oil on paper mounted to board, 12" x 16"
©Wizards of the Coast
Tromokratis is my contribution for the upcoming Born of the Gods expansion set for Magic: The Gathering. It's a Theros version of the mythological Kraken, an immense monster that lurks in the depths of the ocean only to emerge and squash cities. Though there are other Kraken (Krakens?) in the set, this one is supposed to be a singular and legendary character. There was a longer design process on this one than what is normal for me. I guess that's par for the course when doing "important" cards.
My initial sketch. The creative team at Wizards thought it was a bit too much like the other Kraken already depicted in the set. Tromokratis had to be different. Before proceeding to the second version, they asked if I could submit some quick concepts. Just a couple different designs that they could choose from. So went to my sketchbook and played around with some ideas.
The first sketch was kind of a cross between a lobster and a scorpion. Adding in other influences such as snapping turtles, goblin sharks, and squids varied the design a bit more, giving it what I felt was a look all its own.