Artist Raymond Swanland made his Magic debut in Future Sight, illustrating two red cards:
Before working on Magic, Raymond made his mark as a designed on the Oddworld games.
He's back in Shards of Alara with six cards, five of which are partially or totally red. And we're going to look at the reddest one!
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 Raymond for Predator Dragon:
Color: Red creature
Location: Jund, high mountains
Action: A huge dragon banks near some goblin caves on the mountainside, shooting a jet of fire from its mouth. Tiny goblins run for their lives, but many are engulfed in flame Focus: the dragon
Mood: A badass dragon doing what dragons do best.
The next step is for the artist to submit sketches of his or her vision of the art description.
Here's the initial sketch that Raymond submitted for Predator Dragon:
It looked great, so the creative team gave the go-ahead for Raymond to proceed to the final art:
Here's the card in its final state, as you'll see in booster packs of Shards of Alara.