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corps
06-06-2017, 19:14
I found his arts to be dividing. I personaly hate his arts but other loves it.

Lost Egg
06-06-2017, 20:23
I went with like but as with most things its some and some. I'm definitely not in the love or the hate camps.

I can sees it value for concepts but just like with Tim Burton its needs reigning in when it comes to the finished article.

Nkari
07-06-2017, 06:47
Some of blanches aworks are great.. others.. not so much..

Bloodknight
07-06-2017, 08:16
Can't vote on it. I'm not a fan of the execution, but the ideas behind the pictures are brilliant and shaped Warhammer and 40K into what they are now. So - love the imagery, don't love the image.

Ultimate Life Form
07-06-2017, 08:40
Indeed. If they would print a collection of his works, a "sketchbook" so to say, it would be a great collector's item and a fine testament of 30 years of GW history.

However the time they used his stuff as actual pictures in army book unit entries I found disturbing, to be honest.

Late
07-06-2017, 10:33
Love it. Always have, always will. Much more evocative than the American superhero comic like stuff from Mark Gibbons, etc... Blanchitsu is my only reason for getting a copy of WD every now and then. My favorite GW artist has to be Ian Miller though.

Lord Damocles
07-06-2017, 17:28
I'm less a fan of his sketch work when it's used in place of 'finished' artwork *cough* Codex: Chaos Daemons *cough* because that's not where/how it's intended to be used.


His large scale cover/box art though is second to none for evoking the feel of the 40K'verse.


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Scaryscarymushroom
07-06-2017, 22:44
I'm less a fan of his sketch work when it's used in place of 'finished' artwork *cough* Codex: Chaos Daemons *cough* because that's not where/how it's intended to be used.

His large scale cover/box art though is second to none for evoking the feel of the 40K'verse.



The far left image has a distracting color palate. It seems like most of his work is more similar to the other four, featuring a theme using off-white, cream, red, and black, and sparingly using other colors.

I haven't spent more than about 3 minutes looking at a few things in Codex: Chaos Daemons, so I can't say whether there's anything in it with any merit. But I honestly think that some of his less "finished" pieces are better than his large scale art.

On Blanche generally: I have mixed feelings about his art. Generally I think he's extremely creative and very talented. The main strength of his artwork is in his use of color and vaguely familiar shapes to create an atmosphere. He's also good at directing his viewer's attention to a particular focal point by selectively embellishing details, which are often ornate and grotesque, while leaving other nearby areas cloudy, dusty, or scribbly and confused. His artwork is very emotive. And often it communicates feelings of confusion, sickness, decay and death.

But as time goes on, I am unsettled by the bulk of his work. I can't look at a collection of Blanche images for very long without feeling nauseous.

The_Real_Chris
08-06-2017, 16:18
His art was world building. He and a few other artists (for fantasy, 40k is more him) set the tone of the world. His art as a source of consistent atmosphere and inspiration is amazing. In terms of display art up on the wall not so much... It is interesting to note how many of the less popular bits of 40k and direction of plots are ones not supported by his vision...

corps
08-06-2017, 19:09
It's not just his painting that i dislike but also it's miniature painting. every month the only part i avoid is its' blantchissu painting guide. It's like it goes in every direction sometime not taking into account the fluff. The other are forced to use his own version of the fluff. I hate that everybody in the magazine feel oblige to praise him. I hate that because other artists have more impact than him but receive no praise. I much prefer to have a paul Dainton or Alex Boyld pages in the dwarf. He makes me thing like of a prima donna in the opera that no one challenge because of the reputation .

Late
08-06-2017, 21:00
It's not just his painting that i dislike but also it's miniature painting. every month the only part i avoid is its' blantchissu painting guide. It's like it goes in every direction sometime not taking into account the fluff. The other are forced to use his own version of the fluff. I hate that everybody in the magazine feel oblige to praise him. I hate that because other artists have more impact than him but receive no praise. I much prefer to have a paul Dainton or Alex Boyld pages in the dwarf. He makes me thing like of a prima donna in the opera that no one challenge because of the reputation .

