Is Color Really Better for Fantasy Art?

I've been fortunate to make the great Russ Nicholson's acquaintance and have discovered that he is as agreeable an individual as he is a fantastic artist.

He is also perhaps my all-time favorite fantasy artists.

Ever since his ghoulish Gythyanki steered the Fiend Folio, to American shores, the Fiend Folio being perhaps the most famous contribution of the RPG British Invasion's first wave, Nicholson's macabre depictions have depicted a fantasy world stranger, grimmer, and darker than the run-of-the-mill maiden-meets-dragon fantasy realm.

Anyone who remembers the seminal versions of Dungeons and Dragons will know Nicholson's art. All those fine lines, sketched almost fervently onto the page, like runes into bones or glyphs on moonlit stones….

For me, Nicholson was the first fantasy artist to really demonstrate that black and white could not only adequately convey a rich and vibrant fantasy world, but in certain contexts could be superior.

It all depends on the tone and feel of the world, adventure, and story.

Definitely check out his work here or on his blog in the link above. Though he's confessed to having some health issues in recent years, the old master is a prolific as ever.

Who knows, maybe some day he'll help Own Goal Books on a project.

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