I had hoped to find a copy of this image without the Dungeon magazine logo, but unfortunately there were none available. In fact there were no high resolution images of this cover at all, and I had to scan in my own copy. Fortunately there’s not a lot of clutter, so I thought the image was still worthy of posting.
As I grow older, I find that I’m more drawn to painted artwork such as this piece by Scott Burdick, as opposed to more intricately detailed digital art in the style of Wayne Reynolds (who created the artistic style which Pathfinder uses in all of its books.) Which isn’t to say that Reynolds’ work isn’t remarkable, but I wonder if my mind doesn’t just interpret the abundance of detail as clutter, and ignore it. While here, there is a distinct lack of fine detail, my mind instead fills in the blanks. Take the woman’s face for example. Did you notice she doesn’t have one? I didn’t, until I spent several minutes examining the picture.
The painting has a lot going for it aside from simply style, too. I love the way so much space is given to the environment, while the characters occupy perhaps 25% of the space. The room doesn’t have a lot to look at within it, but you get a sense of the cavernous depths which these adventurers find themselves in. And, as always, I love depictions of faceless characters on an adventure. Fantasy art is filled with character portraits and remarkable creatures. It’s a little more rare to find scenes like this where the characters aren’t the focus–their adventure is.