Today's card is Insidious Dreams, a black rare from Torment. The Dreams is illustrated by John Avon, an artist popular with Magic fans for his breathtaking landscapes.
1. Art Description
The card was known in playtesting as "Dark Knowledge." These are the instructions given to the artist:
"This card should show a black wizard casting a spell which causes knowledge to erupt all around her. This could be shown by ghostly books and scrolls spinning about the wizard. The main focus of the card is the huge size of the spell. The main characters and elements can be shown smaller, but clearly visible."
This is the preliminary rough sketch submitted by John. The Wizards art department knows and trusts John, and understand that this almost comically quick rendering barely hints at John's talents.
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of his final piece.
Finally, here is the card as you all know it today.