|©Wizards of the Coast|
Rather shockingly, this sketch is a pretty clear representation of that the piece came to be. It's even relatively tight — unusual to be sure. Why? Well, I really didn't know what the thing was meant to look like so I tried to solve as much of the mystery as possible. I didn't want to make too much up in the paint lest it should start traveling down too conservative a path. I wanted to really be on the same page with the art director on this one.
As for the vital statistics, I failed to mention those, as well. It's oil on paper on hardboard and measures 14" x 11". I was going to go as large as 16" x 12", but I found that I didn't like the proportion as much with the composition (as minimal as it might be). I did this by simply creating two documents in Photoshop — one at each proportion — then plugging the sketch in to see how it looked. I do this a lot to determine the size of things I'll have to paint as my paintings tend to be larger than my sketches and I have a difficult time doing the mental math.
Also, as I mentioned in the comments below, I was working on a much larger piece at the same time (which I look forward to revealing soon), and I really didn't want to tempt fate with more than one "larger" piece lest the experiment go horribly wrong. Surprisingly, the 14"x11" dimension of the piece seemed to suit it quite well. It does actually have some degree of presence despite its smaller size. I'm guessing that that's to do more with the high level of contrast within the piece itself. But that's just a guess.