Gathering Steve Argyle's Magic

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.

polishtamales:

image

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of gothic horror style stories and video games. Vampires especially. Starting way back to Vampire Hunter D, I was always intrigued by their life styles, vampiric powers and their moral stand of co-existing with humans.

Their decision to treat them as…

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #271

The Shadow’s Embrace Celestial Sword of the Phoenix (Experienced), card # 90/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the fourth 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 unique Phoenix Clan card meaning one copy of it appeared in the Phoenix Clan Pack.

This is also the sixth of nine similarly designed illustrations that appeared spread across this and two other sets.

Like the Celestial Sword of the Crane, this image has fabric with no pattern, however it is affected by a red light as opposed to the more natural light seen in the previous images.  There is a strange side-effect that this piece looks as though we are leaning over it or the floor is tilted forward.  This is probably an illusion created by the lines of the irregular panels behind the fabric.  The bright red light is also reflecting brightly from the blade.

There is also a emblem of the Phoenix clan mon in this piece which has not been used in the others so far.  It looks like the ones Steve made for the Emperor Edition packaging but cleaned up to make the perimeter a perfect circle.

Steve Argyle is at SD ComicCon

He is part of the group at the Donato Arts island and is not listed as an attending artist by name.

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #270

The Shadow’s Embrace Celestial Sword of the Crane (Experienced), card # 89/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the third 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 unique Crane Clan card meaning one copy of it appeared in the Crane Clan Pack.

This is also the fifth of nine similarly designed illustrations that appeared spread across this and two other sets.

There are a few differences in this piece as compared to the previous four.  For starters the view is pulled back a bit to show more of the room instead of having the sword take up the full width of the image (although that is cropped out on the card.)  There is also a window in the background to create greater depth and that depth allows for a darker area behind the well-lit blade.  Also, the fabric has no pattern.  As such it relies on the reflecting light alone to accent it, which is fine because the other elements are also quite reflective and it is the highlights that really define this piece in particular.

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #269

The Shadow’s Embrace Celestial Sword of the Crab (Experienced), card # 88/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the second 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 unique Crab Clan card meaning one copy of it appeared in the Crab Clan Pack.

This is also the fourth of nine similarly designed illustrations that appeared spread across this and two other sets.

The fabric is amazing looking but here may actually be understated compared to the rest of the elements of the piece.  The sword and scabbard are stunningly highlighted by that amazing emerald color which leaps out at the viewer from out of the very neutral color scheme of this piece.

There is also the clan emblem comprising the holder for the scabbard which seems to be an undamaged version of the same 3D model used for the pauldron of Kuofu, illustrated six years earlier.

steveargyle:

Channeling my inner Greg Manchess for a silent auction charity piece for Mariah Boehm and Team Panda.

"Elspeth’s Gift."  4x4 oil on Gessoboard.

If you’d like to get your hands on this, one of the very few originals I’ve got out there, be sure to be a part of this event!  (Or send your private shadow minions.)  http://www.gatheringmagic.com/mikelinnemann-062514-mtg-charity-minneapolis-helps-mariah/

TTFN, my Beloved Minions!

Steve

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #268

The Shadow’s Embrace Yoriyomo Kanahashi, card # 45/159

The Legend of the Five Rings expansion The Shadow’s Embrace was released in June, 2012 as a Factory set.  This is the first 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 Mantis Clan card meaning three copies of it appeared in the Mantis Clan Pack.

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

This image is not rendered with the exacting polish that Steve typically employs with a portrait piece like this one, but every element is still masterfully done.  The prominent characteristic in this piece is color.  Steve’s understanding of color and lighting, especially where skin is concerned, is exemplified here by seeming appropriate even as the lighting transitions from shadow through natural light to intense fire-light.  The lighting is appropriate not just to indicate the source of the fire-light, but also the shadows and highlights that indicate form.  Interlacing all of these kinds of light and having the colors react accordingly without losing the conveyance of human skin to the viewer is a talent we should not take for granted.

While doing all of that Steve doesn’t forget to cooperate all of the elements that describe emotion in the face.  I have expounded on Steve’s mastery of describing facial expressions countless times.  Here we can see what appears to be an interlacing of pride, satisfaction, and a touch of amusement.  The muscles that control the skin at the corners of the mouth, the forehead and the eyes are responsible for the most subtle factors of conveying emotions and understanding how that works and being able to indicate it are possibly even more difficult than understanding light and color.

We are all pretty accustomed now with Steve’s methods for painting fire, and it always looks good.