This week's Sketches looks at the Judgment common Mirror Wall. The story of this card's art is actually pretty funny.
1. Art Description
These are the instructions given to the originally scheduled artist, John Avon:
"This is a blue card and should show a wall of mirrors of various shapes and sizes. Light should be shown bouncing off several of the mirrors creating a concentrated searing beam of light. You can show some victims of this beam but no reflections need be shown in the mirrors."
This is the preliminary sketch submitted by John.
What did you expect? This art does, in fact, convey a "Wall of Mirrors." But it doesn't exactly illustrate what the card does. This is a pretty mundane looking wall, especially for one that is able to attack. Plus it looks like it is inside a house, not something to be used in a battle between two spellcasters. Now, none of this if Mr. Avon's fault, of course, he was just doing what he was told.
Realizing that the "Wall of Mirrors" wouldn't serve the purpose needed for the card, Rei Nakazawa of the creative team asked the art director to have the art re-commissioned as "a wall that is completely mirrored… curved inwards slightly, like a shallow U. In the middle of the U, a figure of some type is standing, and getting fried by the beams of concentrated light…"
Artist Mark Brill was given the new assignment, and here's his sketch:
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of Mark's final piece. This conveys the idea of an offensive wall much better.
Finally, here is the card as you all know it today.