Battle for Zendikar

160816 Sphere of Exclusion

Quarantine Field – Battle for Zendikar

Back in July of last year our son was born. Anyone with a kid knows how hard it is to work full-time when you have a new baby in the house. Over the first 8 days I had a combined total of 8 hours of sleep. When I did get some sleep, I was waking up every 2-5 minutes because every sound made me think “OMG is my son ok?”

Right after he was born I received my Origins commission, which included the description for Fiery Impulse, Consul’s Lieutenant, and Hangarback Walker. Those weren’t exactly simple cards to illustrate, so it was challenging trying to finish those cards while helping to raise my son. After I finished those illustrations, I asked my AD if I could get some easier cards for the next wave. Luckily my AD threw me a bone.

The first three cards I received for Battle for Zendikar were Jaddi Offshoot, Ghostly Sentinel, and Tide Drifter. It was still hard finding time to work on my freelance and teach my mentorship. I would often have to paint while holding my son as I bounced up and down on a yoga ball. For some reason he would only stop crying or fall asleep while bouncing on a yoga ball. Although, it was good exercise!

You can probably tell that these three illustrations are a bit looser than some of my other illustrations. I have to say, the fish brush saved my life when I was painting Tide Drifter. Thanks Jonas De Ro!

brood butcher

Brood Butcher

This was also around the time when I was trying to push myself to create different and more dynamic compositions, like in Fiery Impulse. I think for the first three illustrations I resorted to my typical painting style, probably due to the lack of time. When I received the briefs for Brood Butcher and Quarantine Field, I tried to push myself again.

There are still some things that bug me about these illustrations, like the dark object in the foreground in Tide Drifter and the poorly rendered water in Brood Butcher, but sometimes you gotta turn in what you have.

Origins

160289 Chandra's Scorching

Fiery Impulse – MtG Origins

It has been a long time since my last post. We just recently moved and with my work schedule and helping raise mini Daarken, things have been pretty busy.

Origins was a special set for me. I was lucky enough to be on the concept push for Origins, so I helped design the look and feel of the set.

If you have seen the other cards that have been previewed, you will know that architecture, vehicles, and elaborately designs props and weapons play a huge part in this set. Those are also all things that I normally don’t paint, so it was a real challenge.

Before I started working on the concept push, I received a mixed review on my book Elysium. The person said

“I didn’t give it 5 stars like many others though, everyone has their own perspectives and reasons; me, I would have enjoyed more variety in color and poses. I understand that that artist is commissioned for specific pieces, but it doesn’t feel like he takes much risks. I’m not sure how many pieces he worked on to be exclusively for this book, but that would have been a great opportunity to get out of his comfort zone. It feels like he has a formula that works and is in a safe place at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I became an instant fan, the book is high quality, I agree with many of the reviewers, but didn’t give it the 5 stars because every other work was a little expected.”

Most people might ignore a review like this or think “they don’t know what they are talking about.” For me, this review really made me take a closer look at my decisions as an artist. I thought about it for weeks and months on end. I’m the type of person that will dwell on one single bad review instead of the hundreds of good reviews. This review wasn’t really bad, but you know what I mean.

Kaladesh Captain - MtG Origins

Kaladesh Captain – MtG Origins

After I received that review, I went to Renton for the concept push. Maybe the art gods were keeping tabs because I ended up having to work on a lot of architecture, vehicles, and elaborate props. It was great to get out of my comfort zone, but I was constantly second-guessing myself.

When it came time to work on Fiery Impulse, I did the sketch how I normally would. It was just the standard standing pose with Chandra casting some magic. Nothing special, but it got the job done.

After I finished my sketch, the words of the reviewer echoed through my head. This person was right. I wasn’t pushing myself or taking enough chances, so I completely started over. I tried to come up with something more dynamic and something out of my wheelhouse. If I hadn’t received that review, I probably wouldn’t have come up with that composition.

Hangarback Walker - MtG Origins

Hangarback Walker – MtG Origins

I guess the moral of the story is to take any negative feedback you receive and try to improve upon it. Don’t get mad or stomp around your house pouting, try and become a better artist. You are going to constantly receive criticism as a professional artist. If you can’t take it, you probably won’t last long.

I think it also helped that this person was nice with their feedback. Had they resorted to trolling, the result may have been much different. So I guess there is a double moral to this story; if you give someone a critique, be professional about it and try to give them feedback that will actually help the person.

