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  • February 24, 2017 3 min read 0 Comments

    The creative process behind each piece of Magic art is unique to the image and the artist.

    From the art description to the final product, the Art in Focus series reviews every step involved in crafting the art of Magic the Gathering in the artist’s own words.

    This week we shine the spotlight on the Ornithopter by Mathias Kollros from Aether Revolt.

    Take it away Mathias.


    I knew from the art description that the girl's flying machine had to be the focus of the image, but it was also requested that I show it from above so we could see the plaza full of soldiers and military personnel, with the child in their midst. The idea was to catch that dissonance between a playing girl among soldiers and it was certainly the most intriguing element of the brief.

    I didn't use any specific reference for this piece except for the concept art of the Ornithopter.  I used several random images, just enough to get inspired.

    I knew I wanted the scene to be colorful and cheerful, a charming little situation that makes your day a bit brighter for a moment. This effect would be mainly achieved through the reactions of the bystanders. 

    I tried my best to string all the pieces together.

    My art director, Cynthia Sheppard, reminded me that the Ornithopter had to be the center piece for this image, so I wanted to use its shape to enhance the dynamic of the composition without being in the way of story-telling.

    the first things I worked on, after I was more or less happy with the composition, were the faces and the eye movement of the characters.

    I wanted their body language to be casual and organic, honestly surprised and interested.

    Not too much though, after all this is no epic world threatening event or battle. I also lowered the pov a little bit from my initial sketches, just to be closer to the "action" and to make things more personal. I`m fairly satisfied how the facial expressions turned out so I think they might be the most successful element of this piece.

    I only had the chance to work on 2 cards for this set but it was a nice change from my usual Magic work. I like the more lighthearted look and the colorful characters of the world, plus gremlins are awesome!

    All in all I'm very happy how well the card is received.

    There were even some requests for the original painting or sketches but, since my work was purely digital, I couldn't offer much in that regard.

    Good news for interested collectors, I'm currently working on my first Magic card done completely in oil,  so as long as I don`t completely butcher it collectors might have something to look out for in a couple months time.

    Lastly I want to send a big thank you to everyone who encourages and appreciates my work, I`m glad I can be part of the big Magic-family and contribute something people can enjoy!


    The original artwork for this Ornithopter was created digitally.

    You can check out Mathias's portfolio of work at his website and you can purchase prints of his work through INPRNT.

    Thank you Mathias for sharing this story with us. 

    Check back next Thursday for more Art in Focus.