You seem to be taking toy soldiers very seriously.

Lord Damocles
08-06-2017, 21:04
It's not just his painting that i dislike but also it's miniature painting.
Given the content given over by White Dwarf not only to other artists/painters specifically (for example since the last reboot, Jes Goodwin, Will Davis, Christopher Stahl, the various 'Golden Demon' winners, 'Army Showcases', 'Readers Models' etc.), and also the fact that most of the models in 'Blanchitsu' haven't actually been Blanche's, even his broader style of painting (3D & 2D) is in the significant minority amongst the magazine's content.

In fact, between them, Dainton and Boyd got three and a half pages out of six in the current month's 'Illuminations' (alongside Wayne England and Kevin Chin), which is almost twice the length of what 'Blanchitsu' would have been if it wasn't the super special almost-but-not-quite-because-June-is-peak-40K-sales-push-time 40th anniversary edition.

Besides which, given the obvious influence of Blanche's work on Dainton and Boyd, I doubt they're going to go around slagging him off in a hurry! :p

corps
08-06-2017, 23:52
Besides which, given the obvious influence of Blanche's work on Dainton and Boyd, I doubt they're going to go around slagging him off in a hurry! :p[/QUOTE] This is not what i meant. We should you and i agree to disagree on Blanche. No hard feelings there. I m just tired of being forced fed with is supposed genius. In fact, i m glad that you enjoyed is art so much. I just don't. :)

Sotek
09-06-2017, 21:47
Meh, he's OK at line art and concepts.

MarcoSkoll
09-06-2017, 22:44
I have to say, John's art often doesn't reproduce well. Of the originals I have seen, they're far more stunning than any copy I've seen in a codex or artbook.

At its core, I believe John is a concept artist more than an illustrator (although he is certainly capable in the latter field, most of his art is not produced in said style); He shows what the WH40K universe should feel like, and generally leaves it to others to refine that into the final look.
(That said, if I recall conversations with him accurately, he's a bit divided about whether he actually considers himself an artist at all).

Spell_of_Destruction
27-06-2017, 13:07
I'm less a fan of his sketch work when it's used in place of 'finished' artwork *cough* Codex: Chaos Daemons *cough* because that's not where/how it's intended to be used.


His large scale cover/box art though is second to none for evoking the feel of the 40K'verse.


Agreed, although I think there are better examples of his 'sketchy' style work as well such as the 2nd ed rulebook and particularly the 2nd ed Eldar codex.

Also, even though it's not GW, I loved his work on Sorcery.

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Cèsar de Quart
27-06-2017, 15:36
I love his sketches. He is very talented at filling the scene with detail and creating very interesting concepts.

Like this:

https://warzone40k.com/image/catalog/blog/blanche_conversions/conversions14.jpg

Or this:

https://68.media.tumblr.com/7fc42a4c8216ad15e3f362088756a4a6/tumblr_n2o8hnfp1h1tvfheeo1_1280.jpg

And this, my favourite:

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FerociousBeast
29-06-2017, 14:13
One thing that's always been interesting to me about Blanche paintings is how little he seems to care about conforming his paintings to the 40k setting. Instead, over time, the 40k setting finds itself conforming itself to his paintings.

John Blanche is why I like 40k, and why a good many of you like 40k who think you dislike his art, I'll warrant. I'm not going to don my graduate's robe and beat you over the head with my Bachelor of Arts degree to opine on Blanche as an artist (although I'm tempted to...). I will say instead that Blanche has been with the game from near the beginning, and his art has influenced the tone of the setting and turned it into the thing of grim, dark beauty that we all appreciate today. Influenced not just for we the consumers, but for the designers and other artists as well. Look at the first book, Rogue Trader, and compare it to the 2nd edition 40k rulebook. In Rogue Trader there are some hints of an apocalyptic dystopia, but it's mostly space adventure in feel. 2nd edition, though, is full-on nightmare, dripping with Blanche artwork and with the fluff coming to resemble Blanche's vision.