Hunter Tutorial

Hunter

Hunter

Last month I came out with a new video tutorial about the process I go through when designing characters for a client. I haven’t done very many character design tutorials and I’ve been playing Bloodborne a lot lately, so I wanted to create something that was inspired by Bloodborne.

You can purchase it from Gumroad. If you are a PayPal user, just PayPal the money to my account (daarkenart@daarken.com). In the note section, tell me you are purchasing this tutorial and include your email address. I will then give you a link to download it for free from Gumroad. Here is a little info about the tutorial.

Price – $7.99 buy, $2.99 rent
Length – 199 min.
Format – MP4 2560×1600
Bonus Material – Brushes (link) and JPG of final painting
Language – English, full commentary (English subtitles)
Software – Photoshop CC 2014

Subtitles

After I released my tutorial, a few people asked about adding subtitles to my videos. Adding subtitles takes an incredibly long time because you have to listen to the audio, type a few words, go back and listen to the audio again, type again, etc. etc.

Not only that, but you actually have to change the subtitles in order for them to work. Spoken English is much different than written English, so often times you need to edit the subtitles so that they make more sense or flow better.

You also have to consider that not everyone is a fast reader, so you need to try and keep each section of subtitles to around 42 characters. Typically you don’t want to make people read more than 21 characters per second. Now I understand why sometimes when you watch something with subtitles, they don’t always match what is being said.

It took me about 3 weeks to create the subtitles for a 199 minute tutorial. I’m glad I took the time to finally release a tutorial with subtitles, but I probably won’t be able to keep adding subtitles to my videos. Unfortunately it just takes too long. Maybe if my schedule changes I can add more in the future, but right now I probably won’t be able to.

I proofread my tutorial several times, but I’m sure I still probably missed something. If anyone notices anything, please let me know so that I can make changes.

Thanks!

Forbidden Stars

Forbidden Stars © Games Workshop

Forbidden Stars © Games Workshop

Two years ago I started a painting for the game Forbidden Stars by Fantasy Flight Games. Of course at the time I had no idea it would take two years before it was announced. I had actually given up on this, thinking that the project probably died and my painting would never be seen by the public.

Similar to my other Warhammer paintings for Fantasy Flight Games, this one has part of the background that is cut out to allow the box design to show through. Doing this looks weird when there is no context, but it looks cool when it is on the box.

I don’t paint very many vehicles and I wanted to paint some views that you normally don’t see. The problem with that is that you can’t really find any good reference shots online of uncommon angles. The good thing about working on Warhammer Online is that I know a lot of people with 40k minis. Luckily my friend was able to shoot some reference for me.

Originally there were fewer elements in the sketch, but they decided they wanted me to add more. I submitted the revised sketch, which was approved. After making the changes and taking the painting to final, they decided to go back and take them out.  Even after I gave them the revised final, they still decided to make more changes.

You might notice some differences between my version and the one on the box. A few of the ships have been moved, the Ultramarine’s backpack is a bit different, and they removed my name from my painting. These changes were made by another artist. This is actually fairly common when you work for a client. When you create a work for hire, they have the right to change whatever they want without letting you know.

During the process of this painting I had to make a ton of revisions. Other than the revisions I had to make during the sketch phase, I think I ended up making around 22 separate changes to the final illustration. I think the changes made for a better painting, but it was a long and hard road.

Dragons of Tarkir

159802 Kolaghan's Mastery

Kolaghan’s Command – Dragons of Tarkir © Wizards of the Coast

At PAX East, Wizards of the Coast previewed some of my paintings from Dragons of Tarkir, although I think the entire set has been released online by now.

I only have three cards in Dragons of Tarkir. I actually had to opt out of the second wave of commissions because the deadline was going to be a little too close to the birth of our son. This was the first time I declined Magic work, so I was a little afraid that they might forget about me and not hire me again for the next block. I’m glad I did though because it gave me more time to prepare.

There are so many new names in Magic and their work is incredible, so I always worry that one day I won’t receive any new Magic work. I think most artists feel this way once they have been in the industry for awhile. This fear also helps push me to try and create better art. It doesn’t always mean that I do produce better art, but I definitely try to. At the same time it is also exciting to see all of the new names and what they bring to the game.

