Sketches: Slice in Twain

Posted in Arcana on January 6, 2011

By Monty Ashley

Welcome back to once again to Sketches! Today, we're going to look at the effect color has when it's applied to a black-and-white sketch. Here's a spoiler: it makes things look neat!

Artist Portfolio

Artist Efrem Palacios is new to Magic: The Gathering art. His first card was Garruk's Companion in Magic 2011, and he's got five more cards in Scars of Mirrodin.

Art Description

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 Efrem was given for Slice in Twain:

Color: Green spell

Action: We see a Golem that's just been cleanly sliced through by a glowing elvish sword. The sword is wielded by a "steelbane," an elvish warrior who hunts down artifact creatures.

Focus: the fact that the golem is destroyed in one blow

Mood: Prowess with a blade combined with a shaman's magic


Armed with that art description, Efrem submitted a sketch to Magic's creative team.

Slice in Twain | Sketch by Efrem Palacios

Final Art

The creative team liked the action in the piece, and sketch was approved. When the color came in, the final version really popped.

Slice in Twain | Sketch by Efrem Palacios

Finished Card

And here's what it looks like in Scars of Mirrodin packs:

Slice in Twain

Latest Arcana Articles


December 10, 2015

Best of 2015 and Holiday Treats by, Blake Rasmussen

With the holidays upon us, the crew at DailyMTG and the rest of Wizards of the Coast is going to be taking a bit of a break. But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on for you, gentle...

Learn More



Arcana Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All