Now, in recent years GW has been taking 40k away from the 80s-inspired, punk, gothic, biker thing and more towards a standard sci-fi look and feel. I think Blanche's influence is on the wane nowadays. But his art set the vision of 40k that hooked me, and it will always be what I think of when I think of what 40k should be.

I vote "love it."

JakeElJonson
01-07-2017, 21:46
Now, in recent years GW has been taking 40k away from the 80s-inspired, punk, gothic, biker thing and more towards a standard sci-fi look and feel. I think Blanche's influence is on the wane nowadays. But his art set the vision of 40k that hooked me, and it will always be what I think of when I think of what 40k should be.

I vote "love it."

I agree completely - nothing sums up all that's fantastic about the 40k setting better than John Blanche's artwork - to pick an example close to my heart, his depictions of the Dark Angels in the 2nd edn Codex: Angels of Death are unmatched (which isn't to say there hasn't been some great stuff by other artists too since). If his influence is on the wane the setting will be diminished - less dark, surreal and characterful.

RBLFunk
02-07-2017, 11:07
I've been looking at 40K artwork for almost 30 years now and I can't really think of any point at which John Blanche had a distinctly greater or lesser influence on it. For better or worse he's been there from the beginning and he's still there to this day. There are projects or armies he's had more to do with and others he's had less to do with, but when you guys say his influence is waning I don't really know what you mean. As a recent example the Belisarius Cawl model is just a teetering pile of John Blanche idiosyncrasies.
Are you sure you're thinking of John Blanche's depictions of Dark Angels in the Angels of Death Codex? In my opinion all the best illustrations in that book are by Mark Gibbons.

If he had a peak it may have been with Mordheim and the Inquisitor game where you had several other artists on each project copying his style to some degree, and for the most part doing his style better than he does.

Personally, I don't like his artwork and I don't think he's a very good artist. His anatomy is bad, his rendering is bad, his perspective is nonexistent, his work is extremely busy and unfocused. The one thing he does well is atmosphere, but that is a minimum you'd get from any other artist. Nor do I think there is anything very creative or original about making everything ugly, greebling every surface, or covering everything with skulls/spikes/buckles/parchment/rats/etc.
I think Jes Goodwin's influence on 40K design has been much more positive.

Cèsar de Quart
02-07-2017, 11:13
As a recent example the Belisarius Cawl model is just a teetering pile of John Blanche idiosyncrasies.


Blanche, as a concept artist and as an "ideomancer", is the very heart of 40k. As it has been said before, Rogue Trader was a very different beast than 2nd Edition, fluff wise, because of Blanche, mainly.

And yes, he's still got a lot of influence. Just look at the new Mechanicus, or the Primarchs, or the Vostroyan regiment, which looks wholly copied from mid-90's Blanche sketches.

He's a great tone-setter. The artwork can be better, but the tone and the spirit of 40k, that's him.

JakeElJonson
02-07-2017, 20:38
Are you sure you're thinking of John Blanche's depictions of Dark Angels in the Angels of Death Codex? In my opinion all the best illustrations in that book are by Mark Gibbons.

I like Mark Gibbons' stuff - I have a print of his Asmodai standing in the Rock - but I would pay silly money for a print of the John Blanche illustration of the Dark Angels near the front of the book (my copy of Angels of Death is packed away at the moment so I can't check the page number): the Terminator lord with the three-barrel bolter, lightning claw aloft clutching the skeleton of a xenos creature of some description, power sword sheathed at his belt, surrounded by robed serfs and other Dark Angels, including Ezekiel. When I think of Space Marines going to war, that's what I see in my head, and there aren't many 40k illustrations that top it for me.

Obviously this is all completely subjective - I can understand why people wouldn't like his style - but to me John Blanche's work is a key part of what fired my imagination when I first started exploring 40k. I don't think anyone else has ever captured the surrealness, the madness, the extravagance of the setting better - and to my mind, without those aspects, 40k is far less interesting.

