Since it was first published in 1974, millions of people (including characters in Netflix’s Stranger Things) have become obsessed with tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Based on written materials which players use to develop their own characters and set up a map, D&D has created a legacy of surreal and stunning fantasy art. “Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons,” by X-Ray Films and Cavegirl Productions, is a documentary film that sets out to learn more about the artists behind this work.
Scheduled for release in 2017, the film interviews influential artists who designed for the game, and they discuss the challenges of creating art for what remains one of the most popular fantasy games ever.
We rounded up some work from a few artists who designed for D&D to give you an idea of what to expect. Although their styles differ, these artists all have in common an incredible eye for detail and invention. Unreal, vividly colored, and carefully realized, a lot of these works feel like a Salvador Dali-designed Iron Maiden album cover. With dragons.
Scroll down to see for yourself, and find out more about the film here.
Cover image by Keith Parkinson.