-By Howard Lyon

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to pursuing new challenges, knowledge and outlets for my art this year. I find myself entering 2014 energized to work and have set big goals for myself. I look forward to sharing my efforts here on Muddy Colors throughout the year!

So far though, 2014 has brought me… a cold. So, I thought I would bring a little fire to this post and show the steps for a recently released Magic: The Gathering card.  The card, titled ‘Ordeal of Thassa’ was done for the Theros release.

Rough sketch.  I did several thumbnails for this piece, but I kept coming back to this gesture.

A quick value study to see if my shapes were going to work.

Knocking in some color, but still focused on the values.  I made an adjustment based on feedback from Jeremy Jarvis, the art director for this piece, and changed the helmet so that it was less generic Roman.

Zeroing on the color and making adjustments to the proportions.

Establishing textures.

More rendering of surfaces and effects.

Almost there!

Detail of the helmet and breastplate.

Detail of some of her adventuring gear and I think that is a vial of skin moisturizer.  If you are going to wander into an inferno, it is a must.

Detail of the fire and smoke in the background…. debated if this was a boring detail or not.  Remember, I am hopped up on cold medicine.

A larger shot of the finished painting.

I have really enjoyed illustrating for Magic.  It has a great community of players that really appreciate the artwork and aren’t shy about expressing their opinions, both supportive and critical.  That kind of engagement is a large part of what has driven Magic to be as successful and long lived as it has been.

Looking forward to more magic in 2014!