Lately I've been wanting to create some sample illustrations to submit to Wizards of the Coast. When Christmas rolled around, I was wondering what gift to give to my brother-in-law Dusty. He plays Magic the Gathering, and he's always been very supportive of my artwork. So I figured: two birds, one stone. Let's draw a Magic card for Dusty!
Dusty is...shall we say...not a shrinking violet. I knew right away that he needed to be a red fire mage. I also knew that, if the card was going to realistically look like Dusty, I was going to need to ask him to take some photo references. So the portrait wasn't going to be a surprise.
Still I think he was more than a little surprised when one morning I sent him this photo:
"Can you pose like this for me?" I said.
He certainly delivered.
The photo reference made the pose and expression easy, and I already settled a cool-toned background to contrast with the fire. But I had a surprisingly hard time coming up with an interesting outfit and character design. It went through a lot of iterations that were too Vanilla Fantasy.
My husband came up with the idea of "The Scorched Mage," a fire caster whose spells are so powerful that his own sleeves are singed.
So there you go, my first Legendary Planeswalker. Merry Christmas Dusty!