Friday, May 30, 2014


Over the years I have looked at the art of others for both inspiration and to learn from the things that they do with brush, pencil and ink. Every time I do a study of someone else's work I tend to learn something new. Today I would like to take a look at a study I did of Larry Elmore's "Norse Cleric" (at least that is what I am calling it...I am not sure of the official title.)

First I look at the original in the image below.

The cleric of the lower left specifically. Somehow Larry Elmore was able to capture the "human" aspect of this character. That is something that I strive for but rarely am able to do. Looking closely at the original illustration we have a bearded hammer wielding cleric casting some form of spell, his arm outstretched. The clothing flows naturally, and he is in a posture of "power". The composition is nearly flawless, the equality of lights and darks is what makes our eyes zoom in to the figure even though he is offset. The clothing flows around the form beneath giving us the feel of bulk without being overly expansive. 

Now for my version. 

First let me say that this is NOT a tracing (as I think many of you can tell),I simply drew side-by-side with the original, and drew what I saw. I think I captured the overall feel for the character, but somehow I am lacking still. This is a quick study obviously, and it was done several years ago. The ratio of lights to darks is deffinately off. While I feel that I was able to draw the posture of "power", and the overall composition was solid, there is still some improvement that needs to be made. My style shows through over Larry Elmore's, which is only natural (but maybe not such a good thing.)
You tell me. 

Learning lesson: It is okay to copy the artwork of another artist for quick study. Never claim it as your own, no matter how unique your version is. Tracing has it's place, but side-by-side illustration will often teach you more. 
Have a good day, keep drawing!


  1. Hey Del! Glad to see you putting more stuff out there!

    The difference between your cleric and the original I notice most is the set of shoulders / extended arm. In the original, there's an almost straight slightly upward line there. In yours there's a small angle and a level / down slope.

    I really like the extra bit of detail you have in the costume on yours!

    Keep up the great work.