Illustration

This blog represents the work and thoughts of Howard Lyon, Artist and Illustrator

Nissa, Steward of Elements

I had the chance to paint a Planeswalker for the Amonkhet release of Magic the Gathering this year.  The painting is titled Nissa, Steward of Elements.  Here are some of the steps:

Digital sketch 1

Digital sketch 1

Digital sketch 2

Digital sketch 2

Once the sketches are done I start making and gathering reference.  I used Blender to build the model of the background and my wife posed for Nissa using loose cloth and dish towels.

3D Model

3D Model

Photo reference

Photo reference

Once that is finished I can do a tighter drawing, at the same size as the final painting.

Before I start the final I will usually do a color study, either on the computer or in oils.  Sometimes both.  In this case I did both.

Onto the final image!

Here is a time-lapse of the color study:

And of the final:

Magic: the Gathering - Origins

Artwork done for the Magic: the Gathering Origins release:

Conclave Naturalists

Enshrouding Mist

Valeron Wardens

Conclave Naturalists - Promotional version

Dragons of Tarkir - Mystic Meditation

"Still the mind and quiet the heart. Only then will you hear the Multiverse's great truths."
-Narset

Mystic Mediation from the Magic: the Gathering, Dragons of Tarkir release.  Check back in next week to see some in progress steps as well as a few more cards.

Mystic Meditation

Mystic Meditation

Khans of Tarkir - Warden of the Eye

One more card from the Khans of Tarkir - Magic: the Gathering release titled Warden of the Eye. It might seem an odd thing to say, but after about 7 years of painting Magic cards, I feel like I am starting to come into my own.  This week anyways.  Next week I may feel completely inadequate, but I will take the small victories when they come along.

This card, Warden of the Eye, was a combination of 3D for the background and scrolls, which I used as a starting point to paint over, and invention based on my initial pencil sketch.  Check back later in the week to see the Behind the Cards post that will show some of my process on the three cards from the Khans of Tarkir release.

Warden of the Eye

Warden of the Eye

The painting in card form

The painting in card form

Khans of Tarkir - Master the Way

Another card from the Khans of Tarkir - Magic: the Gathering release.  This is one of my favorite cards of late.  I really enjoyed painting the background and to paint what I hope is a beautiful setting. 

Khans of Tarkir - Master the Way

Khans of Tarkir - Master the Way

And the card:

Check back in a week or so if you are interested in seeing the process on this piece and the Ashcloud Phoenix image from my last post.

Also, if you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you can get some additional images there as I post them.