Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Loathsome Catoblepas - Magic the Gathering Process


While choosing what to post today I skipped over a bunch of older content that has been waiting in the queue to be posted and jumped ahead to something I have really been eager to post... the process to my very first Magic the Gathering card. The mighty Loathsome Catoblepas has the honor to be that card and so that we are all on the same page, here is how the final piece turned out...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
PRINTS AVAILABLE!
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

The preproduction for a MtG set is impressive and a really well thought out and thorough style guide is provided to the artists before production begins. If the answer to your art question is not in the style guide then there should be enough information in it to make a very well informed guess. In the style is a nice one page profile of the concept work for the Catoblepas. I was tasked to make a Catoblepas monster based on the concept art, but make it bulkier and meaner as it stands its ground. Seemed straight forward... so I got to work on some thumbnails...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Thumbnails
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

See any issues yet? Moving on... Option "A" was picked, but there were a couple notes and I made adjustments to the thumbnail. This updated thumbnail was resubmitted...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Updated Thumbnail
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

I received a note or two as I given approval to move forward onto the drawing stage. So far so good, right? Moving right along! Now for the drawing...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Sketch
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

See it now? Yeah, the Catoblepas actually does not look like the Catoblepas. Totally my fault... I misunderstood the usage of "based on". I am use to "based on" being VERY loose and allowing a good deal of latitude for change and exploration. My bad. Now that I had something more tangible... as in a finished drawing, it was a lot easier for all parties involved to see where I was going wrong and send me down the right path. The important part of the style guide is that it is there for a reason and it is to be used! This is why there is a thumbnail and sketch phase to production. Problem detected and actions taken to resolve...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Updated Sketch
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

A few quick fixes later and I had an approved drawing that was a ton better and a lot more inline to the concept for the Catoblepas. Only thing left to do it get started on the painting...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Process Steps
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Process Steps Continued
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

In eight quick and easy steps you can have your very own Catoblepas... or not. I have mentioned that  some of my paintings seem to come together much quicker then expected... but no painting that I have done recently tops the Catoblepas. This piece came together extremely quickly and I was a little uncomfortable by that speed and ease. After all, this is a Magic card... my first, and I felt there should be a lot of laborious work filled with self doubt (more the usual) and uncertainty (again, more then usual). Nope... I just started painting and all the pieces fell into place. Whom am I to complain (trick question!)... anyway, it came together and was approved and that is all that counts in the end sometimes. Again, here is how the final piece turned out...

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

I will mention that when I finished the piece I was very happy with it, but after a couple of months of reflecting on it I began to really dislike how this piece turned out. Thankfully, in time that dislike passed and I like how this piece turned out and I don't think I would change a thing about it now.

"Loathsome Catoblepas" in handy card form

I would be amiss in not including the toned paper drawing of this piece that I did. Still one of my favorite toned paper pieces... RAWR!

"Loathsome Catoblepas" - Magic the Gathering - Theros
12 x 9
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

No comments:

Post a Comment