Friday, October 21, 2016


Day 17 of MTGinktober was "Battle" and I knew I absolutely didn't want to do a traditional battle, so my mind first went to a rap battle (<--severe language warning), but as I thought more about it, as much as I wanted to draw a crowd going "OOOOHHH!!!!" I thought a dance battle might be more visually interesting.

I don't really take dance seriously as an artform, if I'm being perfectly honest, but I do know Les Twins are true artists--there was this interview with Laurent just sitting in a chair and grooving along to some music, and that alone was astounding. That is art. Plus his/their mentality is just wonderful, basically, "just kill it always." Anyway, I knew I wanted to draw two to four people in the battle, so I immediately thought of doing a Les Twins style piece, though I still kinda wish I coulda drawn the Planeswalkers in Les Twins gear. Still hoping to draw modern-day PWs at some point.

What's exciting to me about this piece is it debuts a new technique I thought of. Usually I just have a ton of references open while I draw, but this time, I mocked up the illustration I wanted to do by chopping up and collaging my references. I'd post that previz but I'd imagine it's a copyright issue. Anyway, this piece stars Kaya and Koth cuz, well, they be black, yo, and while I wanted to mimic Les Twins, I knew I wanted a guy and girl team, so it all worked out. I had a great time drawing Kaya cuz it felt like drawing Alexis Blight again and I always loved drawing her hair. By the way, this drawing of Koth marks the first time I've drawn a character without a shirt...Speaking of outfits, I turned a New York Yankees hat into a New Phyrexia hat. Million-dollar-idea royalties, please.

And then Day 18 was "Escape," which gave me quite a bit of pause to figure out what to draw. I read the prompts before leaving for dinner so I can think during the walk and while eating, and I was drawing a blank for a good while. I finally decided something small and ground level in a mad dash from something might be cool, maybe a homunculus weaving between enemy legs. I eventually settled on Squee fleeing imminent murder, as I understand he dies a lot (the Weatherlight saga was just before my time, but admittedly I have little interest in Gerrard and Co., though oddly enough, I love hearing Mark Rosewater talk about that era).

Squee turned out to be tough because there aren't any super clear depictions of him, and the best one is by Greg Staples, but his version looks markedly different (and buffer and more finger-having) than the preexisting incarnations. So for my take, I used Greg Staples' earring, hair, and fingers but the non-royal classic get up. Battle turned out not to be as action-packed as I had initially thought it would, so I made sure to up the action on this one.


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