Watchtower VII

This months image comes from an artist called jjcanvas whoese painting I found on Youtube just in timelapse form. Though digital painting is not new, this is one of the first timelapse photoshop paintings IO have seen and is interesting to watch as it seems all one needs to a good digital pad for drawing and knowledge of Photoshop. Talent is somewhere in there as well. Other than that please enjoy the new sounds of heavy, speed, and power metal from 2018 and maybe one from 2017.

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Dungeons and Dragons – Art and Arcana: A Visual History

”If you thought that was cool, wait till you try the real thing.” A friend told me something to that effect in the schoolyard one day in 1984. My eleven-year-old mind was still reeling with excitement from having spent most of my weekend engrossed in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, a book unlike any I had ever read before. The Fighting Fantasy gamebook by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone had totally swept me up and pulled me in to a magical domain of excitement and peril akin to the wondrous…

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Quiet Dreams: The Work of Arnold Böcklin

This article continues my exploration into the use of the supernatural and fantastic within the world of art. From the trivial to the classical, fantasy within art has been employed in various fashions and through numerous means. We have looked at the work of the symbolists as a delver into fantastical imagery. The life of Arnold Böcklin is not something of great note as this Swiss artist came through life most like other artists of the same period, studying at an academy and under different tutors, and with time to…

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The Wonder of Real: The Work of Donato Giancola

It is strange talking about realism when it comes to fantasy art. Realism means many different things as it could be related to the qualities of the picture, the subjects of the painting, the idealization of those subjects, or a melange of all of those things. The realism of Jan Van Eyck is different than Jean-François Millet as it is different to Chuck Close. When we talk about the Real we discuss many things that may not be related. Realism, for many, discusses and expresses how things are portrayed and…

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Life Beyond The Real: The Legacy of John Bauer

John Bauer Dwarf

If you have paid attention to the Dungeon Synth scene within the last few years, you have seen the work of John Bauer and more specifically his illustration “Ännu sitter Tuvstarr kvar och ser ner i vattnet” (Still, Tuvstarr sits and gazes down into the water). This watercolor was a favorite among Dungeon Synth fans for its vintage quality in fantasy art and the deep folkloric traditions of Swedish myths. The painting came in a collection of other myths which were published in the 1907 anthology “Bland tomtar och troll” (Among Gnomes and Trolls). This painting was popular at its time which was used in a shampoo ad in the early 20th century and later in the 90’s as a cetnerpoint for a nature conservation campaign. For as relativity obscure John Bauer has become int he canon of art and even fantasy art, Tuvstarr has become a beacon for many people to find his work. Even though Tuvstarr has been used in various ways, the lure of imagination and myth is still potent today as it was over a hundred years ago.

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Weird Stories: The Life and Work of Hannes Bok

Stumbling on Hannes Bok was much like anyone other random run in with a fantasy artist. It began with searching through names of artists I did not recognize and then looking at their work and immediately falling in love with everything they did. Most fantasy artists I find fall into the contemporary era of 70’s to the present as the time period fits into the idea of what we think of fantasy. Finding fantastical art done pre 1950’s is rare and it usually belongs to the realm of illustration. One…

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Diminished by Nightmare: The Phantasmal Architectures of Monsù Desiderio

Throughout my writing tenure at Hollywood Metal, I have always been into art — specifically fantasy art. While there is much to discuss on contemporary fantasy art, I have found myself drawn to the fantastic works of pre fantasy — meaning fantasy before it became fantasy as we know it today. Since the mid 20th century, fantasy has taken on certain tropes and stylistic markings that we can easily identify something belong to the fantasy genre or at least near it. My interest in pre-fantasy comes from fantastic artworks made…

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A Life Dreaming: The Fantasies of Richard Dadd

I enjoy fantasy – a lot. Part of my dedications into the idea of fantasy have focused on delving into all aspects of its history. From games to literature to folklore, the term “fantasy” becomes more nebulous when stretched into history becomes even more intangible across centuries when compared to what we know today. Fantastic subject matter before the 20th century has this ethereal quality when placed alongside fantasy art of the last quarter century and becomes the source of great fascination when trying to dissect. A style today that…

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Esoteric Affinity: Symbolism and the Fantastic

In this art, scenes from nature, human activities, and all other real world phenomena will not be described for their own sake; here, they are perceptible surfaces created to represent their esoteric affinities with the primordial Ideals. -Symbolist Manifesto by Jean Moréas (1886) My interests lie in fantasy before the idea of fantasy existed. I believe this is where I am walking to with these articles. Being the second article on this time period, there is quite more to discover in terms of visual and cultural zeitgeists?. My purpose is…

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Fantasy Art and the Pre Raphaelites

Fantasy art has always been an interest of mine in conjunction with, unsurprisingly, fantasy literature. Fantasy art now and its short history from the pulp illustration of the early 20th century has its own history which can be examined as a separate entity. Fantasy art after Tolkien and the the advent of high fantasy has become something else entirely worthy of study and obsession. To be honest, I sat down to just do a showcase on one contemporary fantasy artist and found myself drawn to another subject entirely. As much…

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THE DYING EARTH by George Barr

George Barr – “The Dying Earth” [1976] — This was a paperback spread for the 1976 Underwood/Miller publication of Jack Vance’s 1950 science fantasy novel The Dying Earth. Vance was instrumental in creating the small subgenre which revolved around the depletion of life sustaining resources and a civilization at the end of time where the universe itself is in the throes of death. Barr was instrumental in, well, painting wizards that are doing cool ass shit. It does not take much to impress me.

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Fantasy Art: BEGUILED by Barry Windsor Smith

Barry Windsor Smith - Beguiled (1982/1995)

Barry Windsor Smith has been one of my favorite fantasy artists since seeing his work in Epic Illustrated. Smith is distinguishable from other fantasy artists for his near academic style and embrace of the Pre-Raphaelites of nearly a century past. Both Smith’s love of medieval fantasy and classical renderings gives his work an almost timeless quality which compliments the romantic qualities of his paintings. Oh, and he drew Conan in the 70’s kicking the shit out of everyone. Beguiled was suppose to accompany his story of the same name in…

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Fantasy Art: A FIGHTING MAN OF MARS by Frank Frazetta

Hollywood Metal Fantasy Art - A fighting man from mars

Frank Frazetta – A Fighting Man Of Mars (1973)- This painting takes its name from the 7th book in Edgar Rice Burrough’s science fantasy epic The Barsoom Series. This is Tan Hadron, warrior from the Helium Kingdom and beside him is Tavia, a runaway who could take the head off a horse with her hands. The original cover art from the 1930 publication was approximately 150 times less badass than Frazetta’s painting.

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