Pachycrocuta’s Deviant Dark Sun

There is no shortage of Dark Sun art in TSR/WotC publications, but there is also no small number of freelance and personal work. While most of the latter is fairly amateurish, we occasionally are treated to an artist who is both able to produce great work as well as express the Dark Sun setting in new ways. One such artist is deviantART’s Pachycrocuta.

Pachycrocuta (Jonathan) is a prolific fantasy illustrator on deviantART and his work spans both fantasy and science-fiction, with groups of work covering a variety of themes and settings. In 2010 and 2011 he visited the world of Dark Sun with magnificent results.

I’ll link to the Dark Sun pieces here with my praises:

  • Dark Sun 1 – The dray design looks great as does his macuahuitl-like weapon.
  • Dark Sun 2 – I like the look of the armor and weapon (again, macuahuitl-like) combination on the subject on the right.
  • Dark Sun 3 – Excellent armor and weapon designs (long throwing dart? and jaw bones).
  • Dark Sun 4 – Great incorporation of African concepts.
  • Dark Sun 5 – More great armor and weapon concepts in the left subject.
  • Dark Sun 6 – Rarely do you ever see a dwarf with a weak chin. I like seeing more “real” facial structure here.
  • Dark Sun 7 – Great costuming here.
  • Dark Sun 8 – The setting could always use more variety in its riding animals.
  • Dark Sun 9 – I like this since it brings halflings back to their original concept in the original 2e boxed set.
  • Dark Sun 10 – Continuing great armor and weapon concepts, here a wicker/rattan armor idea makes an appearance.
  • Dark Sun 11 – Only the third illustrated use of a cliff glider I can recall.
  • Dark Sun 14 – The feather cloak is a great idea.
  • Dark Sun 15 – Great use of color and I like the throwing darts.

As of March 2012 he was taking commissions, which is rare indeed for someone who produces quality work and also understands Dark Sun. His imagination and clean inking gives each piece a presence that’s hard not to notice, and his desire to bring some new concepts to Dark Sun by lending from actual primitive cultures gives a welcome breath of life to the setting.

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