Saturday, December 16, 2017

1 - "Why Can't I Hold All These Beasts?" - Beast in Show

Hello and welcome! I am delighted to have you for the grand opening of my series of posts for Unstable. This is the first time I've done artwork for Magic the Gathering! As a long time fan of the game, it was a huge deal when I was hired to be a part of it. When I got my first commission I was full of excitement, though I also felt the pressure. I knew I had to do everything in my power to deliver an image worthy of being printed on a Magic card. Below is my very first-ever piece of art created for Magic...



The concept behind this image is to poke fun at Magic having a history of using the "Beast" creature type as a catchall for a huge range of made-up creatures. "Beast" is pretty much akin to the "Isle of Misfit Creature Types" -- if it doesn't fit another creature type, it gets the "Beast" stamp and is sent along its merry way.

I was asked to present the beast as if it was taking part in a dog-show, with the displayed creature winning the prize of "#1 Beast". I had fun with the pageantry of a dog-show, and adorned this creature with some bows, a jeweled collar, and pink nail polish. Aside from being a cute color, pink also does a decent job covering up any blood left over from the beast’s last hunt.

After the image was completed and approved, I was ecstatic! "What will they hire me to do next?", I wondered curiously...




You may have noticed a similarity or two between this and the last image. That's because I was asked to do a second version of the same illustration, for the same card.

My first reprint! How fun!

For this one I was asked to reference a different type of creature that had also been previously represented under the "Beast" creature type. For this one, I wanted to take advantage of the poofy Gnarlid fur and have the creature done-up like a poodle. And, if a poodle had horns, it would probably use them for scratching hard to reach places.

Now let's mix things up a little bit...time to show you my third ever card illustration...



You may have noticed the same similarity between this and the last image and the image before that. That's because it has the same similarities, but what you might not have noticed is that its differences are different.

For this one I was asked to reference an even differenter type of creature that had also also been previously represented under the "Beast" creature type. Baloths have been depicted with some pretty wild facial expressions, so I wanted to capture that in my rendition. I kept this one pretty straight-forward so as not to distract from the creature's crazed face.

Now, before I present my fourth ever Magic card illustration, I see that look in your eye and I'm happy to say that the answer is yes...

...there is also a fourth version to this card.



You may have noticed the same similarities between the last three images and this one except there is one similarity that is different yet it's the same difference as the others, and so for this image I threw in yet another difference, to keep the images from looking too similar.

For this one I was asked to reference an even differenterer type of creature. I really wanted to capitalize on this creature being covered in hair. The bows in the first depiction were a fun element, so I decided, "let's go all out on the decoration with this one". It would also be pretty adorable if it had pigtails, and bangs covering its eyes. Lastly, the part that makes this version differenterer from all the others is that, the creature is removing the hat from the judge's head. It was fun to add in a slight change to an element outside of the creature that differentiated this card from the others.

Ready to see version 5? It’s the most differenterest of them all!...

...


...


...


...just kidding. There are only 4.

That'll do it for my first-ish Magic card commission. It was an honor to paint a cycle...or would I call it a reprint?...an also-print? Whatever the case, these pieces were loads of fun to make and I hope you all enjoy them.

For some added trivia, I first painted all of the foreground and background elements that would appear in all versions, and I had a separate layer in-between the foreground and background where I would be able to easily switch in and out the different creatures. This way it was easy for me to keep the image consistent and added to the fun of the image.


I have to say, hat's off to whoever wrote the flavor-text for these cards. It really delighted me to see the flavor text tying in some of the details I added to each piece. I literally laughed aloud when I read the baloth flavor text.

Alternate Sketches
As a final encore of sorts, here's the batch of alternate sketches I created for these pieces. While I'm still fond of a bunch of the ideas in these versions, the ones we went with wound up being the right choice. Stop by again soon for more un-stories!

Intro - Let's Get Unstable!!!

It's finally here!!! I've been waiting a long time to write about this. About 2 years back I got my very first assignment to create artwork for Magic: the Gathering, and that work has finally been published with the release of the 3rd Un-set, Unstable.


While my artwork for Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation wound up being my first published works, those were actually done after I worked on Unstable. It's been an odd mix of excitement to finally be published while still having the eagerness to show off my very first works for Magic. So to finally reach this moment brings me much delight.

In case you didn't know...

I'M A BIG FAN OF THE UN-SETS

My Unstable collection...so far

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of non-Un-sets too. But what makes the Un-sets special to me is the crazy new ideas they explore along with their light-hearted and silly tone.

