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Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by SteveArgyle Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by SteveArgyle

Thalia card by SteveArgyle Thalia sketches by SteveArgyle 
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.

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WhiteBoneDemon Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2018   Traditional Artist
Hey there SteveArgyle! Just thought I should let you know, I found someone who is stealing your artwork-->0152mak :icon0152mak:

 I have discovered that they are also copying art/masking watermarks from many other people. Proof;

(From 0152mak's dA gallery)
sword  beauty by 0152mak 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 -->:bulletblue:
c01e Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2017  Student General Artist
This piece is fantastic! I love how the lighting, skin, hair, metal, everything works in concert showing fantastic detail. The reflection of light being the entity she's saluting is brilliant. Well done!

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.
springtwister Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Student Photographer
MYCARO Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
so beautiful....and expensive
tru3nam3n3m3sis Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2016
got that right...jeez
bishoujosavior Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I finally got a copy of this card.  It is surely one of my prized cards.
Rafellin Featured By Owner May 5, 2016  Professional Writer
This. This is Art.
Moltenkitty Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016  Student General Artist
Wowowow that's so amazing !! I love the detail you put in there, especially the reflection of Avacyn in her eyes :la::la:
Elvinkin66 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015  Student Writer
Hope she return d in Shadow Over Innastad. 
SteveArgyle Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Me too.  She's too cool not to.  I have faith in Wizards.
Elvinkin66 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2015  Student Writer
As a Planswalker maybe? 

A guy can hope. 
XiahouDun Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2015
Thalia was one of my absolute favorite cards in Magic, both for art and ability. You just raised the bar here.
Antonvac Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015
Lorkar Featured By Owner Edited Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
So beautiful i can't even tell--her eyes, the rapier, her freckles, her lips. Perfect.
kamao Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
her eyes, just stands out.. very amazing!
Velkaarn Featured By Owner May 26, 2015
Awesome, I need to acquire a copy of the promo card once it's out. A very good, unexpected interpretation.
Someone-Else79 Featured By Owner May 25, 2015
Great work !!!
lauraypablo Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow!!! so beautiful artworkk :heart::huggle:
YasuMatsuoka Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Beautiful. I love the eyes!
Spoig Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
There's a bit of duality in you doing this piece, after Liliana of the Veil. WotC seems to be increasingly tapping you for female card art, or maybe that's just observation bias.
TheAstronomicon Featured By Owner May 6, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
A most excellent piece of art, highly worthy of praise.
Neo128 Featured By Owner May 6, 2015   General Artist
Great detail... Obviously, she takes her obligation very seriously. :o
warrior-of-tzeentch Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
Absolutely gorgeous close up of her.  The details are incredible.  It is beautiful to see such a focused look into the calm details of emotion, passion, and feelings that can be conveyed with such a beautiful angle.
fecalmembrane Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
The freckles make her cute. 
kaze26 Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
TFSakon Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
The sketches are fascinating, I really do love the way they've developed.
Amazing textures on her skin.
VanFurio1 Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mastery !!!!!!
luxington078 Featured By Owner May 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Impressive work
Serch2 Featured By Owner May 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One of your best artworks, dude. It's simply awesome!!
ObscuroArcanum Featured By Owner May 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This painting is just beautiful! I really love the vibrancy of her eyes, and the shine you
managed to get on the metal of the sword.
Neranella Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
So beautiful ! :faint:
Alexgv-art Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Student Digital Artist
wow stunning job :D
JewelsMarie Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Professional General Artist
vanBlood Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
Good one
Twilight16Master Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
that sword is absolutely beautiful. love the detail.
keiku Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Professional General Artist
My goodness, this is fantastic! :D
sugarpoultry Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, those details are beautiful!!!! <3 <3 <3
DragonGuy42 Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
You do such beautiful faces, hair, and shiny things.  This has all three.  Great success!
psycocat Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This painting is so much better with this description. It's sad that you can't see Avacyn in this. It adds so much to the image.
Wesson87 Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
MarcSolArt Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
Why are the chicks you paint always hot as hell...? :o (Eek) 
You, mister, have the best job in the world. :D (Big Grin) 
LadySerraphym Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
This is simply beautiful. So much detail. Would love to see more of her.
Dorshiffe Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Something odd with the right (her left) nostril's shadow. I'm not sure what but it makes me wince.
Rivenor Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Stands out so much from all other mtg artwork we don't see this drastic a zoom in every day. I love it, the sword hilt is so elaborate and the unusual point of view lets us appreciate the detail even more.

One of my favorite cards from you.
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Submitted on
May 2, 2015
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