Friday, August 31, 2012

Innistrad part 3

Four more from the Innistrad Magic: the Gathering block.  The above piece is called "Daybreak Ranger".  I'm not sure how great of a card it is but it seemed to resonate with fans.  It's a fun piece with a ludicrous weapon but my job is to make the ludicrous weapon look cool.  Innistrad is gothic horror setting and much of the look (especially of the humans) was taken from vaguely colonial historical vibes such as what you'd see in a movie like Sleepy Hollow or Ravenous.  However, no musket or other firearm weaponry exists in this Innistrad world so we had to come up with something along those lines but....well, but NOT.  Difficult.  But crossbows and bowguns seemed to do the trick.  How does she fire this without losing her fingers, you ask?  I thought maybe the bow string is held out away from the barrel of the gun just enough to get past her fingers.  Whatevs, I think it looks cool!  And I'm particularly pleased with the expression on her face - pensive and searching the trees for prey.

This one is the image on the back of the above card.  It is called "Nightfall Predator" and is supposed to be the Daybreak Ranger transformed into a lycanthrope.  Thus the similar mood/coloring, etc.

This one is called "GhoulRaiser".  i was having trouble with making it work in the painting phase.  So much so that I scrapped the image about half way through and started over.  but the second time through i went with an extremely limited palette: yellow ochre, burnt umber, and paynes gray.  I added touches of cad red medium later.  I think for this card, the limited palette gave me some focus and it worked for setting up the mood, too.

This one is called "Parallel Lives".  A wolf head (Innistrad wolf, that is) with a mirror image of itself.  I thought this was maybe going to be a decent card and so didn't want to take the easy route and just digitally flip one half of the painting.  So I drew it all out (well, I digitally flipped the drawing to make sure it was symmetrical) and painted it as a full image.  To play up the fact that this was not digitally manipulated, I made sure to make subtle differences here and there - the branches are slightly different on either side and only one wolf has a little drip of drool hanging off its lip!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Innistrad part 2

I'm posting these Innistrad pieces in no particular order to which they were released.  In my head, they're all part of one Magic expansion block so that's how I'm chucking them out there for you to see.  The above painting is called "Ranger's Guile" and is one of my faves from the set.  It's, of course, not that great of a card, but I think the painting came out nice with the rough murky atmosphere.  Plus, I zoomed in a little closer than I normally do for Magic card characters.  I have a bad habit of making my creatures and characters about the same size way too often - cropped at the waist or mid-thigh.  Here, well, the bark-skinned lass is cropped at the thigh but she's leaning in a lot which allowed for a closer look at her skin texture and blazing hunter's eyes.

The painting above is called "Feeding the Pack".  The wretched scan doesn't do the painting much justice here as darks will sometimes become strangely grainy and loose subtle color shifts.  Wizards of the Coast of course worked from the original painting and didn't have to rely on my shabby scan.  Taking a page from Chris Moeller, I got loose and slightly uncontrolled with the brush to create more of a textured and, in this scene, misty atmosphere - and played up the breathe of the horrid wolves.

While Ranger's Guile is one of my faves, "Hanweir Lancermay very well be THEE favorite of the lot - but only this version.  The final painting, while nice enough, is a little lighter overall and when I tweaked the darkness just a tad, it became much bolder and powerful.  The sketch had two guys in the foreground as well but I nixed them in favor of showing that spray of kicked up dirt and blood, that nice contour of the horse's belly and haunch, and of course, the dude getting trampled violently (see his arm ripping off!).  Also, I'm none too skilled at drawing horses but I'm slowly becoming better.  This is one of my better horse attempts.

One final note, the links to the interview on that I put in the previous post aren't working anymore.  I contacted the guy that interviewed me and he says he will find a new home for the interview and inform me of it so I can repost a new link.  Sorry 'bout that!