The 'hero' cards for the World of Warcraft trading card game are double sided. The front has the image cropped to a landscape format to allow for text, but when the card is played it is then flipped to show it has been used, and you get to see the image in full. However Emmi was an exception in that the reverse has a different image.
It was fun to get show an actual progression in the narrative. Illustrations usually capture a moment in time, and it is up to the viewer to think about what might happen next, indeed this is often part of the enjoyment of looking at a picture. So to get to realise that action myself was a special treat.
Copyright Upper Deck Entertainment/Blizzard Entertainment
PLEASE NOTE: I don't have any say at all about the Costume/Armor, Race, Colours etc in my WoW illustrations. I follow strict guidelines/model sheets that come directly from Blizzard. If something looks wrong or out of place then it looks that way because Blizzard wanted it that way.
I wanted to offer a different approach with this image. I adopted a slightly more stylised design, which was emphasised by the way the winged windserpent curls around and over the Draeni.
The main focus of this piece was meant to be on the Draeni's weapon. It is given a prominent position in the images, almost in profile, whilst it's colour scheme is strongly contrasted by the background colour's I chose.
Lastly we look up at the figures, which helps make them all that more imposing, whilst a narrative element is added by their attention being drawn off to the left.
Issuing a fearsome war cry the Draeni leapt into combat against his overawed foe.
I wanted to try to convey dynamic movement and power. By cropping the image quite close to the right of the figure, whilst conversely leaving negative space behind to his left, I hoped to create tension with the frame, and the sense that the figure is moving out of the space. This movement is further emphasised by the trailing tail, and tabard.
I also chose a low down point of view so that Draeni is above us, imbuing him with more power, and menace.
The powerful Warlock and his beast companion overlook the blasted lands around them, steely indifference in his heart.
This is an unusual layout for card art. The piece needed to function as the Portariat shown here, but also when cropped down to more conventional card proportions ( at a point just below is lower hand).
I tried to play with this by using a spotlit effect upon the Mage, whilst letting his lower robes, and the ground around him fall into shadow.
"Friends are mere stepping stones when plans are hatched..."
I wanted to try and capture the sense of devious malevolence that is clearly redolent in this Troll. To do that I opted for strong directional lighting. This would mean dark shadows to aid the mood, and by choosing the green light I am visualling signalling that something less than good is at hand.
The closer crop on the figure, and static, almost profile, form further helps give the sense of a quiet, composed, moment as the cogs begin to whirr!