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View Full Version : Sick to the gills of the GW style



Piku
03-09-2005, 00:54
Well thats it really, I'm getting fed up with the style of artwork in GW.
I'd like to see something like this...

http://www.unkle.com/

or this...

http://www.ralphsteadman.com/01gonzo.asp

Dunno, just a thought. Anyone else getting fed up of the same old?

Eldacar
03-09-2005, 02:41
Not really. I don't mind their artwork, actually. Some of it isn't too bad. The new WE stuff is especially good.

proximity
03-09-2005, 02:53
I wouldnt have it any other way.. infact my personal opinion of both those links you posted fit in what what I feel about most modern art... they have an excuse for being lazy and dont show any where near enough skill compared to what the artist is probably capable of..
I guess thats why ive always been such a fan of neo-classicism.

Adept
03-09-2005, 03:07
I very much prefer the type of artwork we have now. Except for John Blanche's stuff. I think the artwork in the books and codices should take the place of photgraphs and technicaldrawings in actual books. Thus, the closer the picture is to an actual photo in terms of detail, shading, perspective, etc, the more I like it. One of my all-time favourite pieces of GW artwork is the picture of the Kasrkin Sergeant in the IG codex.

malika
03-09-2005, 13:37
Eventhough the links you showed are cool artwork, its not fitting for GW...IMHO

cardboard_armour
03-09-2005, 15:46
As much as I like that style of art I have to say it is totally inappropriate fro Warhammer. The art has to be translatable to miniature form and a sapce marine just isn't gonna look right with a giant jet of black ink jutting from his face.

vforvenator
03-09-2005, 16:30
Indeed, would you seriously want to see cardboard's avatar on the front of Dan Abnett's latest?
Bring back Ian Miller.

Piku
03-09-2005, 18:06
I see all of your points, I think what I'm getting at is that I'm just getting bored of pictures of brave warriors in heroic poses*.
I think GW illustrators could afford to play on this as a slef referential theme, something like a line of imperial propoganda.

I agree that this (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9499) style of artwork is probably the paragon of codex illustation, they need to fill the function of showing what a marine or guardsman looks like.
What I'd like to see now and again though is a one off piece of expression of the brutality of the universe, maybe an examination of the non heroic within the imperium.

*I've been turned away from Black library publications for roughly the same reason.
I don't need a big fight in every piece of fiction.

Frecus
03-09-2005, 18:31
*I've been turned away from Black library publications for roughly the same reason.
I don't need a big fight in every piece of fiction.

That what's BL IS for! It exists for selling violent lecture. Don't like it? Ok, no harm, but just remember that's what BL is about.

If you wonder why BL is like that, think f it's background. The books are about worlds full of war an big fights. That is what the players (and in this case, the readers) like. And what's a wargame-world without big fights?

This goes also for the artwork. The players like to see big heroes kicking the crap out of hordes of enemies, so that's what the artists make!

Frecus
The glade wanderer
Madwarrior

starlight
03-09-2005, 18:50
Erm, no to both suggestions. (first post)

What I'd *really* like to see is someone with the skill of, say, Larry Elmore doing WFB/40K. I like the GW imagery, but people like John Blanche are just too overboard for my tastes. As a former Community Manager for GW, John's work was one of the biggest obstacles that I had to overcome in opening up GW to a wider audience.

RGB
03-09-2005, 18:59
Your suggestions don't do what a GW illustration is supposed to.

I mean...it's moving away from comedy and good for it.

cardboard_armour
03-09-2005, 19:26
Indeed, would you seriously want to see cardboard's avatar on the front of Dan Abnett's latest?
Bring back Ian Miller.

Waddya mean? My avatar is already in Warhammer. Don't you recognise Marneus Calgar when you see him? :D

Neknoh
03-09-2005, 19:57
I would deffinately not like that kind of drawing in the Warhammer books, instead, I would much preffer stuff like this (http://uk.games-workshop.com/download/popup.htm?/vampirecounts/artwork/images/art12.jpg) and this (http://uk.games-workshop.com/download/popup.htm?/vampirecounts/artwork/images/art09.jpg) to appear a lot more.

Those are some REALLY good pictures, the first one to say where they are from gets a free cookie

starlight
03-09-2005, 20:14
Vampire Counts?

Just a guess, I don't play them, but the imagery fits.

Piku
03-09-2005, 20:31
I can remember one illustration that really stands out for me, it's on page 101 of the fantasy rulebook, shows a wood elf looking cool as f with a definite hard as nails thing going on.
K so maybe Ralph would turn down a commission from gw...

