Gathering Steve Argyle's Magic

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #276

Seeds of Decay Celestial Sword of the Dragon (Experienced), card # 86/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion set Seeds of Decay was released in November, 2012.  Steve Argyle illustrated three cards for this set.

This is the first of those three and also the seventh of nine similarly designed illustrations that appeared spread across this and two other sets.

This card is of fixed rarity and is included in the Seeds of Decay Dragon Clan deck.

The exciting, if simplistic, geometric scale pattern and the green to yellow to green color shift is visually stimulating and demands attention.  The taijitu, or yin-yang, symbol doesn’t seem to have any direct connection to the Dragon Clan as far as I can tell but is an important element in the philosophy of the Eastern cultures that Rokugan is based upon and is completely at home here.  It is sized appropriately to seem to be an equal part among the other elements in the piece, the fabric, the dragon statues, and the scabbard and blade.  As the taijitu symbolizes, this piece is well balanced.

This is your chance to own an original 4” x 4” Steve Argyle painting!  Proceeds support the Team Panda charity!

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #275

2012 Stronghold Store Clan Pack Reward Bayushi Tenzan
The distribution of this card was a little hard to find record of, but the unusual card border is what finally led me to it.  This border is a special promotional border that was first implemented on the 10,000 cards promo The Deciding Moment, which was first shown on June 4, 2012.  AEG decided to continue using the border for other promos in the Emperor Arc.  They also designed a new special border for the Ivory Arc and the whole concept was explained in that announcement a little over a year later.
On October 10, 2012 AEG announced the October 22, 2012 deadline for registering a Stronghold Store for this rewards program whose guidelines were explained as "For each store that has three or more current IA [Imperial Assembly] memberships of the same clan, each of those players will be sent a pack of special clan specific cards…”
Since this is a Scorpion Clan personality it was distributed in the Scorpion Clan Pack sometime after October 22, 2012.  (I have never actually been able to find literal confirmation of the contents of any of these Clan Packs other than Spider, which was shown in the announcement.)
The distribution of these promos was relatively light and direct to the players that would want them most, so secondary market activity of this card is likely rare.  I’ve never seen a copy of this card for sale.
This is a reprint.  For more information and my discussion of the artwork please see my post about the original printing.

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #275

2012 Stronghold Store Clan Pack Reward Bayushi Tenzan

The distribution of this card was a little hard to find record of, but the unusual card border is what finally led me to it.  This border is a special promotional border that was first implemented on the 10,000 cards promo The Deciding Moment, which was first shown on June 4, 2012.  AEG decided to continue using the border for other promos in the Emperor Arc.  They also designed a new special border for the Ivory Arc and the whole concept was explained in that announcement a little over a year later.

On October 10, 2012 AEG announced the October 22, 2012 deadline for registering a Stronghold Store for this rewards program whose guidelines were explained as "For each store that has three or more current IA [Imperial Assembly] memberships of the same clan, each of those players will be sent a pack of special clan specific cards…”

Since this is a Scorpion Clan personality it was distributed in the Scorpion Clan Pack sometime after October 22, 2012.  (I have never actually been able to find literal confirmation of the contents of any of these Clan Packs other than Spider, which was shown in the announcement.)

The distribution of these promos was relatively light and direct to the players that would want them most, so secondary market activity of this card is likely rare.  I’ve never seen a copy of this card for sale.

This is a reprint.  For more information and my discussion of the artwork please see my post about the original printing.

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #274

The Shadow’s Embrace Unexpected, card # 152/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the last of seven illustrations by Steve Argyle in that set.  The factory set was available for purchase divided into nine clan packs and a strategy set.  You could buy the strategy set which would include one clan pack of your choice or the factory set which includes the strategy set and all nine clan packs.  All cards in this set are of fixed rarity, are non-foil only, and appear as a playset, which is three copies of non-unique cards and one copy of unique cards.

This card is a non-unique non-clan affiliated card meaning three copies of it appeared in the Strategy Set.

Steve illustrated three cards for this set that seem to indicate parts of a single storyline featuring Kanahashi hunting someone down and capturing him.

