It’s my favourite time of the year again (well, it comes a few times a year), and that’s spoiler season. At the time this article is published, we are in the middle of Amonkhet spoilers. I think I have high hopes for this set, as the first impression I got was that it might be similar to Theros, which was chock-full of beautiful art, and a well developed set of characters. My articles will be touching on my favourite artwork for a bit, but we’re also going to take a look at some new alters I’m working on.
Let’s get started with the Amonkhet art though, I’ve only got a few to mention so far, and we can start with the elephant in the room, Invocations.
Players are going to really like, or really hate these I think. You have to give credit to WoTC for trying something new, but I’m not sure these make the cut. The biggest problem I have with the design is that the frame really limits the size of the artwork, and it’s overwhelming the entire card. The text is difficult to read, which makes these maybe a bit less playable, and more of a card you’d keep in your trade binder. What do I like about them? Well, I like the incorporation of Nicol Bolas’s horns into the sides and bottom of the frame design. I also really like a lot of the art on a large scale.
Daze (Invocation), Richard Wright
A lot of the details are lost on the small scale, but I think this is a great piece of art. The ethereal feel of the birds and the glow over the water really emphasize the beauty of Amonkhet. This definitely isn’t the complete feel of the plane, as a lot of the other land images provide us with a larger, more diverse view.
Swamp, Steven Belledin
This basic land is a stark contrast to Wright’s Daze, and we can see a very realistic portrayal of what parts of Amonkhet might look like. This field is largely lifeless, the color palette is fairly bland as well, apart from the bluish purples of the water. All of the basic lands of the set paint very different pictures of life on Amonkhet. Let’s take a look at some of the characters/creatures we’re introduced to in this set.
Soul-Scar Mage, Steve Argyle
Even without Argyle’s website on the bottom of the photo, we can tell that this is his work because it uses the same color palette prevalent in almost all of his artwork. This is currently one of my favorite images in the set, because of the dramatic movement and energy of the work.
Archfiend of Ifnir, Seb McKinnon
I love how dark this work is, Archfiend of Ifnir would be terrifying to see in real life. This is not a part of Amonkhet I want to go to. McKinnon always seems to be able to create enthralling images that really give the story line depth for players. Even if this weren’t an image on a Magic card, I’d be interested to know what this character was about.
These are my favourites from Amonkhet spoilers so far, there’s not a ton, but as the rest of the set is spoiled I’m sure there will be more for me to talk about next time.
Let’s take a look at some of the altering I’ve been working on lately. Recently I was commissioned to paint an Edric, Spymaster of Trest.
Painting a frame like this is very difficult. It was my first time trying it out, and a ruler was definitely a lifesaver. In total the border is 4mm wide. Besides the lines, the rest was completed freehand, and I’m not sure it’s the best way to do it in the future, especially for more complicated tiling’s. Next time I’ll experiment with the transfer paper I used when I did the Monastery Swiftspear alter, I think that might provide more controlled, thin lines.
Here’s a progress shot, you can see how I marked out the border for relatively even spaces on tiling around the edges using my handy-dandy Sailor Moon ruler, also you can see how the lines progressed from this shot to the finished product, where the lines end up a lot cleaner and even. I really like the end product, I think being able to tie in Edric’s color identity to the colors in the border provides a lot of cohesiveness in the altering. I’d really like to try this out with some different styles. What do you guys want to see next?
I’d like to hear more feedback from you guys, what do you think of the new Invocations? What do you think of Amonkhet as a whole so far, is it living up to your expectations? That’s all for this time, stay tuned for next article, there’ll be a lot more altering to talk about and hopefully some pretty things to look at after Amonkhet is fully spoiled. See ya next time!