Jul 292011

CCG Artist proofs are special version of the cards that have a blank white back. Each artist receives roughly fifty of these for each card he has published. Usually they’re sold at shows as a collectible.

Occasionally people pay extra to get a sketch put on the back.

And every now and then, someone wants something completely crazy…

Phyrexian Dreadnought on four A.P.s

This was a special commission and the Phyrexian Dreadnought shown here stretches across four Dreadnought APs.

These days, I recommend if someone wants something this crazy, they let me just put it on a piece of art board because I can do a better job on a surface that isn’t four cards trying to shift out of place as I’m drawing on them. Still, if that’s what they want…

The person who commissioned this was also going to buy the Dreadnought original but had to back out. His loss as there was someone else eagerly waiting to nab it.

Jul 272011

Remember that equation “Goblins + (Fire and/or Explosions) = Hilarity!”? Yeah, still holds true.

Here’s my one new piece of art in Magic’s 2012 core set – the Goblin Fireslinger.

Goblin Fireslinger Final Art

Here’s the art description –

Goblin Slinger
Location: Arid mountain region, perhaps near a goblin camp or cave
Action: Show a goblin swinging a some kind of goblin sling weapon, in which is a red-hot sling-stone. He looks viciously at the viewer, as if he’s about to bean us in the head with that stone.
Focus: The goblin slinger
Mood: An irritating little bugger!

And here’s the sketch. Sometimes I hand in black & white sketches, but sometimes I like to go with a color one, especially if the lighting is important to the image. Here’s that sketch –

Goblin Fireslinger Sketch

I imagine the goblin is on the opposite side of a narrow ravine filled with molten lava. The rock formations at the extreme lower left and lower right are rock bridges and the goblin is doing a fine job of protecting them both. However, it looks like at the moment of this image he’s decided to take the fight to the viewer and is beginning to launch himself across the ravine for a little ‘face-time’. And by face-time, I mean ‘face meets burning rock’.

As you can see, most of the goblin drawing is unchanged from sketch to final. His coloring underwent a big transformation because the hot lighting (from the unseen molten lava) was strengthened. This meant the green of the goblin felt more and more out of place with the ambient light in the image so his skin tone was shifted to yellow with warm brown shadows. Because all color is perceived relative to its surroundings, your brain tells you the final version of the goblin is more green that he actually is. Color is a tricksy evil swine sometimes. Ask any artist.

And talking of color, take a good look at his eyes. The center of his pupils are a brilliant blue.

Baby Blues

This might indicate the color of whatever he’s looking at reflected there but it’s really me using the strikingly out of place color to make his eyes more piercing, and that little bit extra crazy.

Oh, and bonus points if you noticed the ear on his swinging side is shortened and capped with a singed stump. Hey, swinging burning rocks ain’t easy and every goblin learns it one way or another!

I Dream in Scribbles

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Jul 082011

… or scribble dreams. That’s certainly the case this time.

While trying to rein in the horror that is my computer’s desktop, I found this little doodle I did of Morpheus of the Endless from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

The Lord Shaper

I vaguely remember doing this to try out some of the new brushes in the latest iteration of Artrage, which if you’re interested in digital painting, I strongly recommend you take a look at. It’s a budget price for an excellent piece of software.

Things That Make You Go BOOM

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Jul 042011

It’s 4th of July and here in Seattle there’s been people letting off fireworks in the dead of night for about three days now. Oh, the joy.

Me, I’m not a fan of publicly available fireworks. I much prefer the local authorities to put on a show and leave it in the hands of (presumably) professionals. You usually get a more impressive display and a lower injury rate. I was unfortunately once witness to a bottle rocket’s bottle tipping just before take off and firing the rocket into a crowd of spectators and I’ve never really felt the same way about fireworks ever again.

Anyway, whatever shenanigans you’re up to, stay safe. Goblins, on the other hand, should be encouraged to play with fire at all times. Remember this very important formula;

Goblins + (Fire and/or Explosions) = Hilarity!

I’d now like to demonstrate with samples from just one set – 2003’s Scourge;

Goblins with burning rock projectiles = Fun!
Goblin War Strike.

Goblins with pillar of fiery doom = Comedy gold.
Pyrostatic Pillar, which had the working title of Bug Zapper.

Whether they’re having a ball raining incendiaries down upon their enemies or running for their lives, nothing goes better with hot flaming death than a whole bunch of goblins. It’s true. I looked it up.

And finally, please try not to stab anyone’s eye out with a sparkler! Unless it’s an actual goblin, then that’s probably okay. Probably. Just remember, if you feel like picking a fight with a goblin, you better be ready to fight a dozen more. At least.