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March 23, 2017 2 min read

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 Terminate by Lucas Graciano from Modern Masters 2017.

Take it away Lucas.


I was assigned to show the Sun Titan falling apart as he turned to fiery ash from within.

I was trying to go for this powerful character being reduced to nothing and him coming to the realization that he was doomed.

I was given the Sun Titan, that I believe Todd Lockwood designed.  

Wizards and myself, felt his armor and sword is what would make him most recognizable.  I also gathered various images from google to help fill in the background.  I did shoot some reference of myself for the titan, though I did have to embellish a little. ;) (If only the reference pictures were not mysteriously deleted -Editor)

Outside of the direct requirements Wizards needed, there were a few elements I wanted in the image to help convey the idea.  

For example, the sunset colors was a deliberate choice to suggest a symbolic dying Sun Titan.  He also needed to read as a very large character, so using elements like the birds and lowering the contrast on the character himself helped convey his size.

Like all of my work, I started with rough digital sketches.  Once a sketch get approved, I collect and shoot reference and then usually get to work on a detailed, digital, drawing.  

However, in the case of Terminate, I figured out a lot of the detail in the painting using the photo reference and skipped a detailed digital sketch.  

With that finished, I transferred the image onto a painting surface.  From here I applied thin layers of paint to establish the large local values and colors.  This gave me a rough sense for what the final will look like.  

From there, I started with the background elements and worked my way "forward" in the picture.

Looking at the end product, I'm happy with the mood and lighting of the piece.

When I was assigned the piece, I didn't know it was a reprint.  I found out the day it was released and was happy to hear it was a popular card.  That's always a bonus. ;)


The original artwork for Terminate was created traditionally.  The original artwork sold on ebay earlier this month for $2,700. 

You can check out Lucas's portfolio of work purchase prints of his work through his Website.

Thank you Lucas for sharing this story with us. 

Check back next Thursday for more Art in Focus.

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Josh Krause

Josh Krause owns and operates the Original Magic Art Store.

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