Magic the Gathering

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Painting

5 custom Magic the Gathering cards

I don't usually like making blog posts out of work projects. My blog is meant for me to practice my creativity without the lure of money. You see, having a goal of pleasing the client definitely propels my brain to fight any writer's block it may be having and pump out a web site or logo no matter what. It's when there is no real goal set forth that my creavity has to strain itself. I think the project I have been working on for the past week however deserves an exception to this rule.

My girlfriend's cousin, Ben, emailed me the other week asking me to make 5 illustrations for him by the end of the month. He wanted the illustrations for custom Magic the Gathering cards he was planning to give his brother for his Birthday. They have been playing Magic since they were kids and recently got into the drinking game version called Booze the Drinking. Now Ben wanted cards that symbolized himself, his two brothers, his dog and their cat.

The Illustrating

Because Magic cards are almost all illustrated in the fantasy, Photoshop-painted style that is common on almost all book covers you find in Barnes and Nobles' fantasy section, I decided to mimick the style and paint the cards in Photoshop.

I started with Chibi the dog. She was a lot of fun to paint, though all her hair was kind of difficult. The other issue I had was choosing all the colors that formed her white fur. As most painters know, when you are painting a white thing, you have to use a lot of different colors. Chibi actually had a lot of reds and greyish blues in her fur. Luckily Ben had given me a picture of her to work with.

I then worked on Matt the Airbender and Bobo the cat because they could be more fun and cartoony. I definitely enjoyed them.

Then I had to paint Ben's card and his brother, JC's card. They were much more difficult because people are more critical of human drawings, especially of themselves. People are so self-conscious and always want their image to be attractive. If you notice, people always rate a photograph by how they look in the picture. An individual could be the only person in a photo of many that look bad and in their eyes, the photo would be ruined. So in otherwords, Ben and JC's cards were going to be rated at a higher standard.

I had to redo both a couple of times before I got them to the state they are now. JC's was tough because I had only met him once shortly at Ben's wedding and only had a 60x60 facebook thumbnail of him to work with. Eventually I got more photos and the project got a bit easier.

The Result

Luckily, Ben's brother loved the cards. They turned out great and everyone was happy. I was truly honored to hear that Ben's first reaction to seeing the cards was gitty. I'm pretty sure I want the adjective 'gitty' to always be the one to describe client reactions. Can there be a better one?

Matt the Airbender
Matt, the Last Airbender is the birthday boy and his car, Appa

Ben the Big Fat Momma
Ben, the Big Fat Momma: I have no idea

JC the Weenie Boy
JC, the Weenie Boy: still have no idea

Chibi the Friendly
Chibi, the Friendly is everyone's favorite dog because she is so sweet, well-behaved and adorable and she's everyone's favorite card because it was the best drawing.

Bobo the Destroyer
Bobo, the Destroyer was just fun excuse to draw a pissed off cat.

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