Dungeons & Dragons will be implementing an art test for prospective illustrators starting with the next iteration of the game. Why?

Two reasons:

  1. I am looking for art samples that can be used in the discussion about what the next iteration of D&D should look like. Having art samples that are based upon the same art orders allows us to have a apples-to-apples conversation about style, render techniques, medium, etc.

  2. I’m always looking for new artists, or want to see samples from known artists that are looking to show new visions.

Beyond those reasons, I am looking to set base expectations for the art directors when assigning work to freelance illustrators. In particular I am looking at a participant’s style, adherence to the property and consistency of quality.

Style: I am looking for a consistent style that you will be providing to represent your work. If you have multiple styles this will represent the main style that you would like to present yourself to the D&D brand with.

Adherence to the Property: This will determine how well you can follow and interpret the established looks for characters, races, monsters and locations in our style guide. D&D has a great emphasis on presenting a coherent and consistent vision of our worlds to our customers and it is essential that our illustration represent that.

Consistency: This is to check that the artist can maintain an overall level of quality over a series of pieces. Also, this is to see the artist’s comfort range when dealing with character, item, architectural, and environmental pieces so that the art director can better determine the artist’s strengths.

The Test: The art that you supply should look like it would fit in or belong with the concepts supplied. We are not expecting you to emulate the illustration style, unless your style is already similar.

—Jon Schindehette
Creative Director of Dungeons & Dragons

Test 1: Creatures

Monsters are iconic to D&D, and humanoid monsters are some of the most common creatures in the game. Using the following monster concepts, create either a shaman (a shaman is a tribal religious leader and magic-user for a tribe) or create an image of what a tribe’s cook would look like.

Test 2: Environment

D&D has a distinctive sense of place and the cultures that live there. Look at the following examples of architecture and do one of the following:

  • Illustrate what an interior room or space of what one of these building would look like.

  • The environment is cold, mountainous and rocky with little vegetation and no trees. Place one of the buildings from a different viewpoint or one of similar style into that environment.

  • Create a building (exterior – building only) that would fit with the style of buildings supplied based on the following description:

    The Halls of the Dead: this building is a monastery of the god Kelemvor. Fair yet cold, Kelemvor is the god of death and the dead—the most recent deity to hold this position, following in the footsteps of Jergal, Myrkul, and Cyric. Unlike these other deities, whose rule as gods of the dead made the afterlife an uncertain and fearful thing, Kelemvor urges knowledge that death is a natural part of life and should not be feared as long as it is understood.

    Worshipers: The death clergy as they are known have many duties, most involve tending to the last wishes of the dying and provide burial services to those who die alone. They also set out to cure diseases and defend people from monsters so that folk do not die before their time. Their final and debatably most important task is the destruction of undeath in all its various forms as it is an affront to Kelemvor.
Test 3: Culture

Distinctive cultures help make the D&D worlds feel unique. Look at the example shown and either make a town guard or soldier that fits within this culture or show a guard’s or soldier’s equipment; the content and the amount of items shown are up to the illustrator but example items might be swords, axes, daggers, helmets, shields, armor or more imaginative items like lanterns or badges of office (whatever that may be).

Submissions

Submit for one test, or all of the art tests, but please submit each entry separately.

Please submit images as .jpg format, no larger than 2000 pixels on the longest side. Submissions should be made to ArtDrop@Wizards.com. Subject line must include "D&D Art Test" to be considered for the submission process.

Please Note

By submitting artwork to Wizards of the Coast as part of your portfolio for our review, you understand and agree that your submission does not create a confidential relationship between you and Wizards, and that Wizards assumes no contract or other obligation of any kind either express or implied. You further acknowledge that Wizards of the Coast is in the toy and game business worldwide and reviews and develops a substantial number of works of art, images, displays and ideas, which may be similar to artwork submitted by you as part of your portfolio. You acknowledge and agree that Wizards is free to proceed with respect to any of its own works of art, images, displays and ideas that are the same as or similar to your portfolio, and you release Wizards from any claims, actions and obligations of any kind related thereto.

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