Sketches: Rakdos 1-2-3s

Posted in Arcana on August 15, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

It's Rakdos Week, and today in lieu of a full edition of Rakdos-themed Sketches, we're proceeding directly to the sketch-to-final-art process. Leave patience for the lawmages! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200—just stab that mouse button to go from initial submission to final art.


Rakdos the Defiler sketches and art by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai

Sketch 1
Boros & Szikszai have already nailed the essence of the Rakdos Parun here in the first sketch. The creative team wanted to see figures in the piece for scale, either victims screaming and fleeing or minions… also screaming and fleeing.
Sketch 2
Here the demonlord is re-sketched with figures show in the foreground. Now you can see the stature of Rakdos—he's 7/6, after all! The figures just needed to be Rakdos-ified to complete the piece.
Final Art
The figures in the foreground are now clearly Rakdos guild warriors and henchmen. Here's a fun activity, boys and girls—how many skulls of demonic beasts can you count lashed together to form the armor of the unholy demonlord?

Lyzolda, the Blood Witch sketches and art by Jim Nelson

Sketch 1
Lyzolda represents the insane blood-priestess of the Rakdos guild. In this sketch her costuming is a bit off—she looks zombified or mummified in those wraps. She should also not look so lost or melancholy. This is guild Rakdos—everybody get your wicked grins on, people.
Sketch 2
Here's the updated sketch, with which the creative team was much happier. Lyzolda is now decked in leather, with a headdress reminiscent of the horns of… some demonic leader… which you might perhaps recognize… if you scroll up.
Final Art
Lyzolda is complete. It's always important to hit the legendary creatures well—the more famous the legend, the higher the hopes riding on the art when the legend becomes immortalized in a card.

Dread Slag sketches and art by Anthony S. Waters

Sketch 1
Dread Slag was concepted as a horrifying amalgam of phobias, a creature literally made from the stuff of nightmares. Waters gets this across with a mass of humanoid body parts fused with a monstrous base.
Sketch 2
Here's a tighter sketch of the same monster. Here we can see better detail on the skulls and bones that make up the creature. The faces on the wall in the background are reminiscent of Waters's Ravnica Swamp.
Final Art
In the final, we see smoke effects coming from the bones sprouting from the creature's head. The background has been darkened to emphasize the creature itself. The nightmare is complete—time to wake up in a cold sweat.

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