Monday, May 30, 2011

A blue version is less hated than its non-blue counterpart? I'm confused.

I really loved how this Braids, Conjurer Adept turned out. It took a lot of time to do the small details like the drawstrings on her jacket and her goggles but it was worth it. It along with Kaervek the Merciless are the cards I've sold that I most wish I still had.
As a Commander player, I'm glad that Braids, Cabal Minion isn't a legal commander.  As someone who makes 3D cards, I'm sad that if I made one of her it wouldn't be usable for play. Both of them have nice 3D art - though I think blue Braids is better.
A local player has a Braids deck, and in our last game I thought I was doing pretty well; I'd used up most of my resources but it was down to just the two of us, and he had almost no board presence. Sure, he had Braids in play and 3 upkeeps thanks to Paradox Haze and Copy Enchantment, but he only had 2 cards in hand and I knew one was a land.
Yeah...the other was Grozoth. Ack.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Big Baby

I was asked by three separate people to make a 3D Child of Alara before I finally agreed to do so.  The primary reason I avoided it was because I couldn't figure out how to make the rock/dust cloud look good. I eventually figured out something I was happy with (and as usual, it looks much better in person than in these pictures) but I still shy away from clouds and mist in general.
This was the first 3D card I made that I bought a $5 pen specifically for (the most recent being Arcanis the Omnipotent). To edge the Child and the lines of energy I needed a flesh-colored pen because anything darker would have interfered with the color composition of the artwork.
Normally I post on Monday/Wednesday/Friday but because of a discussion in the comments of my most recent article on, I decided to put this one up early so I could link to it. No new post tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Women made of wood, made of paper.

After finishing this 3D card, I had a leftover copy of Chorus of the Conclave, so I added it to my Aggro Phelddagrif Commander deck. The very next game, I killed everyone at the table: 1 player with General damage, 1 player with normal damage, and 1 player with both at the same time. Normally Seedborn Muse is pretty weak in that deck (at least compared to how overpowered she is in other decks) but with Chorus of the Conclave, Winding Canyons, and lots of mana...
I'm still uncertain of how I feel about coloring the inner borders of two-color cards when one of the colors is white. I like how the coloring looks on other color pairs, but white is such a distracting color that it can end up drawing attention away from the art.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not her name, but she answers to it anyway.

Fun fact: According to the storyline, Asmira didn't get the title "Holy Avenger" until after Purraj of Urborg killed her.
Another early card I did shortly after I switched from cutting up ME:CCG cards to Magic cards. Asmira was pretty easy to make, but I did much less detail work than I normally would because I was working with only five copies of the card. On the other hand, it took me much less time than I spend on most cards.
The folds of her cloak are actually in the frontmost layer of art, and curve back behind her body smoothly.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I've heard of beards made of bees. What about beards made of rats?

I originally wanted to do this Balthor, the Defiled to be the Commander for a Relentless Rats deck, but then a local guy asked me to make him a 3D Relentless Rats because he wanted to build that deck. I'm glad I never built it, because after playing against one a few times I realized it's much too linear for me.

Thanks to cards like Grab the Reins and Constant Mists, I've won most of the games I played against the rat horde.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alternate Realities or Multiple Personalities?

I know technically Sygg, River Guide and Sygg, River Cutthroat don't exist at the same time, but it's always seemed to me that being a river guide would be a great cover for being a cutthroat. For now, though, my copies of Sygg, River Guide sit in my binder, while this is in the mail:
While I've talked about the potential of combining painting with card cutting before, this is the first time I actually used acrylics on a card (other than the white paint pen I've used for the inner border on a few white or hybrid cards). The river in Sygg's art bends back in order for him to sit "in" it and have his tail stick out of it. This meant that there was a ton of space between the foreground tree and the background tree, so the background tree was more distracting than background art usually is. I painted away most of the tree and part of Sygg's body in the background to reduce this effect and keep the eye's attention on the foreground. Obviously since I haven't done painted alters before my color matching is pretty bad, but the end result is much better than it would have been if left unpainted.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How do you thank the judge who certifies you?

On Saturday, my local game store brought in a Level 2 judge from out of town to help run an event and train some people to be L1s. Before this, we didn't have any judges in the area; everyone who used to judge was long expired. He was incredibly helpful and stayed longer to test more people than he had expected. To thank him, I had one of the other guys find out what his EDH generals were. It turned out that I had one of his generals finished and with me, so I was able to give it to him as a thank-you for helping out our community after he finished going over my test with me.

Three out of the five of us passed, and he said we were the first judge candidates he's given the test to that passed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You and the Cap'n, Make it Happen

I made Captain Sisay during the week after Jeremy Froggatt posted his third StarCityGames Talent Search article; it was a card I'd wanted to work on for a while and seeing how well his painted alteration turned out made me want to try it myself.

Monday, May 9, 2011

True Elder Dragon Highlander

The way I understand Nicol Bolas' story, in his long-ago "youth" of being just an Elder Dragon rather than a Planeswalker, Tetsuo Umezawa killed him or imprisoned him or beat him up and stole his lunch money.

I didn't say I understood it well.

Then, later when he had full pre-cataclysm Planeswalker powers, he met Tetsuo's ancestor Toshiro on Kamigawa and tried to kill him, a few centuries before his younger, weaker self would be punked.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey indeed.

Like with the Planar Chaos Dragons, I would like to do all 5 Elder Dragons.  The problems are:
1) Pretty much nobody uses the other Elder Dragons as generals.
2) Only Nicol Bolas has a black-bordered printing that costs less than $10.
Oh yeah, and
3) I have less control over time than Nicol Bolas does.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Omnipotence Redefined

Step 1: Google "Omnipotent"
Step 2: Recognize that top 4 entries are all definitions/wikipedia entries
Step 3: Realize that "Arcanis the Omnipotent" is #5...and "Omnipotence of God" is #6.

Arcanis the Omnipotent was a very tricky card to make 3-D.  Making the swirling energy intertwine and overlap without looking weird was very difficult. I also ended up buying a new marker for the edging on this guy - first time I've done that since I did Child of Alara. I picked up a Soft Violet Copic sketch pen to edge the energy lines.  Yes, I bought a $6 pen that I will probably only use on 1 or 2 cards ever. Yes, I have a problem resisting new art supplies.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Direct from the Burning Isles

A local player has a Kaervek the Merciless Commander deck, and it's absolutely brutal against my decks, because I play little to no removal. However, he also has a habit of casting Warp World and putting Phage the Untouchable into play...

As a card to 3D, Kaervek has phenomenal art.  He took a long time because there was so much intricate cutting to do between the flames and his cape, but he remains one of my favorite cards I've ever done. I had messed around with interweaving layers before, but Kaervek was one of the first times I was really thrilled about how the interweaving turned out, especially with how the flames come through his fingers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chef de sang des Kalastria

For Rise of the Eldrazi Limited, Drana should not have been printed as a rare - she was ridiculously overpowered and there were few ways to answer her.  Happily, being a rare meant that she was very affordable when it came time to cut her into little pieces.

Gotta look on the bright side.  After all, when the going gets tough, the tough make lemonade.