Well, that sucks.

Keith Parkinson died.

While my art has, quite obviously, moved along a ways, back when I was starting out and wanted to be a fantasy artist, Keith Parkinson was one of my idols. Even though realism is no longer my paramount goal, his work still largely defines the kind of TSR Classic Fantasy Art look in my head–he was more skilled than Elmore and not nearly as 70’s as Vallejo. I definitely owe a good chunk of my love of gnarled trees to his work. And perhaps most importantly, his art books included the very first section on the process of sending roughs to art directors that I’d ever seen, which was completely new to me at the time I read it. (I later learned that his layouts were far more detailed than anything I was expected to produce for the people I worked for, but still, at the time, very valuable.) I think I learned more about the nuts-and-bolts craft of professional fantasy art–stuff like leaving dead space for title text and what not–from reading his writings than I did from any other source.

He was only 47, too, so that’s really a damn shame.

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