Gathering Steve Argyle's Magic
Monastery Swiftspear now a player in Legacy, Modern and Standard!

So after GP Los Angeles 2014 the monastery monster that just keeps climbing the price ladder has made a splash in Standard.  The prices jumped up for foils and non-foils alike and now starcitygames has the foils at $25.

Wizards has listed the card as the second most influential card of the tournament.

2. Monastery Swiftspear

"Nevermind this monk being a breakout in Legacy. Nevermind this monk getting everyone’s deckbuilding engines revving in Modern. Nevermind this monk being called "better than Goblin Guide.” Right now, right here in Standard, Monastery Swiftspear is the reason that Mono-Red, and many of the aggressive decks, can get in and finish the job, and it’s certainly a big part of why both Eric Pei and Denis Ulanov made it into the Semifinals.

The card basically has Heroic with benefits, also getting pumped by spells that don’t target it. The ability is most often used to sneak in extra damage off a Lightning Strike, Stoke the Flames, Coordinated Assault, or Titan’s Strength. It can also punish someone trying to call your bluff by blocking with a Fleecemane Lion. However, the prowess ability can also be used defensively.

The Mono-Red decks have problems with Anger of the Gods and Drown in Sorrow. But because both of those powerful board sweepers are sorceries, simply holding the burn spells until your opponents’ main phases can help keep the Swiftspear out of the graveyard, and living to see another day.

The card’s not as flashy as Goblin Rabblemaster, but the monk is the one who carries the team across the river.”

For those of you fortunate enough to have nabbed foils for your collection already, (I got mine for about $9.50) great!  I’m not sure what time will do to this card’s value but so far it has been a wild upward climb.

Gathering Steve Argyle’s Magic turned 2 today!

Gathering Steve Argyle’s Magic turned 2 today!

gatheringsteveargylesmagic:

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #47

Test of Enlightenment Chuda Ruri (Experienced), card # 62/124

This is the third of seven cards Steve Argyle illustrated for the Test of Enlightenment complete factory set expansion for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG released in July 2006.

The art was also one of three images appearing on the official playmat for Magic: the Gathering’s Grand Prix Chicago 2012, which also had artwork from Mark Tedin and R.K. Post.  All three of them were guest artists at the event.

The car photo is from an l5r.com post about seeing this car in California from January 18, 2010.

Here is a link to a wallpaper of the artwork.

Here is a time-lapse video Steve posted on March 25, 2008.

So far all of Steve’s illustrations for Test of Enlightenment have had a very “airbrush” sort of quality, and Ruri is no different.  Steve has moved as far away from this look with his current work as is possible, but even given the limitations of the style used it is still amazing.  The reasons have less to do with artistic style and more to do with good design and the understanding of some basic tropes.

Steve discussed some of his thoughts about what was successful and unsuccessful about this piece in an interview with L5RCHIVES that I’ve transcribed:

"Chuda Ruri.  The very first one.  That one seemed to put me on the map.  And there are a lot of things that I like about it, like I felt like the light coming just across her eyes where she was in shadow… where her eyes were.  But then you had those blood-red seductive lips… but it’s like she was in shadow and almost baiting you.  And the almost prison-stripe beams on the wall behind her… I felt like that created a really nice mood.  But some of the things I hate is like the hand she’s got on her chest.  It doesn’t look quite right to me, like it’s lacking in detail.  A little bit just clumsy how it feels like it was rendered."

[Where would you put that hand if you could go back?]

I’d actually put it in the same place but it doesn’t look like a hand to me, the anatomy is off and it doesn’t feel as realistic or natural as some of the rest of the piece, so I feel like I could have done that better.” - Steve Argyle

Ruri’s story is one of a complicated and dangerous person.  The basic concept is of a woman who uses whatever she must to get what she wants.  Using one’s “feminine wiles” to succeed in her plans is a basic foundation to this kind of character, and Steve shows her as both dangerous and alluring quite successfully.

The skulls and the blood on her chest and fingers are just enough dangerous elements to keep you on guard, but not enough to completely cancel out the just-enough-sexually charged reclined position, slightly revealing clothing, and just about the best nailed “bedroom eyes” I’ve seen on a game card.