Boltwing Marauder - Dragons of Tarkir © Wizards of the Coast

Boltwing Marauder – Dragons of Tarkir © Wizards of the Coast

Thinking back, I probably should have opted out of this wave as well. At the time I was on-site at Wizards of the Coast for a concept push working on some secret stuff. During the concept pushes I’m at WotC from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. It is a normal full-time job. That means in order to work on my freelance, I have to do it after hours at the hotel.

Typically I would get off at 6:00 pm, shower, and then eat some dinner. That means I probably won’t start working on my freelance until around 7:30 pm. I would probably get in a good 4-5 hours of work before I had to go to bed since I wake up at 7:00 am.

So after getting off of work, I had to work on all three of these illustrations. Of course two of them aren’t exactly simple. Multiple figures, horses, and dragons. I’m getting old now, so working 12-13 hours a day isn’t as easy as it used to be.

If you have ever had to work in a hotel, you also probably know that they don’t exactly have the best desks. Most of them are way too tall, which would wreak havoc on my wrists. It also doesn’t help that I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and cubital tunnel syndrome in my left arm. I probably could have gone back to the office, but after being there all day, you kind of want to get away. Plus I think they turn off the A/C at night, or maybe that is just on the weekends.

Foul-Tongue Invocation - Dragons of Tarkir © Wizards of the Coast

Foul-Tongue Invocation – Dragons of Tarkir © Wizards of the Coast

It also didn’t help that I was struggling with all three of these paintings. Horses are always hard to paint, plus I think dragons are hard to paint as well. I think it is mainly their wings that give me problems. Multiple figures with multiple horses and dragons? Blah.

I often go through these periods where I feel like I forgot how to paint. I was definitely feeling that when I was working on these. I couldn’t figure out the colors, I couldn’t figure out how to render certain things, I just felt like I couldn’t paint. Maybe I get this way when I’m burned out, I don’t know.

Foul-Tongue Invocation gave me a lot of problems as well. I wasn’t very happy with this painting and I sort of wrote it off as one of those paintings that you finish and then throw away. The dragons are usually a lot larger than that, but I had to show one next to a human and make them both important and both read at card size, so I had to just make the dragon smaller. Sometimes you gotta bend the rules to make something work. Maybe this is a baby dragon. Yeah, my excuse is that this is a baby dragon.

Foul-Tongue Invocation detail

Foul-Tongue Invocation detail

I also didn’t like how the girl’s face looked at card size. The glowing bits from her eyes and mouth just made her look weird at card size. The glow from her eyes and mouth was in the description of the card, so I had to put them in there. It looks a lot better larger, so take a look at the detail shot.

I actually completely started over on her face too. The first one I painted was pretty horrible and the lighting was bad. I also didn’t really capture the features that I wanted. Instead of trying to make something work that doesn’t, I just deleted the face and started over. Sometimes you just gotta throw something away and start over.

It might seem a little silly to worry about these things, especially when the images on the cards are so small that most people won’t even see the details artists worry about. I think I mainly do it because I don’t want to create a bad painting, regardless of how big or small it will be printed.

Fate Reforged

Archfiend of Depravity © Wizards of the Coast

Archfiend of Depravity © Wizards of the Coast

Two of my illustrations from Fate Reforged were spoiled the other day, so here they are!

The first card is Archfiend of Depravity. This card was fun, but very tricky. The description called for a demon floating above a pile of dead bodies. Although I have to admit, painting the pile of dead bodies was pretty fun. Not because of the subject matter, but because it allowed me to paint things I don’t normally paint, like feet.

It was a good challenge, but now I wonder if the government has me flagged for Googling piles of dead bodies. I think most artists probably have some pretty weird Google searches.

The body pile ended up taking me maybe 2 days to paint? It doesn’t seem like much and a lot of it is hidden in shadow, but it took a lot of time. After I turned in my painting, my AD said that the demon was too small at print size and they were going to have to crop out the body pile. They own the image and they can do what they will with it, but I was a little disappointed since I spent a lot of time painting it, plus I felt it made the illustration better. I completely understand though, they need the illustration to fit their needs, so you gotta do what you gotta do.

I was very surprised when I saw the spoiler because they left the body pile in! Yeah I guess the demon is a little small at print size, but I think the card makes much more sense with the body pile considering the mechanics of the card.

Outpost Siege © Wizards of the Coast

Outpost Siege © Wizards of the Coast

The next card is Outpost Siege. Battle scenes are always tough for me. I tend to have a problem creating cool and dynamic fighting scenes, which is why I find it weird that so many of my illustrations these days are battle scenes.

