The first Elfquest subject almost everyone wants to know how to draw is the characters themselves. Cutter, Skywise, Leetah, Rayek, and all the other Elfquest elves have a look that is all their own. We’ve spent a lot of energy over the years trying to keep the elves “on model,” no matter what other artists have drawn them… and to keep them different from other elfin characters other artists have drawn.
(A hopefully amusing aside: Because Elfquest first appeared shortly after the Ralph Bakshi animated film “Wizards,” people have wondered if Elfquest was inspired by the cartoon. The answer is no. Elfquest was in development for a long time before we ever heard of “Wizards,” and there are really no elements in common between the two. To those who think that Elfquest elves and “Wizards” elves look alike, we offer this comparison.)
The first set of character model sheets are taken from the out-of-print Chaosium Elfquest role-playing game book. Wendy drew these to help players “dress up” their own characters using standard Elfquest mannequins of various elfin and other body types.
The illustrations that follow are a few ideas for various tribes of elves not included in the four (Wolfriders, Sun Folk, Gliders, Go-Backs) featured in the original Quest. The sea elves went on to become the WaveDancers; the plains elves are still waiting in the wings (although they’ve been hinted at in the “Wild Hunt” tales that feature Ember as chief of a splinter tribe of Wolfriders).
Get more behind the scenes looks and vintage art in the Art of Elfquest from Flesk Publications.
(Click on each image for a larger version.)