The design of the image has a darker and geometric background which make her brighter, curvilinear form jump forward to the viewer’s complete attention.

Now, the rendering itself is still quite successful, even if you feel it is somewhat dated by the stylistic choice.  Actually, the light being thrown on her through the off-frame window breaks up the very smooth and perfect “ideal” shading that this style tends to give any curved surface.  Mostly her clothing is lit a bit more naturally than the lighting on her skin, which is far more stylistically “ideal.”

This is one of Steve’s most popular pieces from this point in his career and continues to stand up to this day.

gatheringsteveargylesmagic:

Steve Argyle - Legend of the Five Rings release - #114

Honor’s Veil Yoritomo Hotako (Experienced), card # 63/156

This is the fourth of 6 cards illustrated by Steve Argyle in the Legend of the Five Rings expansion set Honor’s Veil, released in February 2008.

This card is a rare and is available both as a foil and a non-foil.

Yoritom Hotako was a Mantis Clan character prior to the Test of the Obsidian Champion, where the winner, Chris Yau, selected a character from the clan he used to win the tournament to be corrupted and join the Spider Clan.

Here is a wallpaper of this artwork.

The Obsidian Champion is one of Steve’s more popular L5R artworks.  I think it’s fairly obvious why, but he discussed in an interview some reservation about the piece…

"The Obsidian Champion I like but I didn’t get enough time to really detail it and put in some of the texture I would have liked.  I wanted her armor to look almost insectile-like, kind of that glossy, beetle kind of carapace look.  I didn’t have time to even put that in so I feel like that one was really going well but I never had a chance to finish it."

[Was the deadline moved up on you?]

"No, I just procrastinate.  The deadline didn’t move, but I wasn’t fast enough.  And I didn’t like that she really doesn’t have a background.  She’s kinda got a Death Star thing behind her but you don’t get a sense of really where she’s at, what she’s doing.  I would have changed that." - Steve Argyle

eastcoastcommander:

It’s been a hell of a week!

Welcome to Friday! It’s a been a great week here at East Coast Commander and we have one more talented person (people) to shine the spotlight on. Cardkitty is our featured artist(s) today, and in case you can’t tell, Carkitty is actually a team of two! I’ll let them…

I’ve put off trying to get a cardkitty commission for far too long.

ascendedminionproject:

Steve Argyle and Ket Oertli working Artist’s Alley at GP Los Angeles 2014

Here’s some news from our intrepid reporter, Ascended Minion #18… take it away Rhett…

"The Gideon may is more impressive in person than the photographs I have seen . It is filled with gorgeous line which can only be appreciated in black and white.  "The Line Mistress" is seen here restoring order to James Paick’s line. In fact she rode herd in half of artist alley keeping the lines in check, that were on Steve’s side of artist alley."

I want that placard in the background with the magic card on it!  … also, too whomever tipped Steve with a Jackson, good show!

ascendedminionproject:

A picture of a playmat Steve did for Christopher Rush’s agent.  Too awesome!
Thanks to Ascended Minion #18 for the photo!

"I’m never gonna wash this car again…"

ascendedminionproject:

A picture of a playmat Steve did for Christopher Rush’s agent.  Too awesome!

Thanks to Ascended Minion #18 for the photo!

"I’m never gonna wash this car again…"

The Magic: the Gathering board game mock-up being demo’d in Essen uses Steve’s Chandra Ablaze artwork on its cover and card for Chandra Nalaar… and personally I think it is the model for the miniature figurine also.

gatheringsteveargylesmagic:

The Steve Argyle Magic: the Gathering Master List

2008

Player Rewards Promo - Ponder

Shards of Alara - Sunseed Nurturer, Yoked Plowbeast, Naya Battlemage

WPN Promo - Woolly Thoctar

2009

Conflux -Kranioceros, Matca Rioters, Scattershot Archer, Child of Alara

Alara Reborn - Lavalanche, Mayael’s Aria, Slave of Bolas

Planechase - The Hippodrome (oversized)

2010 Core Set - Hive Mind

Zendikar - Arrow Volley Trap, Celestial Mantle, Guul Draz Vampire, Vampire Lacerator, Chandra Ablaze

Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana - Snuff Out

Zendikar Game Day Top 8 Promo - Emeria Angel

2010

Worldwake - Admonition Angel, Everflowing Chalice

FNM Promo (April) - Bloodbraid Elf

Rise of the Eldrazi - Dawnglare Invoker, Emerge Unscathed, Bloodthrone Vampire, Kozilek’s Predator

Archenemy - Everflowing Chalice (reprint)

2011 Core Set - Angelic Arbiter, Bloodthrone Vampire (reprint), Liliana’s Caress

From the Vault: Relics - Nevinyrral’s Disk

Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret - Everflowing Chalice (reprint)

Scars of Mirrodin - Seize the Initiative, Barbed Battlegear, Bladed Pinions

2011

Mirrodin Besieged Prerelease Promo - Glissa, the Traitor

2011 Convention Promo - Bloodthrone Vampire (reprint)

New Phyrexia - Praetor’s Grasp, Glistener Elf

Commander - Angelic Arbiter (reprint), Damia, Sage of Stone, Damia, Sage of Stone (oversized, reprint)

FNM Promo (July) - Jace’s Ingenuity

2012 Core Set Buy-a-Box Promo - Chandra’s Phoenix

From the Vault: Legends - Kresh the Bloodbraided

Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas - Slave of Bolas (reprint)

Innistrad - Bonds of Faith, Liliana of the Veil, Night Revelers

2012

Dark Ascension - Chosen of Markov / Markov’s Servant, Deadly Allure, Falkenrath Torturer

Avacyn Restored - Killing Wave, Somberwald Sage

Planechase 2012 - Bloodbraid Elf (reprint)

2013 Core Set - Bloodthrone Vampire (reprint), Flames of the Firebrand, Serpent’s Gift

Return to Ravnica - Conjured Currency, Bloodfray Giant, Explosive Impact, Deathrite Shaman

2013

Gatecrash - Angel (token), Urbis Protector, Soul Ransom

Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt - Vampire Lacerator (reprint)

2014 Core Set - Flames of the Firebrand (reprint)

Duel Decks: Heroes vs. Monsters - Bonds of Faith (reprint)

Commander 2013 - Nevinyrral’s Disk (reprint)

2014

Journey Into Nyx Defeat a God Challenge Deck - Ecstatic Piper

Conspiracy - Deathreap Ritual

Vintage Masters (MTGO Only - not physically printed) - Deathreap Ritual (reprint), Nevinyrral’s Disk (reprint)

From the Vault: Annihilation - Child of Alara (reprint)

Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning - Arrow Volley Trap (reprint)

Khans of Tarkir - Whirlwind Adept, Monastery Swiftspear, Briber’s Purse

the-grand-fangirl:

cosplaytipsandtricks:

homestuckresources:

kcaacbay:

How to cover up tattoos!
use a red lipstick covering the outlines
pat on a light concealer, using a setting powder
pat on your skin tone concealer, and clean up any mistakes using baby wipes to remove excess concealer
use a fluffy brush and smooth it out with foundation powder.
VIDEO TUTORIAL:
http://youtu.be/-pYuvb3Iv4E

we don’t usually reblog/post cosplay stuff, but a friend pointed it out to me and i haven’t seen it elsewhere SO maybe it can help someone!

Useful for cosplay AND if you’re applying for a job that views tattoos as ‘unprofessional’. 

Also good for hickeys

I know a lot of you cosplay… so I’ll signal boost this.

the-grand-fangirl:

cosplaytipsandtricks:

homestuckresources:

kcaacbay:

How to cover up tattoos!

  • use a red lipstick covering the outlines
  • pat on a light concealer, using a setting powder
  • pat on your skin tone concealer, and clean up any mistakes using baby wipes to remove excess concealer
  • use a fluffy brush and smooth it out with foundation powder.
VIDEO TUTORIAL:

we don’t usually reblog/post cosplay stuff, but a friend pointed it out to me and i haven’t seen it elsewhere SO maybe it can help someone!

Useful for cosplay AND if you’re applying for a job that views tattoos as ‘unprofessional’. 

Also good for hickeys

I know a lot of you cosplay… so I’ll signal boost this.