Sketches: Defiler of Souls

Posted in Arcana on June 1, 2009

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome to another edition of Sketches! Today we look at the process behind illustrating everyone's favorite soul-defiler, Defiler of Souls!

Artist Portfolio

Artist Paul Bonner has illustrated eight Magic cards.

Art Description

The first step of the creation of a card's art is its art description. The art description tells the artist what the card will do, what its flavor is, and what the mood of the illustration should be. Here were the instructions given to Paul for Defiler of Souls:

Color: Black and red creature
Location: Bant sky
Action: Show a huge, bat-winged demon of Grixis wielding a huge, fiery cat-o'-nine-tails. The wicked demon is about to engage a pair of angels that have rushed to defend their homeland, but focus on the demon -- it's his card.
Focus: the demon
Mood: He's *so* happy to have a new place to defile.

The next step is for the artist to submit sketches of his or her vision of the art description.

Sketches

Here's Paul's initial sketch submitted for the defiler:

Defiler of Souls sketch by Paul Bonner

The creative team liked the sketch, although Doug Beyer made a comment:

DB: What if he just turned his head toward us and gave us an evil grin, like "heh heh gonna go eat those angels"?

Final Art

Paul didn't turn the demon's head entirely, but he did go with the "evil grin" angle:

Defiler of Souls art by Paul Bonner

Finished Card

And here's the card in its final state, as you can find in booster packs of Alara Reborn!

Defiler of Souls

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