I have for you today the process and steps that went into my Bribe Taker painting that was for the Magic the Gathering set, New Capenna Commander. This was my only contribution to any of the New Capenna sets, but it was the first time painting a Rhox, so I will take that as a win. I have wanted to paint a big rhino monsterman for years and I finally came to be. Here is how the final painting for the Bride Taker turned out.
© 2022 Wizards of the Coast
The assignment called for a massive intimating Rhox, who appeared wealthy from their corrupt business dealing. He was to be surrounded by riches, decadent beverages, and the trappings of his position. The Rhox also needed to look mean and powerful, as if they could back up anything they did with their own might and strength. This needed to be a Rhox you didn't mess with, but you went to with plenty of coins to get what you needed. I was on board with all of this! I knew what the piece needed, so I got to work on a photoshoot and some thumbnails. Here are the thumbnails that I submitted.
While I still like what is going on in options A and D, I understand why they chose option B. Yeah, I would have enjoyed painting option A a great deal. Oh well. While option B was selected, I was asked to reduce the tilt of the dutch angle a bit, and to crop in closer to the figure. They were all easy to address and so I submitted an updated thumbnail.
Oh? Did I mention something about reference? I did share this many months ago, but it is always fun to share again. Here is the primary reference image for this piece. We tried a lot of lighting options, compositions, and arrangements, which left me with a lot to work with. I never needed the visual information needed to complete this piece. I will share some of the Easter eggs in this piece further into the post. Make sure you return to this image to see what I am referring to.
© 2022 Wizards of the Coast
Original - SOLD
Reference, thumbnails, and now drawings, this leaves only one thing left to do... PAINT! This one did take a while to figure out. There were some edits requested from production regarding the first version I submitted. That said, I did enjoy this one coming together, and it offered me a lot of challenges along the way. Here is a look at the Bribe Taker taking shape in paint form.
If you watch carefully, you will see a point when the glow of the drink is very bright and casting a lot of light on the armor and Rhox's face. This was the version I turned in. It was felt that it was too much and making the Rhox look as if it was all made of stone. I get that, but I did love that green glow. I removed the glow on the face and added some warm tones to the armor so that all the pieces read clearly and as separate materials. Once I did this, it was approved. You will also notice that the torn magical document floating to the right of the figure has been handled as a completely separate element and was done last. This was because there was concern from production that this element might be removed later, as it is a weird thing to have in the image. It stayed and was actually much easier to paint as a separate element.
I mentioned Easter eggs in this piece earlier. Going from left to right: 1-large gold egg-shaped item is actually an emu egg I gifted to my wife. It is sitting in an antique flower cup we use as a display stand for the egg. 2-behind the egg and mostly obscured is a chrome rhinoceros I bought years ago 'because it will be awesome reference.' This was my first time using it, and I was so happy to have it! 3-far right, you will notice a spiked ball. This is the Blufferfish I painted for the Unfinity set. I had painted the fish long before this one, and I didn't see any issue with a little nod to a previous card. The only problem is that due to a lot of things outside a lot of people's control, the Unfinity set came out long after the Bribe Taker was released. So I had to keep my mouth shut about it until now. It also helped that in the bordered version of the card, it was cropped entirely out.
And with that all wrapped up, so goes another look at what goes into one of my digital paintings for Magic the Gathering. If you have any additional questions, leave a comment below. Here again, is the final painting for the Bribe Taker and the production cards.
That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...