Magic has created so many amazing worlds over the years, and the fact that they can hit the full spectrum of super serious to outrageously comical just makes me love Magic as a whole even more. I feel incredibly honored to have gotten the chance to work on Unstable and I'm very excited to share some posts about my artwork for the set in the coming days.


Humor is very important to me for lots of reasons, but more than anything it brings me great joy to be able to put a smile on another person's face. There's no greater compliment to me than genuine from-the-gut laughter after telling a joke, doing something silly, or drawing a funny picture. I hope the work that I've created for Unstable enhances the overall experience of the set for Magic fans.

Please enjoy the following posts to come on the artwork I created for Unstable. I took an unconventional approach while writing them, with the goal to keep them in the same spirit as the Un-sets themselves. I promise you're in for quite an unusual experience, so watch out!

I'll be updating this post with links to the new ones as they're posted:
1 - "Why Can't I Hold All These Beasts?" - Beast in Show 
2 - *COMING SOON* Three-Headed Goblin
3 - *COMING SOON* Handy Dandy Clone Machine
4 - *COMING SOON* Party Crasher
5 - *COMING SOON* Skull Saucer
6 - *COMING SOON* Contraption Cannon
Wrap-Up Post

Thursday, July 6, 2017

MTG SHOP - Artist Proofs & Original Drawings

Welcome to my shop for purchasing my Magic card Artist Proofs and Original Drawings!

MAKING A PURCHASE:
Send an email with subject "MTG PURCHASE" to mrburns928@aol.com listing what you would like to buy. I will confirm the price of your order and then you can send payment to me via Paypal.

*Please note, my schedule tends to fluctuate, so at times I may not be able to respond to emails immediately. If my schedule becomes too overwhelming to take on new orders, I will make a note on this page.

*****ARTIST PROOFS*****

Foil Proofs, Non-foil Proofs, White-back
What is an Artist Proof?
Artist Proofs are the same as a regular Magic card except the back side is completely white. Artists typically receive 50 Regular (non-foil) copies and 30 Premium (Foil) copies after a card is physically published. The limited quantity of these cards make them highly collectible, and the white backs are perfect for adding drawings.

Buyer Info:
  • Each Artist Proof comes with a free signature and is numbered on the front.
  • For an additional cost, you can have a sketch of my choosing (themed to the card) drawn on the back. 
  • Prices per card will depend on the card's rarity and popularity.
  • Card only purchases will be charged for shipping:
    $1 for 5 or less cards
    $2 for 6-18 cards
    $3 for 19-54 cards


Soulstinger  
(Amonkhet)
Regular (Non-foil) = $5
Regular (Non-foil) with sketch = $25
Premium (Foil) = $15
Premium (Foil) with sketch = $35










Quarry Beetle  
(Hour of Devastation)
Regular (Non-foil) = $5
Regular (Non-foil) with sketch = $25
Premium (Foil) = $15
Premium (Foil) with sketch = $35



Ramunap Hydra 
(Hour of Devastation)
Regular (Non-foil) = $10
Regular (Non-foil) with sketch = $30
Premium (Foil) = $30
Premium (Foil) with sketch = $50












*****ORIGINAL DRAWINGS*****


Below are the original pencil drawings I have available for purchase. Sometimes I create a preliminary drawing as part of the process to creating a Magic illustration, other times I create a supplemental drawing after the card art is finished to go along with the card's release (these are not part of the actual creation of the card art itself).

Buyer Info:
  •  All drawings are created with pencils on Bristol paper.
  • Drawing purchases come with free domestic shipping within the United States, for purchases outside the U.S. there will be an additional charge.
  • Drawing purchases made in the same order as artist proof purchases will have no additional shipping fee per-card amount.
  • All drawings will be insured and you will receive a tracking number.




______________________________________________________________________
Soulstinger - Supplemental Drawing - $250
Soulstinger - Supplemental Drawing (Not used in card art creation)

Photo for scale
______________________________________________________________________
Ramunap Hydra - Supplemental Drawing - $250
Ramunap Hydra - Supplemental Drawing (Not used in card art creation)
Photo for scale
______________________________________________________________________
 Quarry Beetle - Supplemental Drawing - $250
Quarry Beetle - Supplemental Drawing (Not used in card art creation)

Photo for scale

Saturday, April 15, 2017

My first Magic: the Gathering card


The full preview for Magic the Gathering's latest set, Amonkhet was finally unveiled yesterday, and with it, the first Magic card I've illustrated. I would like to introduce you to Soulstinger...

