John Blanche, the science fiction artist who defined the visual style of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, has left Games Workshop after 46 years. John Blanche’s work within the Warhammer and 40K franchises is iconic, with vibrant imagery, strong brush strokes, and stark contrasts of meaning. After more than four decades, Blanche is leaving Games Workshop, the company behind the popular line of board games.
Blanche’s work was featured in White Dwarf magazine and on many early Warhammer covers. His view of these fantasy worlds was harsh, hypertrophied, and sometimes deliberately ugly. As a result, these images have become unforgettable for many fans of the franchise.
Speaking on episodes of the official Warhammer podcasts, Blanche talked about how he creates his work to inspire artists who create models for wargames. It’s a fascinating look at both his process and the making of Warhammer figurines.
Gothicpunk, a Tumblr-hosted blog, has done a great job of documenting and archiving Blanche’s work. Subforums such as ImaginaryWarhammer also regularly post and discuss Blanche’s work, some of which has continued to delight fans for decades.