Gathering Steve Argyle's Magic
If you have contact with some artists, can you get the full art for deathreap ritual?
Anonymous

steveargyle:

theartofmtg:

Well, let’s ask steveargyle.

Hey Steve! What do you think, would you be able to share the full art for Deathreap Ritual with us?

Sure thing!

image

Get thee to Gathering Steve Argyle’s Magic for all your Steve Argyle art needs.  Steve gave me this one a while backand here’s a discussion of some of the finer points of this far too-detailed monster!

This item has one of Steve Argyle’ earlier works, Kyofu EX 2, on it… for those interested in a rather unusual item for their collection.

Steve Argyle - Army Builder 3.0 software - cover art

by: Lone Wolf Development

Published in 2008

Current version 3.4 is available for download here.

Physical copies are available.  The manufacturer has this to say about finding the CD version:

"Army Builder is in wide distribution, and should be readily available at your local retailer. If your friendly local game store doesn’t carry it, they should be able to order it - the product code they need is "LWD-003". You can check our Retailer Locator to find a game store near you.”

The Steve Argyle Magic: the Gathering Master List

Steve Argyle - shirt design

I don’t know too much about this, or if Steve did the art for both sides (I’m guessing yes)… but here’s a place where it’s sold.

Starcitygames has sold out of their preorders for FOIL Monastery Swiftspear… at $3.99 each.  Yup, that’s pretty much how I figured this would go…

Starcitygames has sold out of their preorders for FOIL Monastery Swiftspear… at $3.99 each.  Yup, that’s pretty much how I figured this would go…

Steve Argyle - Magic: the Gathering release - #80

Khans of Tarkir Briber’s Purse, card # 217/269

Cards from the Magic: the Gathering expansion Khans of Tarkir will be available first at prerelease events beginning on September 20, 2014.

There are a whole lot of reasons to be excited about this release ranging from the reprinting of the Onslaught ally-color fetchlands to the focus on enemy wedge three-color cards. This set also begins, according to information from this August 25, 2014 article, the last block consisting of three sets, which is good news for the art fans because the worlds visited in the game will change more often introducing more thematic variety both to the game in general and of course to the illustrations.

Fans of Steve Argyle took note that this is, after a very long wait, the first new cards with his artwork to appear in Standard since the release of Gatecrash twenty months earlier.

This is the last of three cards illustrated by Steve Argyle in Khans of Tarkir.

As far as I know I was actually the first to identify Steve’s artist credit the day after the card appeared in spoilers on September 10, 2014 and now he has been generous enough to allow me to make the first reveal of the artwork for Briber’s Purse (as well as some sketches) here on Gathering Steve Argyle’s Magic!

Let’s look at the sketches for a moment and see if we can guess about why the one numbered “2” was chosen.  The first one seems adequate, but perhaps it looks too much like stealing and could be confused?  Or perhaps it looked to shady rather than the overt, open taking of the bribe in the second sketch?  The third one does make the bag smaller and far from center and crowds the image with an unneeded third hand, and also depersonalizes the transfer a bit.  I feel they made the right decision.

The background is as spare as can be in this piece, describing loosely a dusty road lined with stone buildings which gives us just a tiny taste of locale and mood.  The jump up in the level of detail in the foreground is striking and solidifies the focus, as many artifact card illustrations do, on the object described by the card.

Even at this resolution we can see stunning detail in the texture of the (reptilian?) hand.  The dragon scale covered sleeve of the recipient’s arm and the purse itself are slightly less elaborate in design but still sharp in clarity.  The real beauty of the piece is the recipient’s hand and the gemstones upon it.  The highlights, reflections, refractions, and shadows on the stones and the colored light they bathe the hand with around the edges are a tell about Steve’s intimate understanding of the behavior of light and color that I simply can not convey enough.

I can only imagine for the next week or so how amazing foils of this card are going to look!

Steve Argyle - Magic: the Gathering release - #79

Khans of Tarkir Monastery Swiftspear, card # 118/269

Cards from the Magic: the Gathering expansion Khans of Tarkir will be available first at prerelease events beginning on September 20, 2014.

There are a whole lot of reasons to be excited about this release ranging from the reprinting of the Onslaught ally-color fetchlands to the focus on enemy wedge three-color cards. This set also begins, according to information from this August 25, 2014 article, the last block consisting of three sets, which is good news for the art fans because the worlds visited in the game will change more often introducing more thematic variety both to the game in general and of course to the illustrations.

Fans of Steve Argyle took note that this is, after a very long wait, the first new cards with his artwork to appear in Standard since the release of Gatecrash twenty months earlier.  This card is of particular interest in that regard actually.

This is the second of three cards illustrated by Steve Argyle in Khans of Tarkir.

