|The Fallen by Larry Elmore|
During the 1980s Larry Elmore came into prominence with his gorgeous Dungeons and Dragons illustrations that graced the covers of countless TSR products. There's a lot of love out there for Larry's work, deservedly so, but also a fair amount of criticism. Which is why I chose this piece as it typifies both the best and worst of his work.
The technical mastery is outstanding as this painting is perfect in most every way. The narrative is clear and the juxtaposition of female heroines for male is well done, as always, but where it falls flat is when we come to the emotional connection that we're supposed to feel. While the two women in the foreground are perfect the four women hovering in the background like lingerie modules waiting for their next shoot are the problem. They just seem unnaturally detatched from the scene - especially when you look at the body language of the fellow tending to the horse and of the dying dragon.
Yet even as I make these criticisms let me just acknowledge that Larry is phenomenal and I couldn't hope to produce something that magnificent at this time. He's an inspiration and I love his stuff.