Lord-Warlock
04-09-2005, 00:28
I'd also like for the art to go coloured and grittily realistic, like the Generic Army Soldier art in the rulebook (like the Shock Trooper and Kasrkin Sergeant, also in the Guard 'dex, seen here (http://uk.games-workshop.com/imperialguard/who%2Dare/) and here (http://uk.games-workshop.com/imperialguard/reference/)). The new Sabbats World campaign book promises photographs, and while I haven't seen them yet I like the sound of that route...:D

Izram
04-09-2005, 04:16
I personally really liked the art from the 40k BBB 3rd edition. The gritty ones with the fanatical marines with the hair that shoots out of their head and there smoke everywhere. The see no evil hear no evil etc. picture is a good example of what im talking about.

The new 4th ed big black book's art is nice, but it lacks style and flavor. it looks too much like an attempt at a photograph of a scene. I like the quirks of the old art more.

Verm1s
04-09-2005, 12:30
If anything like that art (first post) appeared courtesy of GW, I might just have to raze Nottingham to the ground. :eyebrows:

And I like John Blanche's work! Sure, it's a little crazy, but that's the point - for me, it really helps bring out the dark madness of the 41st millenium.

CELS
04-09-2005, 15:00
I think the GW art is totally in tune with the general theme of 40k. 40k is supposed to be gothic and baroque, and that is exactly what the good 40k artwork is like. You can really see how the good artists have been inspired by baroque artwork in the way they use colours and lighting.

Of course, not everyone sticks to this style. The old artwork by Mark Gibbons, while awesome, didn't always have the gritty 40k feel to it. And John Blanche... well, he's a good concept artist, and that's what he should stick to.

cardboard_armour
04-09-2005, 21:06
In my opinion John Blanche is like the ideas man. His work is infused with quirks and originality. Okay techically the other younger members of his cadre are better but its Blanche that sets the stage for their talent to shine.

Gazak Blacktoof
04-09-2005, 21:51
I was never keen on Blanche's work when I was younger. Silly me I thought the guy was just being lazy with all that scrappy looking ink work :p . I now appreciate his work a lot more. As cardboard_armour said he's an ideas man and his style perfectly sets the tone for 40K, nobody churns out crazyness like Blanche. Stuff like this (http://www.bookpalace.com/acatalog/Home_John_Blanche_Art_360.html) . And where would 40K be without the crazzies? The whole universe is supposed to be a living hell inundated by daemons, heretics and the occult.

I never get tired of GW artwork because its so varied (http://store.blpublishing.com/storefront/store.bl?do=Odd&odd=WALayout&_do=List_Models&code=300505).

The only "art work" I don't like is the weirdo photoshoped heads on the covers of a number of BL publications (http://www.blacklibrary.com/bookdetail.asp?id=270) they just freak me out more than being locked in a room covered in Blanche's ravings. Though its not very clear on the pic above the commissar's head is really dodgy, I don't know what they do with their cover work but its decidedly creepy IMO.

I don't know that there is a GW "style", unless we're talking about IP. The style of an individual piece depends on the artist and their medium.

Piku
04-09-2005, 23:07
Stuff like this (http://www.bookpalace.com/acatalog/Home_John_Blanche_Art_360.html) . .

The only "art work" I don't like is the weirdo photoshoped heads on the covers of a number of BL publications (http://www.blacklibrary.com/bookdetail.asp?id=270) they just freak me out

Now i remember where i recognise JB from, he did some images for an SF airbrush-A-Thon called something like an illustrated tour of the galaxy.

Amen to the photoshoped heads, I'd hate for that to be the first image a person saw of games workshop.

Verm1s
05-09-2005, 17:54
Hmm. Yeah. Clint Langley. His early WHM stuff was good, but lately his BL covers and 2000AD works are kinda hard on the eye.

Chuffy
05-09-2005, 18:14
I have to say, my favorite piece of GW artwork is one of Adrian Smiths, he did it for Warcry. The Empire Halberdiers standing in tall grass.

It just looks awesome.

Spacemunkie
05-09-2005, 18:27
Steadman is a genius.

vforvenator
05-09-2005, 18:35
Bring back Ian Miller. (http://www.ianmiller.org/gallery/gw/index.shtml)
Lzmmbar. (http://www.ianmiller.org/millerwurld/index.html)

Ursca
05-09-2005, 19:42
I have to say, my favorite piece of GW artwork is one of Adrian Smiths, he did it for Warcry. The Empire Halberdiers standing in tall grass.

Agreed. That and those two High Elf ones, Elrohyr's brighthelms, and Silanthirs's Defenders are brilliant. The Light effects in the High Elf ones give an incredible mood to them.

