MTGinktober soars into Day 19, "Cloud," starring Alexi, Zephyr Mage and guest starring Wee Dragonauts! Off to command the skies, I suppose.
I have wanted to draw Alexi forever and was so pumped to get this prompt because it was finally my chance to give her a shot. She has such a cool design and is one of Mark Zug's best pieces. BUT! I felt conflicted because I have also wanted to draw Wee Dragonauts, too, and this was also a prompt that they could rock. I love the idea of two buds working as a team. So do I go with Alexi at long last, or something with the Wee duo? The answer may surprise you.
Or not. I decided to star Alexi and just have the Dragonauts hanging out in the background. Speaking of which, this was also an exciting opportunity to do some seriously stylized clouds, like ukiyo-e style clouds, though I was mainly shooting for DBZ-influenced clouds. Drawing clouds is quite soothing, but I have struggled to make really good clouds...I never really seem to capture their lovely freedom. This time, thanks to the heavy stylization, it felt like I got a little closer, especially with the final draft's heavy-rimmed take.
Fun Facts: I consulted the great Jim Murray's Linessa, Zephyr Mage for a detailed shot of Alexi's staff, which has a neat coral or water reflection pattern, I discovered. Also, she has no relation to Alexis Blight's design, but it's awfully amusing, and I'd love to do some kind of costume swap splash. Related, the angle of the original illustration meant I got to design a little more of her outfit, and apparently she's got a gun?! I imagine it's some kind of magical stun blaster, though. I went shoeless cuz it seemed like she's super light, so she doesn't mind going barefoot.
Easter Eggs: I wanted the background to be focused on the far background, the clouds, so I adopted the in-card background of Alexi--that vaguely zeppelin sort of rig--but knocked it into black and pointed the camera higher up so it looks like she's floating in the air, but really she's just bounding on the deck of that vehicle she's on.