Bloodknight
04-07-2017, 07:48
That's it, though. Gibbons is an illustrator, and a great one. I could still strangle myself for being broke when he sold off some originals from the 2nd ed. CSM codex, I really wanted the Plague Marine (I would have also loved the illustration of a Mordian Iron Guard soldier from Codex IG 2nd ed.).
Blanche is an artist, not as sophisticated in his techniques, but he's the ideas man whose influence other people use to bring the universe to life.

Voltaire
11-07-2017, 11:23
My own feeling about him is that he captures the atmosphere and the debased visceral side of the background really well. I always saw them as being an actual citizen of the Imperiums version of what they had saw when the 40k universe as a whole was happening around them. I knew the anatomy was off and I could see things were a bit busy in places but the actual underlying feeling the artwork gave me was amazing. It feels like 40k.
Having seen some of his work across social media platforms, I gained a new appreciation for the work as it's clear to see the thought processes more and more for his entire working manner.

In terms of the 40k artwork, my personal favourite artist is Alex Boyd but even within his works, I can see the Blanche influence and Wayne Englands influence and this pleases me immeasurably because it helps join us the different depictions of the universe as a whole.

Something else I just want to add my two pence worth about is the daemons books. The use of Blanche artwork pleased the lore enthusiast within me because only Grey Knights are supposed to know what daemons look like so using illustrations of them helped add to the atmosphere of the work. The book did not feel like the science of the mechanicus books or the creed of the Imperium. For me, the illustrations fit the tone of the book.

Spell_of_Destruction
13-07-2017, 02:40
Gibbons and Blanche provided an interesting contrast back in mid 90s. The 2nd ed Eldar codex is a great example of this. Gibbons does a great job of capturing the nobility of the Eldar whereas Blanche's work emphasises their ambiguity and their strange alien nature.

Hellebore
15-07-2017, 06:48
That's it, though. Gibbons is an illustrator, and a great one. I could still strangle myself for being broke when he sold off some originals from the 2nd ed. CSM codex, I really wanted the Plague Marine (I would have also loved the illustration of a Mordian Iron Guard soldier from Codex IG 2nd ed.).
Blanche is an artist, not as sophisticated in his techniques, but he's the ideas man whose influence other people use to bring the universe to life.

This has been my feeling on the subject. Players want illustrations to visualise their armies. Almost like a natural history or herb almanac. Perfect replications of the object in illustrated form.

Blanche sticks to the emotive aspects of art in its more traditional sense. He rarely attempts to illustrate anything.

I'm the last person to be 'art speaking', but as far as I'm concerned Blanche is an artist and is unapologetic about it.

When I visualise 40k, I might think of a Gibbons pic (his avatar was epic as was his Karandras), or Dainton.

But when I (to get arty) FEEL 40k, it's Blanche every time. He paints with themes and concepts.

Jes Goodwin provides a 3rd option - technical drawing for model concepts. His drawings are very schematic because they're there to help him and others figure out how to make models.


I think the problem people have is that GW decided to use evocative Blanche work in a place normally reserved for detailed illustrations and they're disappointed when the expectation is not met.

Which is fine, but to vote on Blanche's work you really need to look at it in the right context.

What is lost in this discussion is that assumption of a single correct metric to measure quality. In this instance, is it an illustration of a character from 40k doing stuff?

If you started from the question, what is the most conceptually evocative art in 40k, then I would 'hate' everyone not Blanche, because their art while technically brilliant is mostly an informative illustration.

corps
10-08-2017, 18:58
I think the problem people have is that GW decided to use evocative Blanche work in a place normally reserved for detailed illustrations and they're disappointed when the expectation is not met.

That's an very interesting point. And thank those who post the pictures of the 80s books i had forgotten them.

Rhaivaen
17-08-2017, 12:03
Can't stand J.B.'s art, a 12 Y/o could do better.