I thought I'd put up another of the wallpapers I spotted over at the Magic web site, Shapeshifter's Marrow. This one was originally entitled "mirror image" and they wanted to have two dragons fighting, one red and one blue, the blue one was the "mirror" and I was to show that it was made of blue mana (energy). Actually here's the initial brief.
This was the second time I've been asked to paint straight up dragons, so I was pretty excited about the piece, and I had a great time thinking up ideas for what the fight might look like, heres a couple of the initial ideas, followed by the final sketch I submitted to Wizards. The final sketch is quite straightforward compared to some of the ideas I had, mainly because it keeps the image simple (this is going to be just over an inch wide when printed) and also i didn't think my abilities would stand the test of the more complex wing wraparounds.
One of the things I've tried to get into the habit of doing is building maquettes to study lighting, and that's what I ended up doing here. I have to say looking back on them now that I could have lit it much better, it's pretty pedestrian and i didn't give myself much to play with here. I should really try and rig up a little lighting booth and maybe get a couple of light sources in it...anyway, that's a project for another day.
This is the final I submitted, and it was sent straight back. All the punch of the original sketch was gone and Jeremy wanted me to get that back in. This is a real problem I have, which I'm getting to grips with now, I get hung up on the rendering of a piece and consequently the dynamism of it suffers. It's something that I'll talk about at a later point.
So I went back to the sketch and looked to see what was in there, bu not in the final. Really it's just the punch of the lighting, so it was easily fixed, along with the wings which Jeremy felt were too ethereal.
Looking back on it now, I would have loved to do the wrap around wing fight, but this one holds up the brief.