This week's "Sketches" focuses on a powerful blue instant from Onslaught, Read the Runes by Alan Pollack.
1. Art Description
These are the instructions given to the artist:
Action: Wizard in the foreground, his hands are glowing magically. The land around him is covered in blue glowing magical runes. He is drawing the runes out of the land."
This is the preliminary sketch submitted by Alan. The card was originally known as "Decipher." Alan drew a Cleric instead of a Wizard, and was instructed to make sure the final image contained a Wizard.
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of the final piece. The change from sketch to painting is shocking with Alan's art; it almost looks like they were done by two different people.
Finally, here is the card as it appears in the set.