1. Art Description
These instructions were given to Martina for the piece:
"Location: In the sky
Action: A strange force bubble affixed to the underside of a cloud. Although we see no one inside the bubble right now, it is used as an observatory to watch the land below.
Focus: The magical force bubble on the underside of the cloud
Before we focus on what the card concept might mean to Mirrodin's storyline, let's look at the sketch.
Martina came up with this initial sketch:
The sketch shows the opaque "force bubble," breaching a formation of clouds in a way that makes the clouds themselves seem to leer down at the plane far below. The concept is otherworldly, and the art even more so. The sketch was approved without revision.
But in terms of Magic continuity, what exactly is going on in this picture? Who's the mysterious watcher? Who's maintaining this outpost in the clouds? The flavor text suggests that even the ancient trolls of Tel-Jilad know of this watcher, so he or she must be integral to Mirrodin's deep history.
3. Final Art
Here's Cloudpost's final art. You can see that the tendrils reaching around the bubble are more clearly made of cloud-stuff, and the bubble itself is shaded to appear even more eyelike.
It's difficult to tell from the size of a regular Magic card, but the piece is awash in detail of the fantastic landscape of Mirrodin's sky.
The inhabitants of Mirrodin have wondered about the purpose of their existence for centuries. Martina Pilcerova has provided a piece of the puzzle, but we'll have to wait until Darksteel and Fifth Dawn release to uncover the entire mystery.
Here is the card as you can see it in booster packs.