017, 01:48:32 AM
Quote from: CRKrueger;964953
Yeah, but do you see the Giant Spider in the tree?  I know people who have had the damn thing for 40 years and never saw the spider. :D


(http://i.imgur.com/CHZfvp3.gif)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Ratman_tf on July 17, 2017, 02:00:00 AM
Quote from: Eric Diaz;970951
I like a lot of old school art, and Russ Nicholson is probably my favorite, maybe because FF books. OD&D books have bad art IMO, but who can blame them at this point.

For me the worse art is 2e revised version. They already had better stuff to work with and they choose to go with this. I get actually annoyed by looking at it.


[ATTACH=CONFIG]1090[/ATTACH]


EDIT: it has something to do with the colors, I think. Everything looks like it was colored by crayons or pencils, and boring as hell. I can't explain exactly, but the picture above should suffice. I used to have a version of 2e that was all blue-ish inside, but I can't find that art anywhere nowadays, I would appreciate seeing a few pieces or a link if somebody has one.

Hey, catching up with this thread, and I agree. When I went to buy used copies of 2nd edition (to replace the ones lost so long ago) I purposefully went for the original 2nd edition stuff, and not the reprint, because the reprint was so awful.

I took some pictures for comparison, but can't find where I stashed them. I should put some up on imgur if you're still interested.

*Edit* Haha! Found it.

(http://i.imgur.com/VbcRQ0Z.jpg?1)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 19, 2017, 02:11:52 AM
Quote from: S'mon;975574
I guess the artists were drawing their friends & co-workers?

This is the image that sums up 1990s D&D for me:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1149[/ATTACH]

Nearly-naked girl with crotch-sporran and two fat geezers, all out LARPing.


Oh Christ. It totally looks like the two dudes hired that chick to be their beard.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Willie the Duck on July 20, 2017, 11:49:11 AM
Quote from: S'mon;975574
I guess the artists were drawing their friends & co-workers?

This is the image that sums up 1990s D&D for me:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1149[/ATTACH]

Nearly-naked girl with crotch-sporran and two fat geezers, all out LARPing.

Guy on right could be just about any age over ~25 and isn't clearly fat. He'd be absolutely invisible if the rest of the picture wasn't T&A plus chubbo on the left. Guy on left is definitely odd. Making them that fat (but not like comically obese) had to have been a deliberate choice. So possibly slipping their friend/coworker into the art.

I wonder if there was a trend with the artists in the 90s. Something like, "you know, in real medieval times, not every warrior was muscle-bound Conan types. Nor were they all 18-25. We'd actually be 'more realistic' if there were some 40 y.o. weekend warriors in the mix." Basically I'm wondering if there's at least a good explanation.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on July 20, 2017, 11:55:18 AM
Cut corners by hiring cheap models.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on July 20, 2017, 12:22:28 PM
It's also the less stylized art of late 1e and 2e. You can potentially do art in the style of Otus purely working with what is in your head. It you want to have the realism of Elmore, you probably need a model to pose for you. Good models cost money, fearsomepirate already mentioned.

As someone that hires art models on a weekly basis, being a good art model isn't as much about being good-looking as it is about being able to come up with dynamic poses. That's a real talent. It's why the model-dependent work of Elmore involves so many people blandly standing still.

I think Jeff Easley finds a great sweet spot in the middle. His paintings are highly active and very detailed in their rendering. That's really not easy to do, especially when working on the timetable of a professional illustrator.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: DavetheLost on July 20, 2017, 01:54:26 PM
In addition to being able to come up with a good dynamic pose, and that can be directed by the artist in a pinch, the ability to actually hold a pose is vital for a good model. It is harder than you might think to hold even a simple pose. Try holding a pose for twenty minutes without moving at all, then take a five minute break and resume the pose exactly as you were before. Repeat for several hours...
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: fearsomepirate on July 20, 2017, 03:49:31 PM
Quote from: DavetheLost;976884
In addition to being able to come up with a good dynamic pose, and that can be directed by the artist in a pinch, the ability to actually hold a pose is vital for a good model. It is harder than you might think to hold even a simple pose. Try holding a pose for twenty minutes without moving at all, then take a five minute break and resume the pose exactly as you were before. Repeat for several hours...

Boy, sounds like it's a lot easier to just grab the nearest back-to-school catalog from Sears and change the backpacks into swords.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Baulderstone on July 20, 2017, 04:02:57 PM
Quote from: DavetheLost;976884
In addition to being able to come up with a good dynamic pose, and that can be directed by the artist in a pinch, the ability to actually hold a pose is vital for a good model. It is harder than you might think to hold even a simple pose. Try holding a pose for twenty minutes without moving at all, then take a five minute break and resume the pose exactly as you were before. Repeat for several hours...

It's pretty gruelling. One of the models I work with is particularly good at always just falling back into the same pose without any coaching. I complimented her on it once. She said with a rueful grin, "It's easy! I just move until I find the place where my muscles ache the most, and that is the pose I have been holding."
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on July 20, 2017, 06:43:52 PM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;976921
Boy, sounds like it's a lot easier to just grab the nearest back-to-school catalog from Sears and change the backpacks into swords.

:p ;)
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 22, 2017, 02:00:46 AM
Quote from: fearsomepirate;976859
Cut corners by hiring cheap models.

If the two dudes were paid anything at all, TSR got ripped off.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: S'mon on July 22, 2017, 06:13:38 AM
Quote from: Willie the Duck;976858
Guy on right could be just about any age over ~25 and isn't clearly fat. He'd be absolutely invisible if the rest of the picture wasn't T&A plus chubbo on the left. Guy on left is definitely odd. Making them that fat (but not like comically obese) had to have been a deliberate choice. So possibly slipping their friend/coworker into the art.

I wonder if there was a trend with the artists in the 90s. Something like, "you know, in real medieval times, not every warrior was muscle-bound Conan types. Nor were they all 18-25. We'd actually be 'more realistic' if there were some 40 y.o. weekend warriors in the mix." Basically I'm wondering if there's at least a good explanation.

Well there's US/Mexico Fat and then there's Rest of World Fat..
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on July 24, 2017, 04:03:21 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;977249
If the two dudes were paid anything at all, TSR got ripped off.

You mean if the artist was paid...the models modeled and deserve whatever they got, free sandwiches I assume.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: RPGPundit on July 27, 2017, 01:56:09 AM
Quote from: S'mon;977277
Well there's US/Mexico Fat and then there's Rest of World Fat..


There's also that a "USA in the 1990s" fatass is a "USA in 2017" 'slim'.
Title: Worst Old School Art?
Post by: Dumarest on July 27, 2017, 12:00:56 PM
Quote from: RPGPundit;978608
There's also that a "USA in the 1990s" fatass is a "USA in 2017" 'slim'.

Ha ha, too true. I was observing the other day to my wife how when I was in high school there was "the fat kid" and everyone else was pretty well within norms. Now the kid within norms is the outlier.