-By Howard Lyon

I had the chance to illustrate an ornithopter for the Aether Revolt release of Magic: the Gathering.  Often when illustrating for MtG, you don’t know what the card will do or even what the final name will be, but in this case Wizards of the Coast let me know because it was important for the illustration.

There have been many other Ornithopters and I suspect there will be more, but it was a neat opportunity.  It was also part of their Masterpiece series, so it is in a vertical format and demanded a little more detail.  The art director for this commission was Mark Winters.  Thanks Mark!

Here is the color comp I submitted:

I was going for more of a warehouse feel, with the shelves and crates which would have been stacked with artifacts, but in the end it would have been a distraction from the main focus and it was nixed.

I used blender to create 3D models for the scene, which was useful for the complex forms of the Ornithopter.

Here is the final image:
and the image printed in card form.

For good measure, here is a gif with all of the steps involved.

Thanks for giving the post a read!