I was never really fond of this illustration. I had a lot of trouble painting it and I was just never satisfied with the results. Most of the time I don’t post paintings I don’t like, but sometimes I have to. If I didn’t, I would never be able to post anything. If I really hate a painting, I won’t post it. I think I’m mainly unhappy with the people and not so much the dragon.

I believe I have 1 more painting in this set. Unfortunately I had to opt out of the second wave in the third set (Dragons of Tarkir) since our son was going to be born during the time as the deadlines. I should still have 3 cards in Dragons of Tarkir, but I was pretty bummed out because this was the first time I turned down work from Magic, plus I had helped concept two of the three sets of Khans of Tarkir, Dragons of Tarkir being one of them. Ah well, it was probably better that I opted out instead of turning in mediocre work.

“For the Emperor and Sanguinius! Death! DEATH!”

Blood Angels © Games Workshop

Blood Angels © Games Workshop

Of course, as soon as I post something saying I have nothing new to post, something new comes out.

Several of my Blood Angels were spoiled when Games Workshop started taking pre-orders for the new Codex Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard Edition. It looks like it is out now, so go pick one up before they sell out!

Painting anything from Warhammer 40k is super exciting, so it was great to paint 7 Blood Angels for the new Codex. I also painted a little blank side view of a pauldron so that GW could swap in and out various company markings.

When GW approached me to create the new Blood Angels, they wanted me to update the old front pose they used to use for all of the various Space Marines. If you have ever looked at a 40k Codex, you know which one I’m talking about. They wanted something more interesting and dynamic and they wanted different poses for each one.

Blood Angels Sketches

Blood Angels sketches

The sketches I did for the various poses are pretty straightforward. They wanted a standing pose with no background, although I added a little bit around the feet just to ground them so that they didn’t look like they were floating in space. A few of them changed slightly as I took them to finish, but they are pretty close to the original sketches.

I was on a fairly tight deadline (partially due to my commitments with my other clients in addition to these), so I may or may not have copy and pasted a few legs, heads, and arms between the 7 paintings. Shhhhh.

What’s funny about this guy is that after I submitted my file, I noticed that he had six fingers on his right hand. Of course I didn’t notice this until several months after I had turned in my final and by then it was too late. This version is the fixed one, but if you look at the book, he probably has six fingers on one hand. “You killed my father, prepare to die!”

Yeah I know, I remembered the trigger discipline on the Angels Encarmine, but I forgot to on this guy. What can I say, he likes to live dangerously. I mean, you gotta when you have six fingers! I dunno, maybe he just finished shooting his gun in the air while yelling “yeehaw!” That makes sense right? Maybe I’ll add a muzzle flash…

Ah screw it, I already went back and removed one finger, I might as well take his other finger off the trigger. Ok, here is the new new version.

Codex Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard Edition prints

Codex Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard Edition prints

Anyhoo, the Codex Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard Edition looks super awesome and it comes with prints of all 7 of my Blood Angels. I wish I could get one!

I like how they cropped the right arm off the guy with six fingers. Maybe they noticed it and decided to crop it, or maybe it just turned out that way.

That’s about it for now. Just remember, “Be bloody, bold, and resolute!”

Blast from the Past – 2006

Hero Japan Marketing

I wanted to post the concepts I created for Crytek for the game Ryse: Son of Rome, but I was told I’m not allowed to show my work to anyone. Since I can’t post any of my new art either, I figured I would continue from my Warhammer post and show some of my older paintings that have never been seen before.

Behold! Paintings from 2006! I would say “there can be only one,” but then this would be a very short and boring post.

These were illustrations and concepts I did back in 2006 (I graduated in 2004) for Widescreen Games for the game Highlander. Unfortunately Widescreen Games is no longer around and the Highlander game was canceled back in 2010.

Oh man, it’s always weird going back and looking at your old work. These paintings are 8 years old now, 8 years! I believe these were actually my first “real” video game concepts. By “real” I mean concepts for a big client and title. I had worked for a video game company called Mind Control Software before this, but we weren’t making big games, we made word and puzzle games. Other than this work, I was working on D&D interior illustrations, card art for Fantasy Flight Games, and a few other random things for smaller clients. I think I started working on Magic: The Gathering in 2006 as well.

new_yorkMy stuff was pretty dark (hence the name) and loose back then, and apparently everyone had huge hands and feet.