Part 1 of the Planeswalker’s Guide to Khans of Tarkir describes the Jeskai Clan, whose emblem appears in the textbox of this card, both with words and illustrations, in a way that largely emulates Earthly Eastern cultures.  As such, there are a number of thematic similarities to the world of Rokugan, home of the Legend of the Five Rings card game where Steve Argyle formalized his now ten-year long illustrating career some four years before illustrating the Magic card game.  For those familiar with his career it comes as little surprise that Steve would be asked to illustrate cards from the Jeskai clan.

The card appeared on the last day of the spoiler season for the set, revealed in a low-quality photo on mythicspoiler.com where the artist credit was mostly illegible, the day before Wizards posted the complete visual spoiler for the Khans of Tarkir set on September 12, 2014.  The message board discussions about this card possibly being a constructed-viable “better than Goblin Guide” began immediately.

Steve added a page for the art on his website the following day containing the illustration shown above, as well as sketches and a time-lapse video.

Keeping in mind the things I’ve mentioned about the Jeskai Clan, this illustration looks almost like it was taken directly from L5R.  The buildings are so heavily influenced by Eastern architecture the similarity is impossible not to notice.  The positioning and sizing of the buildings looks dangerously close to a space-filling exercise and would make the overall image seem almost crowded if it weren’t for their being hazed over in mist.  The image is saved moreover by the ribbons, banners, and other sun-drenched, rippling fabric which guide your attention in many seemingly random directions.

The movement is this piece is far from random.  There is a definite clockwise, triangular line of movement.  The weight of the building in the lower left, the horizontal design elements in the upper-body clothing, and the line of the weapon all drive the eye most specifically in a two-o-clock to eight-o-clock direction down the weapon.  The ribbons and banners drive the eye upward and right to the top center of the image (the haze adds a quasi-third dimensionality to this movement and seems to also move “inward” toward the background at this point) and then the hair drags you down to the other end of the weapon in the foreground.

The red and ivory colors of this piece feel at home on the red card.  If we focus on that color combination we will drown in the figure’s fashion design, however the relative design complexity of her right shoulder seems to want a great deal of attention, and it should.  The shape it makes is exactly opposite to, and centered within, the triangle I described earlier which conveniently goes right through her head.  I find the hairstyle to be so unusual it actually is drawing more of my attention than I feel it should, but the figure’s face should get the most attention just by way of us being inclined to look to her eyes.  The light source being centered on her face makes it that much more of a focus.

Steve Argyle - Magic: the Gathering release - #78

Khans of Tarkir Whirlwind Adept, card # 63/269

Cards from the Magic: the Gathering expansion Khans of Tarkir will be available first at prerelease events beginning on September 20, 2014.

There are a whole lot of reasons to be excited about this release ranging from the reprinting of the Onslaught ally-color fetchlands to the focus on enemy wedge three-color cards. This set also begins, according to information from this August 25, 2014 article, the last block consisting of three sets, which is good news for the art fans because the worlds visited in the game will change more often introducing more thematic variety both to the game in general and of course to the illustrations.

Fans of Steve Argyle took note that this is, after a very long wait, the first new cards with his artwork to appear in Standard since the release of Gatecrash twenty months earlier.

This is the first of three cards illustrated by Steve Argyle in Khans of Tarkir.

Part 1 of the Planeswalker’s Guide to Khans of Tarkir describes the Jeskai Clan, whose emblem appears in the textbox of this card, both with words and illustrations, in a way that largely emulates Earthly Eastern cultures.  As such, there are a number of thematic similarities to the world of Rokugan, home of the Legend of the Five Rings card game where Steve Argyle formalized his now ten-year long illustrating career some four years before illustrating the Magic card game.  For those familiar with his career it comes as little surprise that Steve would be asked to illustrate cards from the Jeskai clan.

The card itself remained unseen during the spoiler season for the set, only to be revealed when Wizards posted the complete visual spoiler for the Khans of Tarkir set on September 12, 2014.

Steve added a page for the art on his website the following day containing the illustration shown above, as well as sketches and a time-lapse video.  He also explains some of the differences between the artwork shown on his website and the version that appears on the card.

The differences are mainly the removal of the headdress, the changing of most of the blue detailing on the clothing to red, the addition of a green pattern onto the skirt fabric, and the addition of motion blur on the staves.

The large illustration shown is obviously of greater resolution and can be discussed.  The background deserves some attention so let’s get that out of the way first.  The fog and snow lend a bit of implied distance to the area.  The multitude of angles creates a great deal of movement for the eye.  The fact that there is no blowing snow in front of the figure is, for obvious design reasons, a forgivable break from reality so I’m inclined to ignore it.  The gnarled tree is beautiful.

As far as the figure is concerned the djinn race of Tarkir has a particular look, but Steve’s version is a bit more cat-like than the other examples I’ve looked at.  There is a definite lion quality the the dominant structures of the face.  There is also an Egyptian quality implied by the design and mostly blue and gold coloration of the costume, particularly the linework within the armbands, giving the figure a somewhat African feel.  The subtle highlight for me is the musculature of the back which appears absolutely realistic given the position of the arms.