Scale Birds

Posted in Arcana on August 10, 2011

By Monty Ashley

It's not easy to make a giant creature look giant. Magic artists have a variety of techniques to show scale. A huge monster can be shown from below or off in the foggy distance. And another technique, the one we're talking about today, is called "scale birds."

Sphinx of Uthuun | Art by Kekai Kotaki

See those little birds out there in the sky? They're there to show that Sphinx of Uthuun is bigger than them. The presence of tiny "scale birds" shows that the main creature is giant.

Gaea's Revenge | Art by Kekai Kotaki

Gaea's Revenge is so big that those birds probably just think it's a mountain or something.

Sun Titan | Art by Todd Lockwood

Without birds: a guy with a sword. With birds: a titan with a sword.

Primalcrux | Art by Wayne Reynolds

Technically, the art for Primalcrux has scale bats, not birds. But that's close enough, right? Wayne Reynolds is a master; he can do that.

Hedron Rover | Art by Jason Felix

That's actually not the original version of Hedron Rover. During development, the creature was a bit larger, so the first illustration looked like this:

Hedron Rover | Sketch by Jason Felix

See? Change the scale birds and you change the size of the creature!

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