How to Find Artists for Your D&D Character Art

Manuscripts

Creating a D&D character can be wonderful. Getting to play a character in a campaign and watching them grow is such a unique experience! It makes sense that you’d want to capture them somehow. Some people might retire their character-specific dice, other might frame the character sheet, or preserve their campaign notes. Or, you could always get D&D character art commissioned.

Character art is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: it’s art of your very own fictional character! There’s no one way for character art to look. It can be just a sketch drawing, a full color head shot, or a full body posed picture. It all depends on your budget, what you’re looking for, and what the artist is able to do for you.

Finding the right artist for your style, budget, and timeline can be a challenge, but knowing what you’re looking for can make it much simpler. If you are new to the process, consider this your guide to finding the perfect artist for you! I asked three character artists questions about what clients should keep in mind when commissioning art. Then, we will also discuss the best places to find artists, and everything you need to know to begin the process of getting art made.

What Do I Need To Know Going In?

I asked three artists who make D&D character art what people who are commissioning art for the first time should know.

What is the #1 thing people should consider when looking for an artist to commission for d&d character art?

“I think most important is understanding your budget. There are so many amazing d&d artists who commission at a range of price points, so go into your search knowing what you can afford and having an expectation of what that might get you. Most artists will be willing to let you know what they can offer within your budget, but remember that art commissions are a luxury product and that you are paying for skill as well as time.”

Jess (@Sirussly on Twitter)

Budget is a huge deal when it comes to finding an artist, so make sure that you at least have an idea of what your budget is going in. Jess also brings up a great point that art commissions are a luxury product and will be priced accordingly. That being said, there are artists out there willing to work with you on price, just ensure you’re realistic about what it might cost you.

As an artist, how much info about the character do you want when you are working on a D&D character portrait? How much is too much? How much is too little?

“When bringing someone’s d&d character to life it’s important to me that I have enough general information about their physical appearance and overall mood/demeanor to envision a concept — build me a silhouette of who your person might be, how they hold themselves, their style, what colors you associate with them, even face references — but not too much that it drowns the character in specificity.”

Grace (@grace.pptx on Instagram)

When commissioning a character portrait, be sure you have a solid idea of what you want it to look like and give as much detail as you can to the artist. It’s good practice to have an open discussion about what you want from them, and what they are able to give you. This is a good point to remind you to shop around to find an artist who draws in the style you’re actually looking for.

What should someone commissioning an artist expect from their artist?

An artist should be willing to work with a client to meet their concept vision, but also strong in their own ideals & abilities! The best commissions are ones that are able to take the ideas of a [character’s] creator and seamlessly translate them into the unique style of the artist.

Sable (@apetheia on Twitter)

When looking for an artist, make sure you find someone who is willing to work with you to bring your character and their style together. Don’t go with the first person you find: make sure you take the time to find the right fit for you.

How Do I Find D&D Character Artists?

Now that you have an idea of what to look for in an artist, let’s look into the ways you can find the artist for you. There are several places you can look. Some might seem more obvious than others, but each has their pros and cons.

Twitter

Twitter is a wonderful place to find artists. Often you can find them sharing their previous work and see what style they have. The best way to find an artist on Twitter is to search “commissions open” and “D&D character art“. This may bring up people who take all sorts of commissions, but will at least get you pointed towards some cool artists.

Similarly to Twitter, Instagram is a great site for finding artists. You can scroll through the artists feed to see their style, and get a feel for their vibe. All it takes is using the search function to find amazing artists.

Etsy

a painting of a anthropomorphic catlike character with a D20 beside it

Etsy is speculator way to find all kinds of things, and that includes D&D art. It’s especially great because you can compare a bunch of artists’ work and prices all at once. It will help you find the right match.

DeviantArt

DeviantArt is perfect to help give you a sense of styles you like. It can be a little harder to find artists taking commissions but it’s certainly not impossible. I personally use it for inspiration a lot of the time!

Other D&D Character Art Options

If you want a character portrait but can’t afford one at the moment, you can always use Picrews to make your character from an artist’s menu. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can always pull up some tutorials and learn how to do it yourself.


D&D is great; D&D art is even better! I hope you now have a good understanding of what to keep in mind when getting character art done. And, if you’re a D&D fan who is also looking for a good book, you can find one based on your favorite D&D class. You might also be interested in The Best Dungeons and Dragons Accessories. Have fun storming the castle!

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