Solemn Simulacrum a.k.a. sad robot
Solemn Simulacrum a.k.a. sad robot

[pix_dropcap]A[/pix_dropcap]ll of my cards for Kaladesh have now been previewed! I have a total of 6 cards in Kaladesh and I think I’ll have 4 in Aether Revolt? I’ll have to check.

Working on Kaladesh was a huge change from Innistrad, not just the content, but also the lighting and color palette. Kaladesh is all about light and color, so I really wanted to push my lighting and come up with some more interesting lighting schemes and let the light tell a story.

Since Kaladesh was such a big change from what I normally do, it was incredibly difficult to work on. Even though I was on both concept pushes for Kaladesh, I still had a really hard time when we were given our card briefs. Several of the cards I was really unhappy with and I normally don’t post paintings I hate, but I’ll go ahead and post all of my Kaladesh paintings.

I think part of the problem was that Kaladesh had a lot of buildings in the set. I don’t paint buildings very often so I always struggle with them, which is funny considering I helped design the buildings in Kaladesh. I don’t typically like painting crowd scenes either, so I always have a hard time coming up with how to pose the figures and how to make them interact.

Multiform Wonder © Wizards of the Coast
Multiform Wonder © Wizards of the Coast

Multiform Wonder was especially hard since it called for a crowd scene and a bunch of buildings. I remember getting extremely frustrated with the painting the entire time I worked on it and I never planned on posting the final image anywhere.

Combustible Gearhulk was another illustration that I wasn’t happy with. I didn’t like the design of the creature I came up with and I didn’t like the pose either. I should have spent a lot more time on the buildings in the background too. I think the only part that I don’t hate are the tiny people on the platform, which is funny because you can’t really see them on the card.

Solemn Simulacrum was fun because it’s an existing card. Creating new art for an existing card can be tricky because people will always want to compare them to one another. I’m always worried that I’ll let down the fans and create something they don’t like. Of course the sad robot is sitting alone in an alley. I think the brief said that he was on display, which is why he has the fancy platform around him. I didn’t want to put him in a very complicated downtown market scene because it would take away from the focus, plus it would make the painting much harder to execute. I think putting him alone in an alley helps his solemn persona. Or maybe I’m trying to find excuses for why I didn’t paint a very complicated street scene.

Unfortunately Solemn Simulacrum printed very dark. For some reason since Shadows Over Innistrad, I’ve had problems with my paintings printing very dark. My setup hasn’t changed, so I wonder if something on WotC’s end changed? Now Daarken is a sad robot.

I wasn’t particularly happy with Demon of Dark Schemes either. I guess I felt like the pose was a little boring and maybe it was weird that he is standing out in the middle of a field. In any case, this was another card I wasn’t planning on showing. Of course I then found out that they used it for one of the booster pack images.

While I had a few paintings I didn’t like in this set, I also had one of my favorite Magic paintings to date in this set. Gonti, Lord of Luxury is one of my favorite Magic paintings. I really liked the character they wanted me to paint and I liked the mood I was able to create.

I was a little worried that people would criticize the fact that the light shining through the window doesn’t cast the correct shape on the wall. I tried creating an accurate version but the pattern was so detailed that it actually distracted the viewer from the main focal point. Not only was it very detailed, but there was a lot of contrast with the light, so it just became too distracting. I opted to go for a less detailed and less accurate version in order to preserve the integrity of the painting. Is it accurate? Nope, and I’m fine with that.