Tribute to england
This is England Three artists pay tribute to the illustrator who inspired them and many others
We speak to those who were influenced by the White Dwarf and Magic: The Gathering artist Wayne England, who has recently passed away.
The fantasy art community was shaken by the death of Wayne England, Games Workshop and Magic: The Gathering illustrator, who died on 9 February 2016.
Many artists, including David Sondered, an illustrator at Fantasy Flight Games, first stumbled upon his work in the pages of old copies of White Dwarf magazine. “Inside there was an image of white armoured spacemen using some sort of flaming weapon on aliens,” David remembers. “I was immediately struck by the sleek, shiny, render. With sharp angles, strong contrasts between bright and dark. It was really influential.”
Wayne’s impact can be seen in many aspects of modern fantasy art, from video games to animation. His bold style resonated with aspiring artists who would inject aspects of his work into their own style. “Wayne’s cover for the 3rd Edition Codex of the Chaos Space Marines was almost hypnotic,” says game artist Diego Gisbert Llorens. “He created a style so personal and dynamic, vibrant, yet full of clarity and with a strong visual read.” Diego credits Wayne with some major artistic lessons. “He was a reminder of two basic things: one, to leave something unfinished in your work, to invite the viewer to add what is missing. Second, to have fun. Wayne’s work shows how much fun I think he had creating it.”
Wayne’s work on the Warhammer 40K Codex had a particularly emotional impact on illustrator Kai Lim. “His graphic composition sensibilities stayed with me,” says Kai. “I enjoyed how his arrangement of subjects could be compositionally and almost forcibly twodimensional and somewhat simpler, but still retain a cinematic quality,” continues the artist. “The way the narrative is being explained is simplified, but it doesn’t mean you lose depth in the concept itself.”
From Wayne’s work, Kai says he gained, “A reflection on design philosophy and exploring the psyche of many characters and environments.”
David explains seeing Wayne’s work in a publication was, “a light bulb realisation that you could show people these wondrous imaginary things and earn a living from it.” David later got to know Wayne a little. “I told him the impact he’d had on my artistic life. He was one of my art heroes. Without him, I wouldn’t be a professional artist.”
Visit Wayne’s tribute page and see more of his art at
Wayne created a style so personal and dynamic, vibrant, yet full of clarity
White Dwarf #366 is one of the first pieces of Wayne’s art David Sondered ever saw. “A light bulb
moment,” he says. “I still find his black and white work absolutely stunning,” says Diego Gisbert Llorens.
A Codex Assassins cover by Wayne for Games Workshop. It was particularly his cover art that inspired many of
today’s fantasy artists.