Part 2 of 3 of my Behind the Cards posts from the Khans of Tarkir - Magic: the Gathering release. Today I show the steps behind the illustration for the card Master the Way
I find myself drawn to the subjects where I can depict beauty. Even with strange creatures (like the Efreet character in the card) and a world set in a game about combat, there are many opportunities to paint beauty. I think that, and the creative freedom Wizards gives Magic artists, is what drives me to illustration for them.
You will see the differences between my sketch and final painting. I really liked the initial pose I came up with, but I felt that it was too jester-like, and didn't have as much of a martial-arts feel that the card needed.
Below is a gif animation of the painting from start to finish
Higher resolution stills of the painting steps
I built the background elements in 3D using the free program Blender. It is a great tool and not hard to learn.
...and the final