Invasive Surgery — the first piece assigned to me — was a great opportunity to dive into the deep end of the horror inherent to Innistrad, and I was ready to roll up my sleeves.
Reading the art order and looking at the world guide reference, it seemed pretty obvious to me what the fine folks at Wizards were looking for, and so I went at it. Here's what the sketch ended up looking like:ART DESCRIPTION:Setting: INNISTRADLocation: In a mad scientist's labAction: Show a close-up of a female human "mad scientist" who is crouched over her test subject -- an exposed brain. (It should be pretty bloodless -- maybe we only see brain matter through a square in a sheet, or maybe the subject's opened head is angled away from us.) She looks like she's about to go taking samples from this brain -- maybe she has a small bowl in one hand and some sort of drill-like scooping tool in the other. She leans in with slightly twitchy glee, eager to take her first scoop.Focus: The mad scientistMood: "This is for SCIENCE!"
|©Wizards of the Coast|
Balancing the needs of the piece was a little tough when pulling this together. I really wanted to show the patient's face and the description clearly was steering me away from that urge. I tried to find a compromise everyone would be happy with. When I got my feedback, the need for bloodlessness in the piece was reiterated and a request was made that lengthen the fabric covering the patient's face to just below the tip of the nose. Simple enough, and still allowing for some degree of showing the patient in some way. After agreeing to the changes, I went to paint.
|©Wizards of the Coast|
The finished piece is the usual oil on hardboard and measures fourteens inches wide by eleven inches tall.
While there are the usual tweaks I'd make to this piece and things I'd like to fix, I'm pretty happy with the final painting overall. If nothing else, it was a really nice reintroduction to the insanity of Innistrad and a fun chance to touch on parts of the world that I didn't get an opportunity to depict during the last go around. Honestly, for me there's nothing quite like getting to paint a manic lobotomist enjoying herself while plying her trade — even if it does make for another in a long line of creepy images I've created for Magic: the Gathering. This would only be the first from this new Magic set to to add to that pile of work, however...