Who Would You Choose as Top Fantasy Artist of All Time?

Who Would You Choose?

Admittedly, when the words fantasy artist drew my attention the artist I thought of immediately was Waterhouse. However, in this context, people of my daughter's generation tend to consider fantasy art as coming from a very specific type of artist. Waterhouse, to their way of thinking, would not fit in well with that crowd. As for me, it makes perfect sense.

John William Waterhouse was the son of English parents who lived in Rome. His academic art work was done in England, at the Royal Academy School in 1870. This artist was passionate about Greek and Roman mythology and his paintings all reflect women of those stories. Because myths and fantasy, to me, are so closely entwined, to have a list of favorite fantasy artists without including J W Waterhouse would be like having the damsel without a dragon.

However, in most fantasy works of today, the emphasis is on the story, not specific parts of the story. Also the drawings or paintings themselves have in themselves a distinctly fantastic look to them. They are one dimensional, not three. This is not to say the art is not grand, it is just not the kind of artwork where you can stand and fall into the picture and become a part of that world.

However, for every genre of art there are favorites and fantasy art is no exception. This type of artwork in itself is wonderfully enjoyable and there are many great artists in this world. This article will deal with the top of the top of all fantasy artists and links to enjoy their work.

J W Waterhouse. OK OK I know but just look at his work please and say he did not draw fantasy?

Now let’s check out the masters of the fantasy art world!

Boris Vallejo. No one could be a member of the sci fi book club and not know this name and his beautiful artwork! Now there are coffee table sized books just on his work! Vallejo sometimes teams up with another great artist, Julie Bell and this seems to have toned down the Conan image that Vallejo was so famous for but his work still sizzles!

As for myself, fantasy means Dragons and the master dragon artist has to be Michael Whelan.

This artist has been copied widely and without any guilt whatsoever! Ask anyone who loves to draw and they will admit to copying Whelan’s images of the dragon. You can look in all the drawing books and all the dragons are like birds or dinosaurs books...look away! All you really need to know about dragons and how they look, move, fly is in his artwork.

The next great fantasy artist would have to be Rojo. Luis Rojo is more Goth than fantasy. His women are beautiful but very dangerous. The ideal Amazon warrior must have looked like a Rojo Print! Do NOT get in their way!

Finally but again, a favorite, is Brian Froud. That ought to be enough in and of itself. When his artwork went three dimensional the world as we knew it began to change!

I hope you have enjoyed this trip into the world of fantasy! I have! In fact, I think I need to get a piece of gourd or a basswood box and copy...uhhh...draw myself a dragon to pyrograph!!!!

Who would you Choose?

Choose your favorite of all the above listed fantasy artists.

See results without voting

edited 091509

Choose your favorite of all the listed fantasy artists

See results without voting

updated 091609 :)

Choose your favorite of all the listed artists

See results without voting

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Comments 16 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

My younger son grew up idolizing Michael Wehlan-- I think he's even met him. But I didn't vote for Michael.

I'd vote for Carl Frank, my son who has been making a living in the fantasy art world for the past several years doing gaming cards (including some for WoW and Magic) and work for internet game sites.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

Well Rochelle, you go right back now and vote :) if I ould vote on my own hub I would vote for him as well!!! love to you!

and how cool to have met Michael Whelan! Now I've got to get some of your son's work!!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

So you are a collector? Thanks for adding him-- for now he's at 100%.

PS. I like your new avatar better than the scary one you had before. (And I did read the avatar hub.:) )

KevCC profile image

KevCC 7 years ago

What about Frank Frazetta?

Canopygallery profile image

Canopygallery 7 years ago from Upper Lake, CA

I'm not sure if his work is fantasy, fantastical or just fantastic, but I really have always liked Alex Grey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08R8tgvXa7o

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

well absolutely you guys!! I will revise my polls again :)

Rochelle / scary eh? I was messing around with polymer clay and made her, shes Martha...the hands were hard..the shoes and legs were easy and I MUST make her an Arthur or a Harold...Henry?? well she needs a hubby :) I sent Carl an email saying I loved his work...I will be watching his website! I really like his Valkyrie and Isawa!! way cool!

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

LOL! I'd never have thought of John Waterhouse as a fantasy artist, but why not? He certainly warmed to mythical themes, and he is undoubtedly a fabulous artist, and one of my forever favourites. In fact it was a Waterhouse painting that turned me on to art. I was on a London museum trip with my school when I was about twelve or thirteen, and we visited the Tate. It was there that I came face to face with The Lady of Shallot, and it was love at first sight. My obsession with art started right there.

Oh, and I do like fantasy art too, especially sci-fi type art, and anything to do with dragons!

Carl Frank profile image

Carl Frank 7 years ago from Southern California

I think Mom is a little biased. ;-) I left another comment, but it didn't post. Maybe someone decided that I broke the rule about not "promoting other sites" because I listed the URL for another online gallery that I have set up, which has more of what I consider to be my "better" work than my personal site does, since my personal site has been languishing in "refurbishment" limbo for some time. Hopefully I will get that site updated before long. I guess anyone who is interested can send me a message, and I can let them know where to find the other one in the mean time.

Anyway, thanks Mom, but I honestly don't think I even belong in a poll alongside those names. :)

I am currently rather obsessed with Todd Lockwood's work. Practically every one of his pieces has me saying, "Wow!" Donato Giancola is another amazing one. I could go on....

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

This has been an absolutely fabulous hub to see evolving! All you guys are wonderful!!Most of all thanks to you, Rochelle :) for turning all of us onto your very talented son!! Way to go Carl! You do too deserve to be in that line up! Now Amanda,:) Waterhouse is most definitely fantasy, what could be more fantasy than lady of shallot? but my favorite is Circe Individuosa...the kids (and Honey) bought that one for me for Xmas/lovely lady, all greens and blues...gets a bit perturbed when her lover runs off with a selkie so she poisons the water to voice her displeasure! who needs a dragon if one is magic and can do that? :) but who cares as long as it gets your creative muse to come alive eh? I must check out T Lockwood nd D Gincola

bill yon profile image

bill yon 7 years ago from sourcewall

frank frazetta is my favorite

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

cool Bill :) he is a good one!

dave james young 6 years ago

Although all the artists featured were very good indeed, i could only vote for frank. He is the master.R.I.P.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

carl frank is very good mine is still waterhouse/gotta be a female/mele thing eh? lol love to you and thanks for the comment!!!rochelle is very proud and lucky to have such a talented son

Krevok 3 years ago

Would only vote if Frazetta were on here. Whelan is nice, but Frank set the bar and I've yet to see anything that comes close.

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

so noted and thank you for the reminder!

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 3 years ago from Tucson, Az Author

he is on the list btw

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