This painting was the art test I did for Widescreen Games. Widescreen Games was a very professional client, so they paid me for this art test. In this day and age most art tests seem to be unpaid, so I was grateful that Widescreen Games knew and understood the value of paying an artist for their art test.

The cool thing about working on the Highlander game was that the game spanned different timelines, which allowed me to paint designs from various cultures and time periods. I’m usually known for my fantasy work, so I hadn’t done very many paintings of characters in contemporary clothing. This was a great opportunity for me to practice painting jeans and Chucks. Now that I think about it, this was the last time I painted people in contemporary clothing, other than studies from life.

As always, this wasn’t all of the work I did for Widescreen Games. The rest isn’t really worth showing.

Ancient Gaul, Pompeii, and other stuff

Vikings, gladiators, Romans, oh my! I can’t really remember who Antonius was with. He looks like a typical fantasy character while the others are more historical. Maybe he was with a barbarian horde? I can’t remember.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it really is weird how your perception changes over time. Looking back at these paintings I can see how off my proportions were, yet back then I thought they were correct. I remember reading this article that explained a scientific reason why beginning painters can’t recognize their mistakes, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. If anyone knows which article I am talking about, I would love to read it again.

Feudal Japan

I’ve always loved Japanese armor, so I had a lot of fun working on these. I used to periodically run down to Kinokuniya in San Francisco and look at their armor books. Looking back now, I’m not really happy with my designs. I think I really could have pushed these more, plus the paintings themselves are kind of blah. Before you say anything about the samurai hero using a Chinese sword, I was told to do that. Joe, I’m talking to you!

Modern Day – New York

Now you can’t say I never painted mad bling (not my idea), although I’m not sure why he is squatting and pretending to hold a chainsaw. I don’t think he was initially supposed to hold a chainsaw, which is why his hand doesn’t look like it is really holding it. Or maybe he was and I just screwed up, I can’t remember.

There is Still Hope for Me Yet

So, as my students said after showing them this post,  ”there is still hope for me yet.” Yeah I know, my paintings were pretty lame back then. Thanks for rubbing it in!

It’s always fun to look back at your old work and see how far you have come, but I also cringe at my old work and I feel a little silly showing them. I need to figure out a way to systematically remove all of my old Game of Thrones paintings from the internet. Those should never been seen by the human eye, ever. Pew pew! (That’s me using lasers to remove my Game of Thrones paintings from the internet.)

More Hobbit Stuff

Bard_12b

Bard the Bowman

I’m back!

I have a couple of new paintings I did for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth by Kabam.

Like with the other paintings I did for Kabam (more here, and here), these were painted on a transparent background so that they could be dropped directly into the game. This time they requested full figures, so no sketchy legs!

I was actually working on these paintings while I was sitting in the hospital waiting for my wife to give birth to our son. We were in the hospital for 4 days, so I had plenty of time to work on my freelance. Good thing I have a Wacom Companion!

It’s pretty hard to believe that I’ve been doing paintings for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth for more than two years now. I think so far I’ve created a total of 38 paintings, not counting a few head changes. I ended up painting two different heads for Legolas and Elrond.

Master_of_Laketown_13b

Master of Laketown

The Master

The Master of Laketown was fun to paint, but it was hard. There aren’t very many high resolution images online of his outfit, so I couldn’t go into as much detail as I could with the other characters. With the other characters I actually received high resolution production images from the film, which was great. This time I didn’t receive any production images of Bard the Bowman or the Master of Laketown. Google was my friend.

It’s funny because after I turned in my painting, they said that the style of their game assets had changed and they needed something more loose and less detailed. I ended up going back through my old iterations (luckily I keep them all) and used some of my looser WIPs to create a less refined painting.

These are the more detailed versions because I like them better. I think they match my other paintings better than the loose versions, which makes sense because they are all part of the same game.

Ok I lied, these are actually a hybrid of the more detailed version and the less detailed version. I liked some parts of the looser version and some parts of the more refined version, so I just masked out certain areas. Sometimes you can add too much detail. I think I got carried away in some areas.

Vastriel_Upper_Body

Vastriel

Vastriel

Vastriel is a new character Kabam wanted me to create for the game. Creating a new character for an IP like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings is incredibly daunting. It is a great opportunity to expand the universe, but you might end up upsetting the fans. It is even harder when creating a female character, especially in a fantasy genre.

