Creating artwork for a promotional version of a character is an interesting challenge of balance. You need the work to stay true to the original, but offer some new insight, story, or perspective. It's also really intimidating to be following artwork that is already incredible, such as the original by Jana Schirmer and Johannes Voss.
As shown in the sketches, a few of the approaches considered were to show her in front of, or in, a vibrant, thriving city of Thraben. Or perhaps commanding her armies, or admiring a statue of Avacyn. While you only get one piece in the end, between me, the art directors, and the concept teams, a whole lot of ideas are explored. In the end, we settled on one with subtlety. Instead of a more typical Magic high-action, or epic hero shot, we see this fearsome commander in a moment of humility, saluting another mighty guardian, Avacyn.
And that part is pretty subtle, no? Avacyn is portrayed here almost entirely as a light source. And while you'll never-never-never-ever-ever see it on the card, Avacyn is there, a tiny little reflection of her in Thalia's eyes. I am relentlessly detail obsessed, if you hadn't already noticed. (Such as the basket hilt design, which if you haven't caught it, is a heron of Innistrad.)
For Magic the Gathering. Copyright Wizards of the Coast. Art directed by Jeremy Jarvis.
I have discovered that they are also copying art/masking watermarks from many other people. Proof;
(From 0152mak's dA gallery)
sword beauty [7 minutes and 48 seconds ago]
As the original artist, you can help report 0152mak for intellectual property theft, and have their IP permanently banned from Deviantart by sending a DCMA report here --> help.deviantart.com/dmca
Side note: I think it's safe to say your work isn't following other incredible artists. I'd say you've shown you stand side by side. (Metaphorically, of course.) I'm glad you haven't let it go to your head and can stay humble though. I think that's more enjoyable too. There's still magic in accomplishments and meeting heroes.
Your fantastic artwork has been featured here
Favourites FeatureMore wonderful traditional and digital art work that I've favoured.
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Amazing textures on her skin.
managed to get on the metal of the sword.
You, mister, have the best job in the world.
One of my favorite cards from you.