Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Work: Benalish Veteran

Pretty straightforward, this piece.  I was asked to paint a seasoned warrior wearing the gold accented armor and blue garb of one of the Benalish.  Or something.  I was asked to include the braid, and the ogres or whatever they are.  Anyway here's what it looked like when I was done with it:

©Wizards of the Coast

12"x 9", oil on masonite.

If I'm honest, I could have done a bit more legwork in the beginning.  I might have wanted to explore my options more thoroughly early on.  Still, I kind of dig the pose.  I almost dig the composition.  But most of all, I dig the color scheme.

Now, at this point, you might be wondering, what color is he talking about?  There's hardly any in it.

And you wouldn't be the only one who pondered such a thing.  The art director did, too.  I was asked to key things up a bit and bring in some more color.  So, I took it into Photoshop and tweaked the file.  Here's how it came out:

©Wizards of the Coast

Originally, I had used things like the television series Band of Brothers for color inspiration.  Of course, that lead to a seriously limited palette, which is something I generally like.  In fact, left to my own devices, I might limit my palette to just 5 or 6 colors and mix mud all day.  While this might be fun for me to do for myself, it wasn't necessarily the right move for the piece or the client.  Such is life, I guess.

At the end of the day, I'm not unhappy with the version that got printed.  In fact, I find it to be an interesting exercise.  I ended up altering the color of the background only, which in turn affected the figure's color, as well.  While I knew it would (thanks to my handy, dandy Light, Color and Design class in college), I wasn't sure to what extent the veteran, himself, would end up looking changed.  It turns out, the answer was simply, just enough.

The piece was approved the second go around, and it's now out in the new Magic: The Gathering core set, M12.


  1. Shout out to Dwight Johnson! LCD!

  2. I had Gene Garfinkle. So, shout out to him. I guess.

  3. Insanity! I thought you were in my class.

  4. I'm not sure we shared any classes freshman year. English, maybe? Jane Augustine?

  5. Well don man, very cool piece. Found this magic card and as a Vet and an artist I love the qoute image combo. well done! do you have any larger resolution for a background wallpaper by chnance?

  6. Joshua,

    Thanks! Unfortunately, regarding the higher resolution image, I'm contractually limited in the ways I can use the images. I'm really not able to give those out. Sorry.


  7. I woke up this morning and had this card stuck in my head.

    It made an impression -- couldn't say exactly why.


I welcome all comments, questions, and discussion so long as you keep it civil.