Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore

American Artist

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About Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore is an American fantasy artist known for his illustrations for games, magazines, and fantasy books, including Dungeons & DragonsDragonlance and his own comic series called SnarfQuest.


Larry Elmore was born in rural Kentucky in 1948. Elmore has said that the rural school he attended did not have an art program, so he spent his time drawing and daydreaming. After graduating high school, Elmore was able to formally study art when he attended Western Kentucky University. 

Soon after graduating from university, Elmore was drafted into the Unites States Army and stationed in Germany. After the completion of his service, Elmore began work as an illustrator for the U.S. government in the Fort Knox Training Aids Department. At the same time, Elmore began work as a freelance illustrator, with artwork published in magazines such as National Lampoon and Heavy Metal.

Elmore’s encounter with Dungeons & Dragons began due to an introduction made by Jeff Easley to the people from TSR, Inc. Easley was a fellow government illustrator and friend who was also originally from Kentucky, though he and Larry only met when they were both in Massachusetts working as freelance artists. The producers of the Dungeons & Dragons game hired Elmore as their very first professional illustrator in November, 1981. In this new chapter of his career, Elmore created artwork for adventure modules, game books, and novels, including sketches and covers for the Dragonlance series. He also created his own SnarfQuest during his time working for TSR.

Elmore also illustrated cards for the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, and provided the cover art for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) called EverQuest. After working in-house for TSR for many years, Elmore returned to freelance and contract work, producing artwork and illustrations for a wide variety of clients, including Mayfair Games, Game Designer’s Workshop, White Wolf, DC Comics, LucasFilm, Mattel, and Sony Entertainment.

Elmore’s Artwork

Elmore’s work has focused mainly on mixed media and ink, but also includes work in oil and acrylic. His specialty is, of course, the illustration of dragons. His illustrations include extremely detailed backgrounds, and emphasize vibrant, primary colors. While most of Elmore’s work has been integrated into comic books, card games, or role-playing games, his art can also be seen printed on other paraphernalia and ordinary household objects like mouse pads and coasters. 

Elmore’s work has been consistently popular in a niche market; this means that when his original works become available at auction, his works can sell for up to four figures. His acrylic works often are the most valuable at market; the original illustrations for his books and artwork produced at TSR, Inc. are also valued highly. 

Where to Appraise and Sell Larry Elmore’s Artwork

If you have any works by Larry Elmore, get in touch with our experts at Revere Auctions. If you would like to sell your Elmore illustrations, you can auction them at our location in St. Paul, Minnesota. We also offer our services online.

You can contact us anytime for a free auction estimate if you want to sell paintings or illustrations by Larry Elmore. We have a very simple process. After you send us the photos of the work, our experts will take a look, analyze, and provide you an estimate of the amount the artwork is likely to reach at auction.

If you need an appraisal for Elmore’s work, we provide a certified appraisal report that can be used for estate taxes, donations, and insurance coverage. Our appraisals are compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and are accepted by insurance companies, charity agencies, and the IRS.

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