In general, I take what I'm given, assignment-wise, and try not to complain (still not complaining), but what I've found is that I rather like working on these darker pieces. I like the tense mood. I like the palettes. I like the opportunities for subtle expression to drive the story. I like the contrast between large shapes and jagged, pointy small ones. There's a lot of fun in there.
See, I told you I wasn't complaining.
Despite the joy I have in painting some truly awful imagery, there is a downside. These are not usually the kind of pieces people want on the walls of their home. No matter how beautifully painted, no matter how much the palette matches their couch, the subject matter (not surprisingly) just isn't something most folk are into. Sure, they appreciate it on one level or another — be it the technical facility, or the attachment to a beloved card in their beloved game — but at the end of the day, of the few people who buy original art, the audience for such pieces is relatively miniscule.
Hmmm....that sounds like a complaint right there. Except that it isn't. Strangely, I have found one or two of the folks who just so happen to be into such things. As for the rest of the work that I'm stuck with, I actually don't mind. Indeed, some of my best work falls under that horror heading and the fact that I've gotten to keep most of it really doesn't keep me up at night (though I do want to mention that it's still for sale).
Anyway, I'm not really sure why I'm mentioning all this except to say that the most recent Magic set, New Phyrexia, resulted in a fairly strong group of pieces in that darker genre that included the previously written about Phyrexian Hulk, Surgical Extraction, and the heretofore unnamed Etched Monstrosity.
At last I can give you the final piece of the lot. The card is called "Glistening Oil." The painting is oil on paper on hardboard and measures 12"x9". I'm not sure if the painting shares the title with the card (I'm not always sure of these things), but I do think the title will contain the word "oil" in it. And, despite it seeming so, I can assure you that the piece is not some commentary on our dependence upon fossil fuels, unless you think it's a good representation of such a thing... In which case, it is exactly that.
First the sketch followed by the finish.
|©Wizards of the Coast|
|©Wizards of the Coast|