Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Magic: Abzan Beastmaster

Today I'm happy to share some new Magic art that was just released! It's like my birthday whenever I get the chance to share new art for MTG because they literally sit in my flat files for almost a year unseen by anyone except myself until that fateful day when I can reveal them to the world. It's especially hard when it's a piece that you are really proud of at the time, because sadly, by the time the illustration comes out I'm usually not crazy proud of it anymore.

I still like this guy though: 

Abzan Beastmaster - 15" x 20" Oil on masonite.

This assignment was a little unique for me as it is an alternate art promo card that will be given out to winning players that participate in the Friday Night Magic tournaments held this upcoming May. It's unique because the art description called for me to create an illustration that was similar to, as in it had the same art description:

Clan: Abzan
Color: Green creature
Location: Out on the plains of Khanar, a scrubby grassland/desert

Action: This is an alternative take on a male ainok beastmaster. He is shepherding his collection of huge beasts across the plain (see notes).
The ainok appears to be standing among some tall tree trunks, which are actually the legs of giant beasts. The ainok has a magical staff.

This card needs a different composition from the original.
Focus: The Ainok beastmaster.
Mood: Wise. Such a small dude wields power over such giant beasts.

But it had to be different from an image that was already created for the standard card. It's especially tricky when the reference art that already exists is super good. Here's the great standard version of the card that I was given to differentiate from by Winona Nelson:

I love the lighting that she used in this piece.

I enjoyed the challenge though, and tried my best to make my own version focusing on his connection with the giant creatures and playing up the "standing among tall tree trunks" feel for the legs of the beasts.

Here's a couple digital thumbnail sketches I did: 

 Since the description was pretty straightforward I was mostly focusing on lighting and how close or far away to show the beastmaster. We decided to go with the first one as it seemed  a "best of both worlds" between showing him closer up or more in the distance. 

Here's the sketch: 

12" x 16" (on 14" x 17" paper) charcoal and digital.

And lastly, here's the card:


 As always, thanks to Dawn Murin the AD on this project for all the fun! There should be a couple more popping up for this upcoming Magic set so check back for more art soon.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool illustration Scott. It looks especially nice on the card with its pumped up saturation & levels; the greens in his armor came out really nice.