Sketches: Awe Strike

Posted in Arcana on January 21, 2004

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome to another edition of Sketches. This week we take an look at the creation of Mirrodin's Awe Strike, by Magic art veteran Scott M. Fischer.

1. Art Description

Here are the instructions that were given to Scott for the piece:

"This spell brings an attacker to his knees, turning his aggression into supplication."

Simple as that. The spell showcases part of the commanding, authoritarian nature of the color white: the creature does not get scorched by flame or banished from the realm -- instead it is prostrated and humiliated before a white source of power, made to kowtow and give respect (lifegain) instead of violence (damage). Scott's task was to illustrate this humility in the face of awe-inspiring authority.

2. Sketch

Mr. Fischer came up with this initial sketch:

The perspective he chose was a look from between the towering limbs (upper right and left corners of the frame) of the authority figure in the implied foreground, at the spell's target (center), the prostrated creature. This fulfilled the final phase of the spell's flavor -- of producing a bowing figure. Note that the creature chosen was probably a Nim, with its hood/mask reminiscent of Nim Devourer and facial teeth/spikes reminiscent of Nim Replica.

3. Final Art

Below is the finished piece subsequently submitted by Mr. Fischer for the project. The modifications made to the piece create the sense of the action of the spell, in two ways: both the powerful "awe" aura coming from the barely-seen foreground figure, and the force with which the bowing creature drops to the earth despite its previous rage.

4. Card

Finally, here is the card as you can see it in booster packs.

Awe Strike

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