Totally putting this into my mono-black -1/-1 counters deck :D

I'm very excited! Well before I got my first Magic assignment, I would (and still do) interact with Magic on a daily basis. It's one of my favorite things! So it's incredibly cool to be a part of the game that I've been enjoying for ~10 years.
Soulstinger
While I definitely worked hard to get to this point, there's no way I would've been able to make it if it weren't for the constant help given to me over the years by so many. If you're reading this and you've ever spent any amount of time helping me in any way, this thank you is for you (there are so many of you I couldn't possibly name them all <3 b="">Thank you all!!

My collection should give you an idea of how excited I am.
And I gotta give a special thanks to Cynthia Sheppard. She did a lot to help me get my foot in the door with Magic, and I was very happy to work with her for the first time on Amonkhet. Thank you Cynthia!!

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may you "Rise Among the Worthy".

Friday, September 25, 2015

Futuristic Violence & Fancy Suits Promotional Art


Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements




I recently did some promotional art for David Wong's latest novel titled "Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits". It's a stand-alone story (not part of the John Dies at the End series) that I'd give you a synopsis for but why read that when you can read the FIRST SEVEN CHAPTERS FOR FREE instead!?

It's a really fun read that had me laughing out loud very often. If you like ridiculous humor and suspense-filled action, go ahead and do yourself the favor of ordering the book, I highly recommend it! Now with that, please enjoy the promotional material I made for the book, they'll give you an extra slice of what's in store.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE BOOK!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Night of Ice & Fire

"A Night of Ice & Fire"
A few weeks back I was contacted by Zack Luye, one of the hosts of the Game of Owns podcast, asking me if I could illustrate a promotional poster for their upcoming Game of Thrones event: "A Night of Ice and Fire"

It'll be a live-event happening on October 9th at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square New York City as part of New York Comic Con's Super Week. It'll be hosted by Rave of Thrones' Kristian Nairn (Hodor on Game of Thrones) and the 3 hosts of Game of Owns, Zack Luye, Eric Scull, and Micah Tannenbaum. If you'll be in NYC for NYCC and you're a fan of Game of Thrones enjoy an awesome evening amongst like-minded folk by clicking the following link to order your ticket now!

Purchase your ticket to A Night of Ice & Fire HERE!


Hodor (Kristian Nairn) laying down some fresh beats
I've been an avid listener of the podcast for over 2 years now and I've written in from time to time when they send out their "call for owns" asking listeners to share their favorite "own-worthy" moments of the most recent episodes / chapters of Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice & Fire. Turns out it's a good idea to have a link to your website at the footer of all your emails because Zack happened to go to my site, see my work, and liked what he saw enough to ask me to paint their poster.

The GoO crew keepin it chill on the dance floor (Eric, Zack, Micah, left to right)
It was a really fun project and Zack offered some great input. This was truly a joint effort to make the final image come to life and I'm extremely pleased with the outcome. This was also my first freelance assignment where I designed text to go along with the image, and I gotta say I'm really happy with the end result which Zack helped steer me towards.

Winter isn't the only thing coming to New York City
Hope you like the poster! And check out the Game of Owns podcast, it's a really great show if you're a big Game of Thrones fan like myself. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Temptation of Majora - Process Shots

Here's all the steps that led up to the final illustration for The Temptation of Majora. Don't forget that if you're interested in buying a print of this piece you can get one by clicking HERE.
Skull Kid Study
Just trying to play with color, lighting, and mood. Trying to get the juices flowing and get into the spirit.
Majora Redesigns

1 - Rough greyscale sketch

2 - Tight drawing

3 - Flat colors, creating silhouettes

4 - starting to render the form of Majora

5 - more rendering forms, moving onto skull kid

6 - lighting skull kid with the mask as a light source

7 - Painting over Majora's forms to add patterning

8 - adding in details, fixing anatomy

9 - first pass on background

10 - I didn't like Skull kid's hat so I redid it, added tendrils from Majora

11 - refining hat shape, pushing tendril back in space

12 - Enhancing lighting, render, render

13 - adding hair, enhancing glow

14 - adjusting background to enhance the focus + add interest, add back-lighting

15 - enhance secondary lighting

16 - adjust trees (felt weird) enhance rim-lighting

17 - foreground rendering

18 - adjusting values, adding glows to help focal points

19 - Calming down my colors + adjustment layers and final touches

BONUS: Alternate sketch idea, Link Vs. Majora
Thanks for making it all the way to the end! If you have any questions for me feel free to email me at mrburns928@aol.com and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!