Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ravenous Leucrocota - Magic the Gathering Process

Today on the blog I have for you the process and steps that went into my contribution to the Journey Into Nyx expansion of Magic the Gathering, the very hungry Ravenous Leucrocota. This may be a little overdue, but there is so much to share on the blog these days that is a little wait in the queue to be posted. Here is how the final Ravenous Leucrocota turned out...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Magic the Gathering - Journey Into Nyx
PRINTS AVAILABLE HERE!
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Leucrocota was not part of the Theros style guide which meant I got to design and illustrate another new monster. Since the Leucrocota is an existing mythological creature I needed to give it a unique Theros spin with a generous helping of my own monster tendencies. The art order listed the physical characteristic they wanted to see - head of a badger, haunches and tail of a lion, hooves, mouth open to the ears, bone ridges instead of teeth... and it all had to feel like a cohesive animal and not a chimera. With that in mind I got to work on some concepts...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Concepts
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

While these may seem similar, to me they are very different. Both designs were approved by production so in the end I did a mix of the two designs and played up elements I really liked. I also worked up several color concepts to give a range of options. All of the animals of Theros have patterning on them, which allows for lots of fun when designing. Here are how my color concepts turned out...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Color concepts
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Again, all options were approved and I could pick my favorite. I liked them all, but I really wanted to do the red headed option "B". In the final I pushed the neutral body grays more green, since this is a green creature. I have the creature's concept, colors, and patterning... all that is left are the thumbnails for the card itself...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

At the time I wanted to give them a lot of action and movement and I was just in love with "C" ... of course looking at it now... it feels a bit silly. Of well. I think I was feeling good about option "D" as well. Which is good, since option "D" was the winner! With all the pieces ready to go, it was time for some drawing and then some painting. First, was the drawing...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Drawing
12 x 9
colored pencil on paper
  © 2014 Wizards of the Coast
RAWR! It is a Ravenous Leucrocota! ...or at least the drawing of one. Worked out all the issues and worked up form and detail. All those folds and wrinkles gotta come from somewhere and a lot of them begin life in the drawing. All this drawing ultimately leads to even more drawing...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Toned drawing
12 x 9
colored pencil on toned paper
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast
The art directors never sees the toned drawing, but the line drawing was approved and I was all set to get started on the painting. This one was straight forward, but they are not always. The 'not always' will be discussed next year. Here is the Ravenous Leucrocota coming together in 14 steps...
 
"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Process steps
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Here is an animated gif of the steps for the Ravenous Leucrocota so you can see what changes a little more easily. They biggest real edit made during painting was adjusting the perspective on the mouth. Maybe it was just fine originally, but it just felt off and that means it needs to be addressed and worked on. Nothing worse then ignoring something that is bothering you and then have it brought up later by an AD or by another artist when it is too late to go anything about it.

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Animated process
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Again, here is how the final Ravenous Leucrocota turned out as well as how the card appears in its intended home, as a card...

"Ravenous Leucrocota" - Magic the Gathering - Journey Into Nyx
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

"Ravenous Leucrocota" in handy card form

At some point between the release of the Journey into Nyx and now there was an article on the Magic the Gathering website that featured the Ravenous Leucrocota. I feel that it was misquoted in its interview and I wanted to set the record straight about the Ravenous Leucrocota views on the mater...

Original quote and corrected quote :P

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

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