Earlier this week, we showed off a monster that a druid or wizard can summon with the conjure minor elemental spell. I really like that monster, but there’s something I have been wondering about with the artwork: the style. It is a beautiful color image. The problem is is that I don’t have a massive library of color images. I have a much larger library of black and white image. So as I continue to work on monster books for Fifth Edition, 13th Age, Pathfinder 2e (possibly), and other systems, I want to stay consistent as much as possible throughout the entire project. So that leads me to ask, what do you prefer?
Adding a parchment background to a black and white image is quite easy and rather fun. Not only that, it gives the image a distinctive feeling of being from an ancient tome that time forgot, in keeping with the fantasy theme. However, I do love looking at the color images in monster books. So I am asking you to help me make up my mind.
Tell me what kind of image would you like to see in a monster book from us. Vote in the poll below and as always, elaborate in the comments below.
See our monster books we have published so far for Pathfinder and Fifth Edition at the JBE Shop.
13 thoughts on “What Kind of Monster Artwork Do You Prefer?”
I like both styles, but generally not together in the same publication (unless the colour pictures are a chapter splash screen).
Either all B&W, or all colour is my preference.
I should have thought of that. Poll updated. Thanks!
Sure. But this is just about the art itself. Part of the image is the torn parchment background. If the whole thing (text and all) we’re like that, that effect would be lost.
I prefer white background un the reading parts. The pics can be in parchment if you like. Some people like me have sight seizures….
I think both styles are awesome and I personally would love to see both types of images in a segment. Not only does that give to opportunites for the different styles, but also a difference of setting or position. I love the idea of the first style being an in-world artist’s rendering of the creature, possibly the inspired by their experience or tales from heroes and songs, while the detailed colour image is more like an actual ‘photograph’ of what the creature actually looks like. I’m game for any and all styles though. One of the strengths (and at times weaknesses) of Magic: The Gathering is the change of styles and flavours between sets and blocks. Good hunting and happy gaming 🙂
Love either and I’m not bothered by them sharing space in a book I prefer that the artist be able to bring the creature to life how they feel it should look within the guidelines you give them.
I prefer the old school sword and sorcery feel that parchment and black and white artwork has, however, give me an oil style fantasy painting or a Luis Ruyo style (maybe not subject matter given it should stay PG13 XD) paint/artwork and you will have my money faster than I get paid each month.
I replied above that the lettering isn’t going to be on parchment. Part of the look of the parchment as art is the ripped and ragged edge, giving it a feel that the image was in an ancient tome. If the entire page was like that, the rips and ragged edge would be lost, losing some of the style of the image.
Color image for feature art, either for spot art.
As Bruno Jesus said earlier, black lettering on white pages are easier to read. The black line drawings on parchment is beautiful, and has a clarity and yet a sense of distance that draws the imagination in. I’d prefer the parchment a bit lighter.
I’d prefer pictures take up as little space as possible, so as to leave more room for unique special attacks and detailed monster ecology/society descriptions.
The left is exactly the style I’d like to see