This is a take on that old "doorway to another world" trope.
It's kind of a reference to the very first rare I ever opened in Japan. I was studying abroad for the summer and saw a pack of JP Magic out in the wild! I couldn't read any Japanese back then, so I had no idea what this card did.
Anyway, it was only partially inspired by that, though. I really wanted to draw a mountain, high above the clouds, with the lower ground peeking out from beneath them. It did start out as a snowy mountain, hence the file name, but things shift around as we free-form these sketches.
Once we settled onto an ok mountain, it felt like we needed something to anchor the image, like a goal, so I added a Stonehenge-like thing, carved some cryptic runes, and then slid a sliver of an upcoming piece beneath it that we're not quite ready to unveil yet.
Directly calling back to my sense of awe at seeing the larger version of
Yeong-Hao Han's Millstone, I included a tiny figure that was ascending this hitherto scale-free scene.
I wasn't sure I was actually finished with this piece, but it's far enough along to remove from the docket and post here, meanwhile we're still toiling away at a couple concurrent illustrations.