Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Alternate Magic card sketches

When you work on a game like Magic:the Gathering, you are dealing with a grand mythology of sweeping scope, a game with the kind of illustrious visual history that can both inspire and utterly crush the unworthy. Which is to say, basically, it has cool looking card art.

Magic's illustrative ranks include some of the biggest names in fantasy art, and sliding my own humble efforts onto the table beside theirs is an intimidating proposition. So, whenever I undertake to not embarrass myself in said company, I always spend a great deal of time doing sketching. Far more than is probably necessary to get the job done. And thumb nailing. And more sketching.
While the thumbnails are mostly a horrendous collection of crawling half efforts, better left to slither into their dark corners and never see the light of day, some of the resulting drawings eventually take on form, and become at least something I can peddle to my art director as an indication of what the final image may look like. So I thought it might be fun to show you what the alternate sketches for some of my more recent cards looked like. Did the art director make the right decision when picking which sketch I should use?...

...Yes. Every time. That's why he's the art director.