Back in the late eighties and start nineties when I was a young fantasy artist I often went into the city to visit a store that sold comic books and games and magic cards. I never had any money, but I spend a couple of hours just going through the rulebooks and sucking up the inspiration from the covers of the different Rolelaying rule books. The colors was usually strong and bright and full of primary color palettes like the original red dragon painting on Dungeons and dragons, by Larry Elmore.
And then one day I saw a new rulebook on the shelf displaying the latest books. Keith Parkinson´s Forgotten realms cover. The image completely blew my mind. It was so different and real. I remember asking my self. “that’s a grey cloudy day! Are you allowed to do that in fantasy?” It was the first fantasy image that I was exposed to that took fantasy serious. Clearly borrowing tropes from American Indian history and not saturated in the shapes or any glowing magical effects. This was another side of fantasy and one that struck me as being credible and believable. Thinking about it, this cover have lingered in the back of my mind ever since that day.
The newest set for magic takes place in The Forgotten Realms. A happy reunion with this experience for me.
Here are the images I painted for the Forgotten Realms set of Magic the Gathering: