My Archaeology 101 professor once told me that the class wouldn’t be anything exciting; just, “dirt, bones, sticks, and stones." And they were right — I didn’t find myself in a crossfire with illegal relic traders at any point during that semester.
So let’s live out our best spelunker fantasy as Tomb Raider celebrates its 25th birthday. This is FANARTFRIDAY, Lara Croft Edition.
There are so, so many great cosplayers doing Lara Croft, but none of them capture the energy and action quite like EnjiNight. This shot is amazing, as if pulled straight from a Tomb Raider quicktime event sequence. Tap X! The way Enji’s hair is floating back, you can really feel the intended movement and intensity.
Y’all know I think traditional art is magic, and this Lara Croft from TAHOpaints on DeviantArt is Merlin-level. Sparingly used ink lines grant definition where needed, and a great use of white highlight helps give added depth to the painting. A faded and subtle set of glyphs across the background is one of our favorite parts of the artwork, telling more of the story as Lara descends.
Eliot-Chacoco has done amazing Lara Croft art over the years (seriously, explore their DA gallery) and their more recent polygonal style is incredible. Inspired by the first Tomb Raider game, this piece presents an incredibly warm atmosphere, sunlight pouring into the cave entrance in golden rays. Little does Lara know the beastly battle ahead.
Lara Croft is a continued beacon of strength. She survives shipwrecks, plane crashes, DINOSAUR FIGHTS... So there’s something perfect about this illustration from AldgerRelpa imagining young Lara just taking 5 in what is surely a precarious position. Lara looks more chill covered in blood, bandaged up, chimneying this crevasse than I look watching King of the HIll on my couch under 3 blankets. What a boss mood to capture.
If you’ve never seen cosplayer Steve Raider’s gender-swapped Lara, this digital painting by silverjow is a solid representation. Muscles glisten and thighs that have surely trudged through jungle foliage unchallenged threaten to snap leg holsters. Not many draw the male form as awesomely as silverjow, so make sure to check out their gallery for more like this!
Lara’s always been a fashionable adventurer, and KeithByrne celebrates several of Lara’s looks from Tomb Raider III in this poster. Circling the composition, one can adventure through the game visiting various locals and moments. The nostalgia is strong in this art. Keith’s colors also really pop, making this artwork something you’d expect to see in a popular gaming magazine of the time.
This fun, cartoony drawing of Lady Croft presents a more lighthearted side of the character. Fighting against Trinity can’t be without some moments of joy, right? In Qrjusz’s art, Lara gets to kick back, posing in a very influencer-like shot in an ancient throne. We love the tones that the artist is able to get in this piece, bringing out the richness of torchlight and ancient metals.
We had to pack in at least one more Lara cosplay, and this Tomb-Raider/SpongeBob mashup had us chuckling, Lara’s iconic bodysuit/shorts combo is given a Patrick the Starfish palette swap. Her guns are replaced by plastic water pistols. A custom lavender belt and holsters are truly impressive, and we give credit to SmirkoO for the attention to detail. The look is complete though with the cosplayer’s dedication to the pose. Without the intensity of their gaze and body language, this wouldn’t be nearly as great.
Wrapping up the featured art (don’t forget you can see the entire collection here) is this piece from Lushies-Art on DeviantArt. We love the contrast of the orange and turquoise— very early 2000s —but the framing is really what makes the piece exciting. The embedding of various clues, artifacts, and relics help the border elevate the piece. The spitting of rock chips as the tomb surely crumbles is also a pro-move, giving a sense of action and life to the digital painting.
Well, we hope you enjoyed spelunking through art with us, and hope you have found some new artists to follow and enjoy! Check out all the Tomb Raider art we enjoyed here and let us know what FanArtFriday you’d like to see next!