Sketches: Skulltap

Posted in Arcana on June 3, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

This week's "Sketches" focuses on Adam Rex's rendition of a Braids-themed discard spell, Skulltap from Scourge.

1. Art Description

These were the instructions given to the artist:

"Color: Black
Location: Aphetto city scene
Action: Show Braids, grabbing the head of a dead victim, with the victim’s life force draining out of its head and into Braids."

The concept here is that Skulltap, which demands the sacrifice of a creature, would be a spell cast by Braids, Dementia Summoner. Therefore the card art needed to carry the feeling of Braids' cruelty and menace.

2. Sketches

Here is a preliminary sketch of Skulltap submitted by Adam Rex.

We clearly see Braids tapping into the figure's skull. But the art team felt that that the overall picture looked too light or humorous for such a dark effect. They wanted Braids to have a more active, menacing pose relative to her lifeless victim. Below is Adam's follow-up sketch.

The art team got what they were looking for.

3. Final Art

Here is a large version of the final piece. Note how, as Braids clutches the head of her victim, tendrils of "essence" flow out of the victim and up toward Braids, just as in the original art description.

4. Card

Finally, here is the card as you'll see it in booster packs, completed with a bit of Braids-attributed flavor text.


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