Originally Posted by Leucrotta
In regards to that *specific* drow, IDK I actually kinda like him. He has more delicate features, a more pointed face than a lot of the models. Sure, he doesn't have the 'elven eyes' but that's more an issue in the art direction with all the elven heads in the game. As for eyelash and eyebrow color, that doesn't throw me for too much of a loop. Sure, according to Ed Grenwood black hair is the least common hair color among drow (compared to white, red, Silver etc), but the drow do utilize cosmetics-glow in the dark eyeshadow is a thing. Coloring their eyebrows and eyelashes doesn't strike me as too extreme. (lore-accurate radioactive glowing green makeup for drow when Larian? ;))

Skin color though? That's a complicated issue. The art of the drow has been remarkably inconsistent over the decades. Even as authors basically universally refer to their skin color as 'ebony' or 'obsidian' in the novels and sourcebooks, artists were given much more free reign. So you get stuff like Mustachio'd drow and pale-skinned drow early on because some artists looked at the original illustrations for inspiration and misinterpreted the lighting. Or you got brown-skinned drow because the artists got the prompt 'black-skinned' and thought TSR meant that in regards to what that descriptor meant IRL with humans. Or even later when artists would just draw them with purple or grey skin because actual black skin was difficult to execute well. When you have talent like Brom or Rebecca Guay working for you, are you really going to mess with a good thing and reprimand them when Kiaransalee is blue-skinned or Quenthel Baenre is purple when both canonically had obsidian skin?

5e's direction is....different though. It started off more or less business as usual-reused art from previous editions, artists bringing their own interpretations. Somewhere around....Mordenkainen's or Tasha's (I don't recall which) though, all the art switched to the style showcased by MelivySilverRoot. Some have connected this sudden switch to the controversy around the 'Drow Blackface' episode of Community..there was a thread on ENWorld that covered the art shift.

Now putting political discussion on that to the side....now personally I am not a fan of the 'grey drow' aesthetic-I think the art style of drow in general for 5e is pretty bland overall, and it feels weird to me that Moon elves (known for being extraordinarily pale) having the 'blue tint' layer up while the Drow (known for their obsidian skin) were lightened to the point where some moon elves are darker skinned than the drow, making them difficult to tell apart. Artistically, it's much more homogenous as well. Although I have always preferred the (at the time) official 'ebony skinned' variety, some of my favorite drow art has depictions that are not. Some artists had very inspired and interesting takes for the drow, which I miss in a lot of the modern, more tightly dictated art direction.

All of this is moot though, since that aforementioned art shift is unfortunately not a matter of just art direction, it's canon. Drow are no longer canonically 'obsidian skinned' they are 'slate grey'-All official descriptions of them state their skin color as being grey now. Even RAS in his newer books now describes drow as grey-skinned. While I'm very much upset with this switch, Larian is very much playing with WOTC's rules, and this one doesn't fall on them. In fact, I'm very happy with them for giving players the option to have drow with the traditional ebony skin-tone as well as the purple/blue/brown skin tones popular in depictions from earlier editions, as well as the 5e-specific 'canon' look of the drow. It's also something that will likely be much easier to mod than changing face shapes IMO-Chubblot has done similar changes in his modded playthroughs.

While in 2nd Edition, Ed Greenwood wrote that Drow were uniformally jet black, that changed in 3rd Edition where the variety of skin colors started to come about with the Drow. No longer was Drow skin tones just jet black, it was dark color hues varying between blues, purples, and greys.

The biggest problem right now is that Elves should have more angular features. As the early editions of D&D showed, Elves should have angular features (the below images actually showed up in 2E's Book of Elves). That's the real problem you see with the Elves right now, the elven males have too square a jaw (they shouldn't) and a couple of the elven female pre-sets have too rounded a look to the face.

[Linked Image from forums.beamdog.com]

[Linked Image from i.pinimg.com]

[Linked Image from i.pinimg.com]