Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Salivating Gremlins - Kaladesh - PROCESS

Today I have for you an overdue post about the process and steps that went into a Magic the Gathering piece of mine that I first shared with you way back in September of 2016, the Salivating Gremlins. This was a really fun piece and I was so happy to have a chance to work on some of the Gremlins for the Kaladesh expansion of Magic. To start things off, here is how the final art for Salivating Gremlins turned out...

Salivating Gremlins
Magic the Gathering - Kaladesh
14 x 10.2- Digital
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Starting things off as always are the exciting and fun thumbnails. The focus of this piece was a group of Gremlins finishing up a meal of some hapless piece of tech. Since the gremlins were already designed it was all about arranging them in an interesting composition and making them look cool. I really wanted to do something interesting with the lightning on this one so I was really focusing on the arrangement of the three bodies, the background and foreground light elements and hopefully telling a little bit of a narrative. That narrative being the viewer who has just opened a door has come upon the gremlins and their meal and one of the gremlins is looking up suddenly to face the viewer. Maybe that came through, maybe it didn't, but that was what I was going for with this piece. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...

Salivating Gremlins - Thumbnails
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

Option "C" was the winner here. It does read the best with the whole light spilling in and highlighting the startled gremlin. There was one note from production to remove the multi-pointed stars from the background elements and make them more inline with other shapes that were in the style guide. I was happy to comply and sent in a revised thumbnail...

Salivating Gremlins - Revised thumbnail
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

The thumbnail was approved and I was give the go ahead to work up a finalized drawing. This was super fun to work on, so I was happy to spend some time working on some nice gremlin figures. Here is how the final drawing turned out...

Salivating Gremlins - Drawing
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

For myself, I worked up a tonal study of the piece as well. Figuring out if the plan in my head is going to actually work out the way I want it to. Here is the tonal study for this piece...

Salivating Gremlins - Toned drawing
14 x 11 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

The drawing was approved with a caveat to make sure the half eaten piece of tech is nice and fancy and has a lot of detail and ornate, but eaten, details. An easy request any day of the week. With an approved drawing, tonal study, and a single note from production, I was ready to get started on the final painting of the Salivating Gremlins. Here is a break down of the painting coming together. Each step reflects a different layer in the painting's file. You can see how the layers add up to make the final image. In just 18 easy steps, you too can have a digital painting... or not...

Salivating Gremlins - Process progression
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

This piece came together fairly quickly and easily. There were a couple tweaks requested by production at the end to enhance the blue glow and to widen the gremlins eyes to make it look less intelligent and more like an animal. All really straight forward requests that I was happy to do. Here is an animated progression of this piece coming together so that you can better see each step layering to create the final painting...

Salivating Gremlins - Animated process progression
© 2016 Wizards of the Coast

I still like this piece a lot. I was really happy with how a couple of my cards for Kaladesh turned out, they just clicked while I was working on them. This is of course really great when it happens, but it is not necessarily going to happen every time. When it does, it can really make the painting go that uch faster and easier.

Fun fact, this piece was originally titled Clutch of Gremlins. It is very common for the names of cards to change throughout production, but since there was no mention of the gremlins salivating in the original art order, that was my addition, I would like to think I influenced the final name for this piece. This might be a common occurrence, but this was the first time my art influenced the name, and I think that is pretty neat.

Again, here is the finished Salivating Gremlins painting and the final production card...

Salivating Gremlins

Salivating Gremlins in handy dandy card form.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday (maybe its a holiday)! Until then...

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