The most common Art Subjects are from animation (both North American cartoons and anime), since by nature animated characters are designed to be easy to draw. People with an interest in visual arts are also more likely to be animation fans than most others.
As for live action shows, it takes a certain level of artistic sophistication to depict real people with any degree of recognition. That doesn't stop anyone, however, and any visually interesting or unique show is likely to have some fan-made pieces floating around. Most often these are Speculative Fiction shows, since most fan art based on normal people is more about the actor or actress than the character. Then again, an entire Yahoo! Group is dedicated to celebrity likenesses made with the Poser and FaceGen applications.
In Japan, the majority of Doujinshi are fan art in manga form.
Of course, there's always Rule 34.
Many Web Comics (particularly ones with recurring characters and good quality artwork) have dedicated fan art galleries on their websites, with images ranging from single characters to full-blown guest strips that don't fit in the archive.
See also Cosplay Fan Art, Rule 63 (for characters drawn as the opposite gender), Canon Illustrations, Side-Story Bonus Art (official art), Self-Fanservice (when canonically unattractive characters look better in the Fan Art).
Fan Artists with their own pages on the wiki:
- Dan Kim
- Gigi D.G.
- Kilala 97
- Leutenant Becca
- Moring Mark
- Mx Bones
- Seijun Tombo
- Taral Wayne
- Vinluv Handesbukia
- Yamato Damashi
- Derpibooru, a Booru-style image board, has grown huge enough to have over 100,000 registered users, houses almost every piece of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Art ever made (Excluding what's on their do-not-post list, but including a number of localized artists who don't post anywhere else), and has gone on to develop its own web culture and local memesnote .
- See DeviantArt here for a large amount of Fan Art (as well as a wide range of original pieces). Beware, though — Sturgeon's Law very much applies. Searching people's favorite artwork galleries can help a lot in finding good work, even more if you share the same taste as those people. If you like someone's artwork, consider checking their "favs".
- Some Image Boards, like the dreaded 4chan.
- There's a website called "Rule 34 - If it exists there IS porn of it". Guess what it's dedicated to. We're not going to link to it.note
- For a different kind of fan art also see vgboxart, a site/community that focuses on the creation of Fan Art in the form of covers. It started as a site for video game boxes (hence the name), but now it can be described as generalentertainmentboxart as works vary from games to movies to books. All sorts of Cover Tropes apply for the fan work seen there, a lot of uploads are actually good, and a select few are much better than the official packaging seen in stores.
- Evangelion 303: Grummancat not only draws his own Evangelion fancomic but also has done a crapton of fanart of Evangelion, Kim Possible and other works.
- Author Blackmambauk often commissions fic covers for their fanfictions and other fanarts. As shown with Code Geass Colored Memories Fic Cover that was designed and created by Jit-Art. With Roanapur Connection's Fic Cover designed and created by KiraLNG.
- Shyft is a fanfic writer and artist has done plenty fanart for other people's fanfiction such like Advice and Trust and A Crown of Stars (he drew pictures of all OCs).
- Justinedarkchylde from DeviantArt has drawn many illustrations of fanfics such like Thousand Shinji and Big Sister.
- Osamu Tezuka loved the Disney Duck family stories by Carl Barks and frequently sent greeting cards to him with his own drawings of them interacting with his own characters.
- The careers of Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld both began with them being noticed for their detailed fan art. This goes for any artist who is working at Marvel or DC. It is very unlikely that there are any artists at the Big Two who hadn't drawn Spider-Man or Batman before being hired.
- Marcoasalazarm draws fanart for many fanfics such like Last Child of Krypton and Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton (he drew the story's cover among other stuff).
- Doing It Right This Time: One of the fans of this story makes illustrations of several scenes.
- HERZ: Several fans created illustrations of the series and even a logo.
- Once More with Feeling: A fan drew a picture of Asuka costumed with the dress she wore when she attended the school dance. Unfortunately, the art has been lost.
- The One I Love Is...: Many fans drew fanart and even comic pages from the story when it was at the height of its popularity. Unfortunately, it disappeared when the server crashed.
- In Total Drama fanfic Unbreakable Red Silken Thread one of the reviewers, CMR Rosa, not only commissioned a cover picture, but a whole gallery folder for character pictures from this story here.
- In (Crossover: Rick and Morty, Total Drama) Rick and Morty New Drama Adventures the author commissioned not only a cover picture, but a whole gallery folder for character pictures from this story here.
- The Second Try inspired several artists to draw pictures and even mini-comics that can be found in the author's website.
Films — Animation
- A notorious historical example was a couple of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio fan drawings found in an old cellar. They were found in Norway, dated to the late 30s, and were signed by a talented amateur artist called "A. H.". Mr. H. has been known to be a major fan of Disney, and he drew a couple of other works too.
- The Fallen Angel, by Alexandre Cabanel, captures The Climax of Lucifer's Story Arc in the epic Narrative Poem Paradise Lost, which is itself a retelling of the Book of Genesis. After losing Divine Conflict against God, Lucifer is cast from Heaven and in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown.
- Dante and Virgil in Hell depicts Canto XXX from the first act - "Inferno" - of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, itself an old and beloved work of fiction centuries old.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson's descriptions in his lyrical ballad "Lady of Shalott":
Mythology & Religion
- The Lady of Shalott (Holman Hunt) depicts the moment the titular Lady, Elaine of Astalot from the Arthurian Legend, as she exchanges glances with Lancelot and is henceforth cursed. This is symbolized by the mirror in her tapestry cracks.
- The Penumbra Podcast hired the fanartist disasterscenario to be their official artist after seeing her comic-style reimagining◊ of one of their scenes◊.
- The works of William Shakespeare have inspired artists for hundreds of years. Hamlet, in particular, has had the suicide of Ophelia depicted by Alexandre Cabanel and Sir John Everett Millais (Ophelia). Making this trope Older Than Radio.
- Alexandre Cabanel often took inspiration for his pieces from Greek theatre tragedies such as The Oresteia, resulting in his "Orestes". Another painting captures the scene when Orestes takes refuge in the Temple of Apollon, and a third one has him as a Marathon soldier.
- Realistic Pokémon: is a series of fanmade digital artworks of Pokemons that aim to be realistic. Not in the sense of toning the fantastical elements down but in the sense of Speculative Biology. And that the rendition is as detailed and lifelike as possible.
- Street Fighter II: The page image for Moveset Clone shows fanart of, well... Ryu And Ken.
- Ex-SNK artist Falcoon began his career at that company by drawing fan art for their various properties, such as The King of Fighters and Fatal Fury.
- A lot of webcomics have Fan Art sections. For example, Gunnerkrigg Court, El Goonish Shive and Zap!.
- Averted for Ctrl+Alt+Del: A fan once made a little CGI movie using Tim Buckley's characters for a school assignment and Buckley threatened him with a lawsuit because he wanted to save his artwork for The Animated Series. Oddly, there was an earlier post from Buckley saying it's okay to make fanart... Naturally, this only pushes the hatedom to new heights of hilarity (usually involving a "Loss Edit").
- Homestuck, naturally, has a ton of fan art but what makes it unique is that it also has fan music, enough for an entire (free!) unofficial album which is a fraction of Tindeck's Homestuck genre.
- A remarkable amount for Kim Possible, encompassing crossovers, the KP cast in other roles, Kim and Ron in the future (in college, married, with kids, or just older) and a lot of Kim and her nemesis Shego in a lesbian relationship. Curiously, though Rule 34 obviously applies, the last often tends toward being cute rather than overtly sexual.