Illustration

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

Theros - Anthousa Setessan Hero - Promo

This card is a follow up to the previous post, done as a promo for the Magic: the Gathering Theros release.  Another depiction of Anthousa, Setessan Hero.  I really enjoyed the landscape in the background on this painting.  It was fun to stylize the clouds and use the clusters of trees to create some large shapes.  Trees are pretty darn useful to create large movement in a painting as are hair and cloth.  Here they all work together to create a large swipe diagonally through the painting.  This is contrasted by the diagonal of her arm running against that movement to the upper left hand corner.  This is a common composition that was employed over and over by artists like Caravaggio, Rubens, and many other old masters.

click any of the images to enlarge

Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo
Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo

Here is a shot of the painting with the main composition lines highlighted.  The red lines are the primary diagonals.  The blue line is the contrasting movement.

Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo - comp
Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo - comp

And here are some old master paintings with the same compositional lines.  Of course my piece is much simpler, but still related as far as the design goes.

Caravaggio - Judith Beheading Holofernes

Caravaggio - Judith Beheading Holofernes
Caravaggio - Judith Beheading Holofernes

Rubens - Diana Returning from Hunt

Rubens - Diana Returning from Hunt
Rubens - Diana Returning from Hunt

Baglione - Sacred Love and Profane Love

Baglione - Sacred Love and Profane Love
Baglione - Sacred Love and Profane Love

The sketch:

Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo
Anthousa Setessan Slayer - Promo

and the card:

Anthousa Setessan Hero - card promo
Anthousa Setessan Hero - card promo

Theros - Anthousa Setessan Hero

One of my illustrations for the Magic: the Gathering - Theros release.  Lots of fun painting the minotaurs here.  I enjoyed working in small temperature shifts, cooling down their extremities and where the skin is thinner or more blood circulates.  Check back tomorrow to see the companion piece to this one.

click to enlarge the images

Anthousa Setessan Slayer
Anthousa Setessan Slayer

And the sketch.  I didn't quite have them minotar-y enough in the sketch, so you can see some of the changes I made in the final:

Anthousa Setessan Slayer
Anthousa Setessan Slayer

The image in the final card form:

Anthousa Setessan Hero - card
Anthousa Setessan Hero - card

An Wizards ended up using this painting as the box art and cover card for the Theros intro pack.  Cool!

Theros intro packs
Theros intro packs

Commander 2013 - Angel of Finality

I have to admit, angels are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to paint.  Both with my fantasy work and my fine art.  There will be more in the future.  I had just been to the Arizona Renaissance Festival and they always have a falconer there showing various birds.  They had a great bald eagle there with a beautiful wingspan and I asked the falconer if he could get him to spread his wings for me.  I was lucky enough to get some beautiful reference of the eagle with it's wings in motion to use for this painting.

I kept the color palette of this piece fairly simple, using a basic orange-blue complimentary color scheme.  It creates a little visual buzz, especially with the strong oranges in the hair set against the warm blue of the sky.   Thanks Jeremy Jarvis for a great assignment!

click to enlarge

Angel of Finality
Angel of Finality

Here is a look at the sketch submitted for this painting as well.  You can see that my sketches are sometimes pretty rough.  I don't always work out the values at this stage, but for this card, I knew that the play of light with the angel was going to be key, so went ahead and turned the sketch into a little value study.  The only big change I made in the final was removing the trees,  I decided that the shapes they made were interfering with the elegance of the wings, so I focused on creating shapes in the clouds that wouldn't compete too much.

Soulpurger Angel

Soulpurger Angel

and a shot of the card itself:

angel of finality card
angel of finality card

For those that are really looking at the details you will see that this card is reprising my angel from a previous card, Angel of Flight Alabaster.  She is my guardian of souls, caretaker of the graveyard.

Angel of Flight Alabaster
Angel of Flight Alabaster
Bojuka Bog - card
Bojuka Bog - card
Fog Bank - card
Fog Bank - card
Vivid Grove -  card
Vivid Grove - card

I have a few other cards in the Commander 2013 release, but they are repeats from other releases.

Dragon's Maze - Renegade Krasis

This was a fun card to create.  I made a little 3D scene to start with using Blender.  I basically had a big blob for the krasis, but it provided a good solid foundation to work with.  I had fun with the creature design.  He is a little clumsy looking, like a bulldog puppy playing with new toys.  I wanted it to look dangerous, but due to some evil nature, but more the way a predator in the wild is dangerous to it's prey.

click to enlarge

Renegade Krasis
Renegade Krasis

and the card...

Renegade Krasis - card
Renegade Krasis - card

A bonus!  Wizards created a great video to introduce the card.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/03TCo_KA0Ms&w=540]

Gatecrash - Nimbus Swimmer

This is the Nimbus Skyswimmer, the last of my cards for the Magic - Gatecrash release. When I paint creatures, whether they be dragons, goblins or whatever it may be, I enjoy picturing them doing what would be natural.  They can't always feast on delicate princesses and bold adventurers!  Besides, too much satin and plate armor is bad for the gut.  Skyswimmers will dine on the occasional flocks of fattened geese, just as dragons will chase down elk and moose, and goblins will binge frogs and slugs.

For me, it adds a little tangibility and interest to the beast to try and picture how mother nature might have directed its instincts within their habitat.  I hope you enjoy.

click to enlarge

Nimbus Swimmer
Nimbus Swimmer
Nimbus Swimmer - card
Nimbus Swimmer - card

Magic 2013 - Fog Bank

I forgot to post this image when it was published!  My task was to show a menacing bank of fog crawling over the lanscape.  I felt that the subject had a great classic horror movie bend to it.  I grew up watching old horror movies, like The Blob and The Swamp Thing.  Fog was always used to great effect in those movies.  I can imagine this fog creeping up behind a couple of unsuspecting teens out for a walk.

Fog Bank
Fog Bank
Fog Bank - card
Fog Bank - card