The 5 (and a bit) Colors of Magic – White (1994)

Here’s the fourth in a series of promo pieces I did for Magic, waaaay back in 1994. They’ve never been seen in public before but I figured now was a great time – being M:TG’s 20th anniversary – to share them with you.

If you’re curious why these were never printed, the full story can be found in this prologue post.

Today, the color circle turns towards White –


Nowadays, White has a broader concept but White in Alpha was very euro-centric with its knights, paladins, medieval castles, the clergy, and the occasional angelic warrior. That’s very much reflected in this piece.

The great big glowing guy in the front wasn’t really the best choice for front and center but he was a powerhouse White card of early Magic and so he had to be given a significant spot. Still, he looks kinda goofy. His cheery countenance is offset by possibly the surliest lion alive; look at that scowl! I think he even has a 5 o’clock shadow. Maybe he’s hung over. All joking aside, I did overdo the lion’s lower jaw. This is a good reminder of how amazingly useful Google image search is for artist reference. It’s easy to forget how sometimes hunting for reference through magazines and books could really derail a tight deadline back in the day.

So, take a shot at identifying all the cards in the image. Remember, there are no cards from sets later than The Dark. The answers are below.

White Answers – What Cards Hidden Where?

The planeswalker in this piece is going for some kind of record –


  1. Wall of Swords
  2. Mesa Pegasus
  3. Serra Angel. No collection of White should be without her.
  4. This could be my variation on Cathedral of Serra or it might be a generic cathedral added to balance the castle and to sub-divide the lower left and right between priests and soldiers. I’m not sure anymore.
  5. Cleansing. One of the only cards from The Dark in the project, because I’d painted it so I knew what it looked like!
  6. The scales of Balance, suitably placed in the armor’s pattern.
  7. Castle. I guess it’d be cheating to say there’s a Moat there, right? 😉
  8. The priest from Resurrection.
  9. Clergy of the Holy Nimbus
  10. Personal Incarnation
  11. Savannah Lion
  12. White Knight and soldiers setting out on a Crusade.
  13. Northern Paladin
  14. Plains. Not the most visually exciting of lands which leaves the landscape looking weirdly uniform. I guess that’s fitting for the color of Order.
  15. This one surprised me when I rediscovered it: The shoulder pads are decorated with White Ward, Blue Ward, Black Ward, Red Ward, and Green Ward, with a cog at the center that might represent Artifact Ward or Circle of Protection: Artifacts!

Next, onto Blue.

~ by Pete Venters on September 24, 2013.