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Larry Elmore: Ask Me Anything

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Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21

Hello! This is Larry Elmore and I look forward to having you Ask Me Anything about art, illustration, making a living as an artist, and the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

I have been creating fantasy and science fiction art for more than forty years. 

In the 1970s I began freelancing and was published in a few magazines, including Heavy Metal and National Lampoon. I began working at TSR Inc., the company that produced the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, where I helped set the standards for gaming art in the role-playing genre. 

I created covers for Dungeons & Dragons,  AD&DStar Frontiers, and the world of Dragonlance.

Since 1987 I have worked as a freelance illustrator, creating covers for comics, computer games, magazines, and fantasy and science fiction books and projects too numerous to list. In recent years, I have been creating paintings for collectors and fans around the world.

I have been an Illustrators of the Future judge since 2012. 

We're having this AMA on Saturday, July 24th from 4-6 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)

For those of you on the East Coast, that's 7-9 p.m.

I look forward to answering your questions!

WELCOME TO THE LARRY ELMORE AMA!

Quote
Topic starter Posted : July 13, 2021 10:03 am
AliciaCay, EmilyGoodwin, Sinocelt and 7 people liked
Alexes Lester
(@alexes)
New Member
Posts: 3

Been a fan for years. Really excited to see this event! 

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 21, 2021 8:30 pm
Sinocelt
(@sinocelt)
New Member
Posts: 3

Thank you again, Mr. Elmore!

You’ve made me daydream of other worlds and grand adventures since I was a kid, in France, and I finally got to meet you at Gen Con … wow, more than twenty years ago! I was annoying, and you were very patient! You kindly drew in my Sovereign Stone rulebook the character I requested.

(I also remember you partying like crazy. I hope you still do it!)

I may be late at the live Q&A — it’ll start very early in the morning for me in Taiwan — but I’ll throw in a question now: How did you develop your style? How did you know you had “found” your style?

(Yes, it’s a vast and vague double question. Twenty years may have passed but I’m still annoying.)

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 22, 2021 7:04 pm
Aisyah Salsabila Putri
(@alishbasalsabilazzayda)
New Member
Posts: 1

What media and software were used for the fictional illustration? What are the illustration indicators that are considered interesting and impressive? thank you

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 23, 2021 4:10 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

What would be the best computer for a newbie to purchase?

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 10:23 am
Alexes Lester
(@alexes)
New Member
Posts: 3

Griffins or dragons? Yours are all so beautiful, but which do you like drawing best?

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 10:29 am
Sinocelt liked
Jonathan Allison
(@jonny)
New Member
Posts: 1

How do I register for this Q&A? I cannot find the registration link. 
-Jonathan

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 10:29 am
Jason Toth
(@jason)
Bronze Member Admin
Posts: 64
Posted by: @jonny

How do I register for this Q&A? I cannot find the registration link. 
-Jonathan

There is no need for you to register. You are a forum member and this is the place where you can post your questions right here and Larry will be joining today to answer them. So you are all set!

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 11:58 am
Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

A reminder to all:

The AMA begins at 4 pm Pacific Time. Larry Elmore will be here then to answer your questions live, in real time. Do join us for the event. And if you join the Forum, you’ll be able to post your questions for Larry to answer! See you soon!

Moon

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ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 12:22 pm
Arthur Doweyko
(@aweyken)
New Member
Posts: 1

Sorry I can't be at the forum live (I'm overseas) - two questions come to mind -

(1) is it okay to copy a small bit of a published picture to incorporate into your own work? (by small, I mean something like a hand from a full figure), or a portion of clothing from a much larger work? Or should this never be done?

(2) what do you look for in creating the most compelling book cover? What the author wants, what the publisher wants, or what you want based on your reading of the work?

Thanks -Arthur M. Doweyko

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 1:11 pm
John Goodwin
(@johngoodwin)
Active Member Moderator
Posts: 24

Hello Larry -- This is a test!

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 2:28 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @johngoodwin

Hello Larry -- This is a test!

and I'm failing 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 2:30 pm
AliciaCay, EmilyGoodwin, Sinocelt and 1 people liked
Todd McCaffrey
(@toddric)
Advanced Member
Posts: 33

Hi Larry,

I hope you're doing well.

My question: What's the one question you wished you'd asked at the start of your art career?

(And do you have an answer now).

-- Todd

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 3:59 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @sinocelt

Thank you again, Mr. Elmore!

You’ve made me daydream of other worlds and grand adventures since I was a kid, in France, and I finally got to meet you at Gen Con … wow, more than twenty years ago! I was annoying, and you were very patient! You kindly drew in my Sovereign Stone rulebook the character I requested.

(I also remember you partying like crazy. I hope you still do it!)

I may be late at the live Q&A — it’ll start very early in the morning for me in Taiwan — but I’ll throw in a question now: How did you develop your style? How did you know you had “found” your style?

(Yes, it’s a vast and vague double question. Twenty years may have passed but I’m still annoying.)

I never searched for a style...I started drawing when I was a very young child, and I started painting at home when I was around 15 years old, I got a set of oil paints for Christmas. I started painting (looked like crap) but I simply tried to get it to look right, colors and all. Every painting, I tried to get it better... I think that your "style" is like a fingerprint. That is, if you do not intentional try to copy someone else's style. I never tried to copy another style. I did try to learn as much as I could about colors and always tried to improve my drawing skills.  

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:00 pm
ashpyne, André Mata, John Goodwin and 2 people liked
Tremani Sutcliffe
(@tremani)
New Member
Posts: 2

Hi Larry! 😀 

When you were starting out, what was your favorite piece from your portfolio? Why was it your favorite? 

This post was modified 2 months ago by Tremani Sutcliffe
ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:02 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @alishbasalsabilazzayda

What media and software were used for the fictional illustration? What are the illustration indicators that are considered interesting and impressive? thank you

I draw with only a pencil and sometimes ink...I paint with real paint and brushes. I do not paint in any kind of computer programs...I do it the old fashion way. 

I do all my layout for a painting in photoshop. I scan my drawings and then layout the painting. 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:03 pm
Isabel Gibney
(@imgib)
New Member
Posts: 2

Hi Larry, 

Thanks so much for doing this! I had two questions that I was curious about your thoughts on 🙂

1) How do you feel that the fantasy art market has changed since the start of your career? Are there any trends that have risen/fallen?

2) To you, what makes or breaks an illustration?

Isabel

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:03 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @alexes

Griffins or dragons? Yours are all so beautiful, but which do you like drawing best?

Well, thank you very much. I like drawing dragons best....but I have drawn and painted soooo many, whew!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:04 pm
Dragongirlb
(@dragongirlb)
Active Member
Posts: 10

@larryelmore have you ever turned down a project that you wish you had not? 

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:06 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @alexes

Griffins or dragons? Yours are all so beautiful, but which do you like drawing best?

oops, already answered this one.

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:06 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @alexes

Been a fan for years. Really excited to see this event! 

Thank you so much...Hope I can type fast enough for you to enjoy this event!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:08 pm
JAbecker
(@jabecker)
Active Member
Posts: 5

Hey Larry, love your work. Is there a story of how you got the cover of Basic Dungeons and dragons?

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Posted : July 24, 2021 4:09 pm
JAbecker
(@jabecker)
Active Member
Posts: 5

Hey Larry, I'm curious about the choice of imagery for the Dragon Lance covers. 3 people from the story + a dragon. Was that by author direction? Or was that a stylistic choice of your own.

By the way, I love them

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:12 pm
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @toddric

Hi Larry,

I hope you're doing well.

My question: What's the one question you wished you'd asked at the start of your art career?

(And do you have an answer now).

-- Todd

that is the hardest question I have ever had to answer!!! Hummm, I wish someone had told me that once you start and If you want to survive and you really honestly love to paint and draw, YOU would be working your butt off for the rest of your life, and if you are lucky, you will love it, but you will have very little time for anything else in your life!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:13 pm
ashpyne, Wulf Moon, AliciaCay and 4 people liked
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @dragongirlb

@larryelmore have you ever turned down a project that you wish you had not? 

Yesss...I was approached by WOTC a year before Magic the Gathering came out, they wanted me to do a LOT of small painting---for free, but they would give me stock in the company, because they had no money. I said no, so I recommended some art friends that were trying to break into the business and they took the "free art " deal, and got stock in the company.....well, the game went so great that some of those guys bought new houses with their FIRST royalty check....some made over a million dollars on those old deals that I PASSED BY!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:18 pm
Wulf Moon, André Mata, Jason Toth and 2 people liked
Todd McCaffrey
(@toddric)
Advanced Member
Posts: 33

Thanks for your answer, Larry!

Another question, if I may:

What is the best resource for getting good art contracts (licensing and so on)? Is there an organization that helps artists keep their finger on the pulse of the commercial side?  Something that keeps them from selling their art too cheap or selling too much of their rights?

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:19 pm
ashpyne, EmilyGoodwin, André Mata and 1 people liked
Alexes Lester
(@alexes)
New Member
Posts: 3

What did you model your dragons on? Just imagination, or did you look at dinosaur bones and the like? The proportions in your sketches look so good. Any animals that were your inspiration? 

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:24 pm
ashpyne liked
Larry Elmore
(@larryelmore)
Active Member
Posts: 21
Posted by: @storysinger

What would be the best computer for a newbie to purchase? 

I don't have a clue, I do not use computers to do art. I only use photoshop to lay out paintings. I do all the drawings by hand and then scan them into photoshop and lay it out, enlarge it or reduce it and then put it on a thumb drive then primer a board (Masonite) take the drive and board to Nashville where they print my drawing on the primmer Masonite board....then come home and start painting it by hand with oil paint!!

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : July 24, 2021 4:25 pm
Dragongirlb
(@dragongirlb)
Active Member
Posts: 10

@larryelmore ouch!

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:27 pm
Dragongirlb
(@dragongirlb)
Active Member
Posts: 10

@toddric good question and if not maybe we need one...

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : July 24, 2021 4:28 pm
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