I like GW's Art as it is. Sure, the heroic poses do seem to get a bit tedious, but there's no need to change the overall style.

John Blanche is insane, and you couldn't really use his pictures as illustrations in an army book, but for pure atmosphere and Warhammer-based insanity and inspiration, He really is king. He has a strange fixation with spiky high-heeled boots though, but I'm sure we can forgive him for that. :p

Luke
05-09-2005, 23:45
hell, i'd love to see Giger do a load of stuff for GW, just imagine that! either that or get wayne england back knockin out a load of ork stuff again :D

Izram
06-09-2005, 00:53
"knockin' out a load of ork stuff" :rolleyes:

Giger 40k would be cool though. Looking at his stuff always makes me want to go draw something myself. of course, frustration is inevitable and my wastebasket is eventually assailed by projectiles of crumpled up paper.

Luke
06-09-2005, 10:39
i find a great deal of inspiration from good ol Hans Rudi, though i never try to imitate his style directly (i cant use and airbrush for one, not that he's done any airbrush work for 15 years mind....)

if only i had a scanner, id show you some of my Giger inspired stuff.

Piku
06-09-2005, 13:22
Bring back Ian Miller. (http://www.ianmiller.org/gallery/gw/index.shtml)
Lzmmbar. (http://www.ianmiller.org/millerwurld/index.html)
Likey:D


The see no evil hear no evil etc. picture is a good example of what im talking about.

I like that one.
Seems like the last four or five years have been about gw finding a defining style to appeal to the expanding fanbase.

Giger, yes, god knows we need more genitalia and fewer giant pistols in 40k:D

Luke
06-09-2005, 15:02
in my opinion, GW's style has just gone flat. what we are seeing is a whole raft of technically accurate but decidely uninspiring works. flat and boring. nothing particularly fantastic from anyone except blanche (curently)

Bring back Kev walker and wayne england. those guys rock.

sliganian
06-09-2005, 16:22
As my one friend said about Blanche:
"I don't like it at all, but it does disturb me, which I guess was the point."

Blanche is not someone whose art I'd hang-up, but he gets the 'mood' across.

Once I got into GW in 1998 or so, I realized that Blanche had done work on the 'Fighting Fantasy' Books from the early 80's (that I bought in great amounts). He could always draw folks to look... 'off' somehow. Noses too big, eyes too close together, a gross wart somewhere obvious etc. Really set the tone. :)

Now, if someone could post that AMAZING picture for the NightLords Index Astartes article of the Sorceror and the CSM standing looking out at the reader, well, the thread would be complete. :)

cardboard_armour
06-09-2005, 23:59
Games Workshop right now is no longer about being fantasy pioneers. The fluff is set pretty much in stone and if anything gets changed then people just whine about it on forums. The art of Games Workshop now is about perfect renderings of the agreed image of the intelectual property.
In the old days when GW was fresh you could cram anything, no matter how insane, into the balloon that was GW and Warhammer. Now the taste is for conservatism with an eye for improvement on a set format.
John Blanche is the closest thing GW has to an actual artist in that he creates new ideas and concepts. Ian Miller was also like this but he no longer works for GW does he?
The other artists, despite being brilliant (love Paul Dainton) are pretty much more illustrators than artists (although that is not to say they don't create art while off the job).

taer
07-09-2005, 05:22
Games Workshop right now is no longer about being fantasy pioneers. The fluff is set pretty much in stone and if anything gets changed then people just whine about it on forums. The art of Games Workshop now is about perfect renderings of the agreed image of the intelectual property.
In the old days when GW was fresh you could cram anything, no matter how insane, into the balloon that was GW and Warhammer. Now the taste is for conservatism with an eye for improvement on a set format.
John Blanche is the closest thing GW has to an actual artist in that he creates new ideas and concepts. Ian Miller was also like this but he no longer works for GW does he?
The other artists, despite being brilliant (love Paul Dainton) are pretty much more illustrators than artists (although that is not to say they don't create art while off the job).

You get a cookie! :)

Gnoll
07-09-2005, 13:38
hi new here
just like to say that i don't think the firts pics posted would be a good "style" for what GW wants, i think that times have changed a lot, now younger people prefere seeing cool people in cool poses, just because it's easier to figure out...actually i like both styles, but as an art student i have focused more on the "Adrian Smith style" that the "John Blanche" one...GW needs a lot of decent precise artwork basically as "concept art" to use as ideas for new minis...being a concept artist is normally VERY different from being an "artist"...IMHO obviously...

Luke
07-09-2005, 14:49
well thats all fair and well, but they should keep the concept work as just that. concept work. all it is is a way to express new ideas for when the designers are working on a miniature etc.

cardboard armour is correct, the current assortment of GW "artists" are really just illustrators. there is no real art in GW anymore, with perhaps the exception of blanche when he can get his deal together.

