Three illustrations for Caverns “monster” cards, drawn around 2000.
Caverns is a “home-made” tabletop game from my youth, which I’ve documented here on the Beholder site. These are small (about an inch high) black-and-white illustrations, displaying a healthy looseness of line I rarely trust myself to achieve, and coloured here digitally for fun.
The line illustrations in the early Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks made a big impression on me when I was little, not least because in those days some of them weren’t very good, which meant I wasn’t discouraged from drawing my own. These days it’s all exquisite high-production stuff, which is all well and good I suppose, but were I a child starting out now that would mainly serve to drawn attention to how poor my own attempts would end up being in comparison.
The best of the D&D artwork in those days was drawn by the late (and perhaps somehwat troubled) illustrator and cartoonist David Trampier. On my wall I have framed a copy of his full-page drawing of a party (of dwarves and a halfling) descending underground stairs, which appeared in the First Edition AD&D player’s handbook. To me, it is a much-loved reminder of how inspiring drawings can be to budding illustrators. I spent hours looking at his work, including that particular scene. His illustrations most certainly motivated me to draw.