Here is 2 card illustrations I did for Crimson Vow, Magic the Gathering. Its a 2 faced card, which means it has illustrations on both sides. That make sit possible to show a short story or a sequence of events. This one Shows a bunch of zombies that has crawled into the loading tray or cup or whatever its called, on a catapult and are waiting to be launched. The other side of the card shows the zombie-captain yelling “Fire” while shooting off the catapult. The Captain was hard because I needed him to be facing us and at the same time showing a catapult launching his comrades. I did not want too zoom out too much so I turned the catapult sideways in order to let me show him and the action with the most focus.
The zombie group in the tray was a lot of fun. The first 2 sketches had me trying to picture a mass of bodies crawling in and out of each other trying to get in. I thought it could be nice if one of them was so eager that he was already yelling “shoot” and pointing over the walls with his sword. But the sideways angle felt a bit boring. I ended up with an angle pointing directly at the group having the eager one pointing towards us, the spectator. The downside of this one is that that actual tray of the catapult is not super clear or recognizable, but I figured I would explain that more clearly on the Captain side of the card and it would be okay. I really like the little story going on to the right. There is a Zombie on the ground reaching for a helping hand, but the guy he is reaching at has no head, and thus unable to help…alas, life of a zombie is hard.
When I went back into the captain sketch I added 2 zombies to the background actually helping each other. One is giving another a hand to get into the tray. I like the little helpful moment amongst the undead.
In the zombie group painting i tried to make them individual. I gave them different skin color depending on how long they have been dead. The guy to the left with the mustache I imagine to be recently deceased. I thought of him as Benny the Accountant turning undead.
It gives me great joy and keep me interested in a painting when I add these small scenarios or made up details that has essentially nothing to do with the art description. Its what makes it exciting for me to to work on something that on the surface sounds standard A zombie portrait. When I get into the gestures and the attitude of the character and make up small narratives I care more for every detail and i have a direction for what I am doing