Here we see Kanahashi preparing to capture her quarry.  Steve does not forget the anatomy of her neck and collar-bone, but seems perhaps to have neglected to include a string on Kanahashi’s bow.

She has an expression of playfulness about her as though she were a child playing hide-and-seek rather than a bounty hunter at work.  There is an element of “all too easy” in this piece that makes her the superior force and hero of the image without any true context to help.

So sad…

Would it have been so bad to have a piece of Steve’s art previewed at SDCC Wizards?!  C’mon, throw me a bone!

My posts for Steve’s L5R porfolio are up to date

After two years of research, archiving, and reviewing Steve’s (as far as I can find) 302 cards, using 173 pieces of artwork, for Legend of the Five Rings I have finally queued my post for the last printed card.  (I’ll have to wait for the rest of the set spoiler for A Line in the Sand, due out next month, to get 100% current.)

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #273

The Shadow’s Embrace Captured Convict, card # 109/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the sixth of seven illustrations by Steve Argyle in that set.  The factory set was available for purchase divided into nine clan packs and a strategy set.  You could buy the strategy set which would include one clan pack of your choice or the factory set which includes the strategy set and all nine clan packs.  All cards in this set are of fixed rarity, are non-foil only, and appear as a playset, which is three copies of non-unique cards and one copy of unique cards.

This card is a non-unique non-clan affiliated card meaning three copies of it appeared in the Strategy Set.

Steve illustrated three cards for this set that seem to indicate parts of a single storyline featuring Kanahashi hunting someone down and capturing him.

One-point perspective, where parallel lines converge into the distance to a single point, defines the framework for this piece and helps to indicate a lengthy travel in the story illustrated here.  A difference in subject scale and rendering quality as well as foreshortening on the rope define the distance in the foreground.

The determination of Kanahashi overcoming the physical strength of her quarry is the focus here, but my favorite element is the highlighting from the distant setting (rising?) sun warmly glaring around the edges of everything.

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #272

The Shadow’s Embrace Thunder’s Stamina, card # 103/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the fifth of seven illustrations by Steve Argyle in that set.  The factory set was available for purchase divided into nine clan packs and a strategy set.  You could buy the strategy set which would include one clan pack of your choice or the factory set which includes the strategy set and all nine clan packs.  All cards in this set are of fixed rarity, are non-foil only, and appear as a playset, which is three copies of non-unique cards and one copy of unique cards.

This card is a non-unique non-clan affiliated card meaning three copies of it appeared in the Strategy Set.

This is the only card Steve illustrated for this release that is not part of a group of similarly themed images.  The dominant force seems to be the overall color palette.  I think the color seems to overtake this piece, mostly due to its intrusion into the hair.  While the dress is a wonderful pink-ish violet color the piece does not seem otherwise bathed in violet light as the hair coloring seems to indicate, breaking the mold of Steve’s usually natural and realistic lighting.  Steve also adds more light to the front of the subject than the intense light behind her would seem to suggest, although the shadows are enough to make it look reasonable.  We do want to be able to see her after all.  Whether the overtaking of this piece by color is a problem or not is of course up to the viewer.

They may be distracted by the action.  This is a dynamic pose, accentuated by the flow of hair and fabric, and of course the lightning.  The design of the dress and the fabric pattern upon it are, aside from the intense bell sleeves, rather understated but lovely and I wish I could get an even closer look at it.

steveargyle:
It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a finished painting.  Since I can’t stand waiting for publishers to finally release/preview what I’ve been doing for the last year, here’s a little something to keep me sane.
This is the artwork accompanying official announcements regarding the L5R expansion A Line in the Sand, releasing in August 2014.

steveargyle:

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a finished painting.  Since I can’t stand waiting for publishers to finally release/preview what I’ve been doing for the last year, here’s a little something to keep me sane.

This is the artwork accompanying official announcements regarding the L5R expansion A Line in the Sand, releasing in August 2014.

Steve Argyle’s illustration he posted on tumblr on January 7, 2014, which has been referred to as Akodo Kobe by some unsubstantiated sources, is used to illustrate this story posted to L5R.com yesterday.

A Line in the Sand is the name of the first expansion set for Ivory Edition.