The designs in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are definitely more historical than fantastical, so I didn’t want to go into too much high fantasy. Of course there is always the problem of female armor too. You won’t see any mail bikinis in The Hobbit, so you won’t see any on Vastriel either. I also didn’t want to take the route of boob armor.

I painted Vastriel back when I was working on the first paintings I did for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, so she is probably about two years old now. I posted the avatar I painted of her a long time ago, but I never posted the full painting. Her legs aren’t painted because you will never see her legs in the game.

Here is the description I was given.

Vastriel is a Rivendell loremaster who has armed herself with artifacts. Long red hair, pieces of armor over an elvish gown or robes, attractive, appears about 30. Sword and shield. She’s driven, almost obsessed — with finding artifacts, protecting her people, and killing Orcs. 

 

She needed to be armored enough to look like she could take out some Orcs, but not so big and bulky that she lost her femininity. Of course she also needed a book since she is a loremaster! I didn’t want to add too many artifacts and knickknacks to her belt since that might get too much into high fantasy, but I thought one book would probably be ok.

Stealing the Arkenstone

Stealing the Arkenstone

Smaug

This was the last painting I did for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. Maybe they will hire me to do some more paintings in the future, but as of right now, this was my last painting.

When they asked me to paint Bilbo stealing the Arkenstone, I think my eyes glazed over. All I could think about was “how in the world am I going to paint all of those coins?” I didn’t think about how I was going to paint Bilbo or Smaug or the environment, no, only those cursed coins.

I think I ended up trying several methods. A coin brush didn’t really work and photo textures didn’t really work, so I ended up just painting them all by hand. They are all really loose, so it wasn’t like I was spending hours and hours painting each coin. I think trying to decide how refined to paint the coins was also a problem. How big was this painting going to be seen? Would I need to render the coins out or just hint at them?

This actually isn’t the version that was released. After I had painted this version, they had asked me to remove the Arkenstone and make Bilbo bigger. I’m not sure why they wanted me to take out the Arkenstone, but I think the painting works much better with it. Not only does it help guide your eye, but it is also an important storytelling element.

Well, it has been a great two years. Hopefully this won’t be the last you’ll see of me when it comes to Middle-earth.

GP San Antonio Playmat – Spirits of War

Spirits of War

Spirits of War

Next month I’ll be one of the guest artists for GP San Antonio from November 28-30th.

Steve Port contacted me and wanted to know if I would be interested in creating an original playmat illustration for the GP. They wanted something that was specific to the city of San Antonio, so of course the Alamo and the Riverwalk were the first to come to mind.

The illustration needed to look like it could fit within the world of Magic, but it couldn’t look too much like Magic. The Riverwalk is a little too modern, so I didn’t know if I could make it fit very well within the world of Magic. I ended up going with the Alamo idea, but I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the Alamo.

At first I considered painting a battle scene, but I thought it would be a little too complicated. Players will be playing Magic on top of these playmats, which means there are going to be a lot of cards and tokens cluttering the surface. If I painted something that was complicated and then added all of the elements from the game on top, I thought it would just be too chaotic and it might distract the players from the game. I wanted something a little more simple, but not too boring.

The Sketch

Original sketch

Original sketch

My first sketch had the warriors standing in front of the Alamo, but they were all living. WotC had to approve my sketch, and their feedback was that my painting didn’t feel fantastical enough to fit within the world of Magic. They also suggested that I make the designs of the warriors similar to the designs in Khans of Tarkir.

I decided to turn all of the background warriors into spirits. Hopefully that would give the illustration a more fantastical feel. I had also planned on making the main warrior’s sword glow, but I thought it would blend in too much with the background warriors.

Video Tutorial

At this point I thought it would be cool to record my painting process and create a new tutorial. Since I hadn’t recorded the process of the original sketch, I repainted it specifically for the tutorial.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to record the entire process. Some parts during the middle of the process weren’t filmed because it would have taken up too much space and the video would have been extremely long. I usually spend 2-3 days on a Magic painting, so this painting took me probably more than a week to paint. Even after skipping parts of the process, my video was still 6 hours long. I was able to cut that down to a 4.5 hour demo and the video file is around 9 GB.

Selling a 9 GB file through my own store might end up exceeding my bandwidth, so I decided to offer the tutorial through Gumroad. Yes, I have finally joined the Gumroad frenzy. Be sure to check out my other videos on Gumroad as well!