Gnoll, i too am an artist, trained for about 8 years in fine art, illustration, graphic design, cad, 3d design and expressionism. i dont feel particularly inspired by anything GW does these days. although the "pictures" do look like what they are supposed to, there is no soul, they are merely renderings.

Makaber
07-09-2005, 14:53
I'd just like to say that I don't think GW is as interesting as they were back in the "artiste" days of the late 70's (or at least the spirit of the late 80's), and they are now more concerned with illustrations. And for that, their current team is awesome.

And please no Larry Elmore crap, he's abysmally horrible. It's so flat and bland.

Spacemunkie
07-09-2005, 14:55
Yup. Sounds like we've had a similar education Luke.... :D

A glossy, soulless facade with no other purpose than to sell their wares.

It's all formulaic, produced by GW automatons and is dull as ditch water.

The only stuff I find remotely interesting is the Blanche and Goodwin sketchbook stuff....

Luke
07-09-2005, 15:02
goodwin is a god, technically flawless, bordering on fine art i do agree. but still, they are only sketches. if he would commit himself to artistry we would see some awesome stuff. (of course, i have only ever seen his sketch work, i dont know if he ever has done any full pieces)

art rules, i learned early on that expressionism and surrealism is where its at. the ability to have ideas is more important than the ability to produce 100% accurate life like scenes. (btw, i can do it, its just boooooooring)

Shadowheart
07-09-2005, 15:17
Here's a link to a (the, rather) John Blanche site that everyone should check out: Lux Mundi (http://www.tearsofenvy.com/luxmundi/).
Features a detailed overview of Blanche's artistic career, and I think reading that many people will come to better appreciate what he does, why he does it and what else he can do.

He's easily my favourite GW artist. His current style of choice is rather extreme and bizarre, but it presents a very interesting and inspiring universe. It's a pity that Blanche is pretty much the only one left at GW with so much artistic freedom, because I'd love to read some background and stories written in unconventional styles. It goes for miniatures too.

I understand the economical importance of staying as mainstream and recognisable as possible. However, I hope that in the future GW will allow more room for the more 'artsy' stuff as well. GW was never about being fantasy pioneers, but within the structure they cobbled together from other people's work there has always been room to bring in new ideas. And this should be encouraged, lest GW's worlds become blatant rip-offs and nothing more.

vforvenator
07-09-2005, 16:15
And please no Larry Elmore crap, he's abysmally horrible. It's so flat and bland.http://www.larryelmore.com/New_Prints_Aug_05.htm. Are you drunk?
Also I don't think GW predate the mid to late 80's...do they?

Luke
07-09-2005, 16:43
to my knowledge GW have ben around since 1975

edit!________


hmm, that elmore dude can draw fat arsed women ok i guess, but its hardly deep stuff is it. very run of the mill "mills and boon" novel cover styling.

Verm1s
07-09-2005, 17:23
Hmm. How to express that, as a person with an artistic leanings myself, I actually like those renderings? And that, IMO, promoting ideas over skill results in jokes like the Turner prize? You've got to have ideas, but, c'mon.

Shadowheart
07-09-2005, 17:34
Yeah, Elmore has obviously mastered the craft of painting really slick covers, but that's all he appears to do. There's not a trace of character or atmosphere in any of his work that I've seen.
Just look at theHeros of Fantasy (http://www.larryelmore.com/popups/color/co035.htm). A very well rendered picture of a bunch of bland looking models in bright costumes. You can't say much for the depth of an artist who doesn't even seem able to capture such extremely iconic characters.

Luke
07-09-2005, 17:46
@ Verm1s : ok im not gonna get into a debate about the fundamentals of art and design. ive been in this game far too long its not even funny anymore. i admit you have to be able to recognise the subject. but thats not to say that it has to be a photorealistic rendering (sigh, are we going round in circles here?)

prime examples of what im talking about are wayne england, that miller chap and blanche. and outside the realms of GW, giger etc.

x-esiv-4c
07-09-2005, 19:14
Artwork looks good to me. How much variance can you have in a super-sci-fi-40000-space-opera? Hmm...wait a mo...

Luke
07-09-2005, 19:19
were not saying it isnt good. merely that its lost its spirit since the glorious 80's and 90's (probably the 70's too)

Spacemunkie
07-09-2005, 22:04
And that Elmore is blander than a keg of warm American beer.....

No feeling or life. That's fundamentally why fantasy 'art' (illustration...) is frowned upon. They're purely commissioned pieces done for cash. No soul.