Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Theros art

oils on paper mounted to mdf, 12" x 16"
©Wizards of the Coast

Theros, the new greek myth inspired set for Magic:the Gathering will be out later next month, but some of the art is already out. It's a treat to get to show these so far ahead of time, as the NDA's (non disclosure agreements) that go with these types of commissions are torture for artists. The piece above was used for Wizards' presentation on the new set at Comicon back in July. I don't have a title for it yet, but here it is.

Celestial Archon
oils on paper mounted to mdf, 12" x 16"
©Wizards of the Coast

This one I do have a title for. It's called Celestial Archon, and it depicts a divine warrior on his decent to the mortal world on some errand for the Gods. I enjoyed painting the magical flying bull a great deal, as well as the sun drenched environment. 

Monday, August 19, 2013


oil on panel, 28" x 44"
©Matthew Stewart

Last year I was commissioned to create a painting of dragons. The collector had seen my previous paintings, Waterfall Dragons and Dragonforge, and wanted something similar. Unlike most commercial commissions where the needs of the client are pretty specific, this was wide open. The only condition communicated other than the dragons was when the collector stated "I like yellow". 
I could could put my creatures in any situation I want. The story (or lack of story) would be mine to choose. 
I had a number of ideas and inspirations in mind before I started painting.  One that came back to me time and time again as I sketched ideas was a place I had visited a year or so before.  Skellig Michael-a
jagged rock jutting out of the sea island off County Kerry, Ireland, where christian monks hid from marauding vikings in the dark ages. It was one of the places my wife and I visited on our trip to Ireland. It's like no place I had ever seen. So yeah, there's not much of a specific story in this piece. Merely two dragons chancing each other. Whether they be predator and prey, or two friends playing "you're it", that's up for the viewer to decide. For me it's about that wild landscape of jagged lichen covered rocks and swirling water.  

Two shots of the entrance of the island. I took a raft of pictures there. 

The preliminary pencil drawing. I wish I could bring the painting to Illuxcon in a few weeks, but the drawing is the next best thing. 

A couple months ago I had the pleasure of talking Matt Kalamidas, senior art director at Science Fiction Book Club at a lecture at the Society of Illustrators. For artists, Matt's a great art director in that he's very approachable, always a good conversation, and open to seeing one's latest work. Hence, Chase  appears on SFBC's late summer catalog.  You can check out more about it and other great catalog cover images on at the Vorpalizer, the SFBC's blog.