This week's "Sketches" focuses on Tim Hildebrandt's Daru Warchief from Scourge.
1. Art Description
These are the instructions given to the artist:
Location: Daru plains
Action: Show a refugee soldier. Around its neck is a pearl medallion on a chain which designates this creature as a leader among its own kind. Other soldiers can be shown rallying around their leader."
As you may know, Daru Warchief is one of a cycle of creatures that reduce the mana cost of creatures of their fellow creature type, which were called the "Minibosses" in playtest. Daru Warchief is the Soldier version, so it was called the Soldier Miniboss.
Here is a preliminary sketch of the "Soldier Miniboss" submitted by Tim Hildebrandt. The sketch (and the card's flavor text) point out the lack of certain facial features on Scourge soldiers; the influence of the Mirari has mutated them such that they have lost their ears and mouths. They have also physically merged with their weapons -- these soldiers are focused on doing battle.
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of the final piece, a fairly direct translation of the sketch to canvas. In this blown-up image, you can see the other soldiers in the background that were mentioned in the art description.
Finally, here is the card as you'll see it in booster packs.