Monday, October 23, 2017
MTGinktober drips towards Day 23, "Juicy," starring Lil'iana, the Raven Man, and Kid Josu, and featuring the severed head of Joyce. It's fun for the whole fambly!
When I got the prompt, I thought, sweet, I want to draw chubby cheeks trying to hold down some plump, juicy fruit or something, and that's how this piece all started! From there, I pondered what could be funny to draw counter-intuitive to more typical munchable material, so my first idea to contrast chomping into a fruit was a zombie biting into a brain. A natural couple that might present this would be Liliana and her freshly zombified brother, which would coincidentally be a great opportunity to draw the kids again but in greater detail.
The reason I engineered for all of this to occur was because it was a classic family picnic under a tree. And if these were kids on a picnic, why not have a parental character looking after them? So I used the Raven Man as that chaperone figure, and as a nod to the story, he is doting after Liliana, trying to wipe her face.
Fun Facts: My position used to be that I would never draw Jace, as I detest the character and how they shove him down our throats, and more offensively, how they insist he is representative of Magic players in general, as the go-to Mickey Mouse of the property. But I needed someone to be having their brains getting eaten and Joyce seemed like an appropriate pick over either a random face or a random other character.
Easter Eggs: The juice boxes feature the word "juicy" in Japanese, which is also how you pronounce the name of the juicebox's mascot, Jushi Apprentice. The background is taken from Tree of Perdition. Liliana is eating a fruit from a Utopia Tree. Josu is eating the brain of specifically Jace, Memory Adept since the D. Alex art is great.
Here's a look at the initial sketch I roughed out when I first had the idea for the illustration. It started in landscape orientation. These early roughs help me anchor the emotion and general poses so I don't lose sight of the driving vision throughout the penciling stage. There was originally a raven nibbling out the eye of the decapitated head, but that felt just a smidge too gross, since it was supposed to be a more amusing/cute piece than actual horror. There were also sandwiches, which I also cut for time. They started out as elementary-school-age (see the roughed in idea for a backpack for Liliana), but ended up drifting to sorta teen-aged by the end of the pencils phase.