Friday, June 26, 2015

Magic: the Gathering Origins Artwork

It has been a while since I have posted some of my illustrations for Magic: the Gathering.  The most recent set, Origins, is being spoiled currently.  Each day a few new cards and artwork are released until the entire set is revealed.

I had the chance to four images for this set.  I will include some of the rough sketches as well.

Valeron Wardens

Three pilgrims make their way to the great Obelisk of Bant.  I don't paint a lot of landscapes.  I need to paint more.  Both for proficiency and enjoyment.  I love creating spaces to explore.  I want to walk down this path and stand in front of the obelisk, feel the sun on my face and watch the clouds float by.  I love my job.

As you will see below, I made some major changes between the sketch stage and the final to the poses, especially the one in the foreground.

Enshrouding Mist

In this card, the woman has cast a spell that causes her opponents weapons to pass harmlessly through her body.

Conclave Naturalists

Two Dryads enter the battlefield and wipe away an enchantment.  They stand in the middle of a temple grove, drawing strength from the trees and plants around them.

Conclave Naturalists promotional version

This take on the same card is going to be used for promotional purposes.

From the launch site: "The weekend of August 8–9, 2015, stores all around the world will be holding Magic Origins Game Day. Just for participating, you can receive this full art Conclave Naturalists."

And this is how it will look on the card.  Go to your local gaming store and participate in the launch August 8th and 9th and you can get a copy of the promo card below!

Thanks for giving this post a read!

Howard Lyon


  1. Looks great Howard! Thanks for posting your sketches, it's nice to have some insight into your thought process along the way. Man, that promo card looks awesome! They should do Magic cards that way all the time IMO, art from top to bottom. Love it!

    1. Thank you Daniel, it is a great format to do Magic art!

  2. These are beautiful! I was wondering what the dimentions of the original paintings are. All the best!

    1. Truepinkas and Brian Burgess - The painting Enshrouding Mist is 100% digital and I painted it so that it could print at 18" wide at 300 dpi. Overkill for the card, but it allows for large playmats or prints to be made later. Conclave Naturalists and Valeron Wardens were both started in oils, at 24" x 18" but were then finished digitally. They oil has a ways to go before it is up to where the digital ended up, but when I finish them, I will post them in a future post. The Conclave Naturalists promo was done the same way, but a little larger at 22" x 30". Again, the oils needs some work to match the digital. :) I hadn't planned on doing any digital on them, but I had a time constraint and was getting ready to move and had to wrap them digitally to hit the deadline.

  3. Yes, here's a second request for dimensions of each work and media used. Your articles here on this blog are very insightful. Thanks.

  4. "Three pilgrims make their way to the great Obelisk of Bant. "...

    The beginning of the nerdiest joke ever.

    1. Haha! Maybe we need an MC nerdy joke writing contest.

    2. Remind me sometime to tell you about the "Artist Pick-up Lines" some of the students of IMC came up with.