Need an image for your book cover? Or perhaps you want to use some images for your blog headings. There are places you can buy images like Bigstock or 123rf. But perhaps you can avoid buying them by checking out this great source for free images – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/.
Here are some of the fantasy images I found there.
You’re not limited to just fantasy images, though. There are also photos of animals, people, architecture, objects, and more!
(Click the above book cover for all 18 books of the Spectrum fantasy art series.)
Looking at fantasy art is a great way to inspire ideas for writing a fantasy novel. Check out awesome illustrations on dragons, fairies, castles, and a variety of mythical creatures with the Spectrum series. Spectrum allows you to look at a variety of art and artists. I often look through these books for story ideas. As an artist, these books also inspire me to draw fantasy (although I am far from being a professional fantasy artist). What do you like to do to get inspiration for writing a fantasy novel?
- “Blue Dragon” by Dawn Ross
My love for fantasy novels extends to fantasy art. I love Ruth Thompson, Nene Thomas, Boris Valleyo, Keith Parkinson, and many many others. While fantasy authors inspired me to write fantasy, fantasy artists inspired me to draw fantasy art. I didn’t just pick up a pencil one day and start drawing dragons. I have always been an artist. My theme has always been animals and/or nature. You can check out my nature and wildlife artwork at www.naturebydawn.com.
My first fantasy-like artwork was Horse in Armor. It was a pencil sketch I drew when I was a teenager. I had given it to my Grandma. Several years later when she died, I was given some of her books. And lo-and-behold, the picture I had drawn for her was laminated and was being used as a bookmark! It was a very memorable moment.
I didn’t draw fantasy art again until some years later. I don’t remember what my next one was, but it was probably the Blue Dragon. Birth of Chaos was next and was inspired by the title of Book Five of The Dukarian Legacy: Dragon of Chaos. Cave Fire Dragon is the most recent one I have done. I actually started it several years ago and put it aside. When I rediscovered it, the paper was messed up so I had to start all over again from scratch. It is sort of inspired by Lord Kildas in Book Two of The Dukarian Legacy: The Raven’s Fire.
My fantasy art is nowhere near as good as the fantasy art of Ruth Thompson and the others. But it was fun to draw and paint. I will never be a famous fantasy artist, or even just a famous artist (I may not ever even become a famous fantasy writer), but I just can’t help trying.
"Birth of Chaos" by Dawn Ross"
"Cave Fire Dragon" by Dawn Ross
Those of you who have read the manuscript may be interested in how I pictured the characters. Lord Kildas is my favorite character as far as his looks go. He is well-built, regal, and handsome. Oh, and he is a good guy too. Lord Kildas’ head is a little too big in this sketch but other than that, I think he looks great. Lord Kildas is from the Raven clan. The sketches at the top left are meant to be the symbolism for the Raven clan.
The next sketch is of King Haban. I wanted him to look sinister so I gave him a narrow chin, but I think it is just a bit too narrow. This won’t be too difficult to fix.
You probably already saw the sketch of Tomis Dukar in the previous post, but here he is again. This is the second version of Tomis I drew after the first one didn’t work out at all. See a color version of the first one next (at the very end of this post).
Tomis looks too much like a gilr in this finished color version of the book cover. His hair is too long and he looks mean. Tomis is the main character and a good guy. He has had a difficult childhood, hense the angry look, but after seeing this finished version, I don’t think I want him to look angry on the book cover.
As an artist, I primarily draw animals and landscape. Branching out into fantasy was difficult. It’s not just the dragons, but the people as well. Check out some of the early sketches. The first one is of the main character, Tomis. Tomis was really difficult to draw as I could not find the right child to draw from. Drawing a child was more difficult than drawing an adult becuse most portrait drawings focus on the dimentions of adult faces. A child’s face has a different structure which changes as the child gets older. I went through many a portrait book and life drawing book to try to find the proper dimentions to apply to a 10 year old boy. As you can see from my notes beside the sketch, I still haven’t gotten it right. His forehead is too tall. His nose is too long. His upper lip is too short. And his eyes are too far apart.
The next sketch is of one of the primary heroes of the story, Reyker. This is just an outline sketch. No shading has been done. It is sort of right, but still off. I am not quite sure what is off about it. This needs more study and more sketches
The next sketch is of the castle. This was almost as difficult as the people as I am not very good at architecture. I studied a lot of ancient and modern architecture but this came out very badly.
Here are two of the dragons for the back of the book cover. Tomis is The Third Dragon, so I wanted two other dragons represented. This is just a basic sketch. While I can draw animals pretty well, I am not so good at animals with reptilic skin. I think the forms of the dragons are okay for just a beginning sketch, but I need to work on their scales.