Sketches: Tempest of Light

Posted in Arcana on November 26, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome to another edition of Sketches. This week we look at white's instant-speed Tranquility from Mirrodin, Tempest of Light. The piece was painted by Wayne England.

1. Art Description

Here are the instructions that were given to Wayne for the piece:

"Location: Up to the artist (but somewhere on Mirrodin). The spell effect should look white.
Action: A barely-visible figure, arms outstretched, casts a spell that brings a 'meteor shower' made of light down on the land, washing away magic.
Focus: The falling spheres of light
Mood: Cleansing, awesome"

2. Sketch

Mr. England came up with this initial sketch:

There are a lot of things going on here. Let's use Wayne's own comments to go through each detail one by one. Here is a detail view of the four comments (clockwise from upper right).

"Bright white/blue meteorites slam into the Tangle."
Wayne chose to set the piece inside the Tangle, Mirrodin's green environment full of twisted, coiling, tree-like metal structures. The sketch shows the brightly glowing magical meteorites, representing the spell's mass-disenchant effect, crashing down between the structures, wiping away magical effects.

"Close up of copper structure with verdigris patina."
The right-hand foreground of the sketch features a zoomed-in look at one of the treelike structures, offering us a nice glimpse of the artist's conception of the fine detail of the Tangle. Is that a Molder Slug?

"Small figure in foreground."
The left-hand foreground shows the figure mentioned in the art description. This is presumably a white-aligned cleric (an Auriok perhaps, or maybe a Leonin Elder) that is casting the anti-enchantment spell. The figure is dwarfed by the structures and by the spell's effect, but we'll see that disparity change even more.

"Cable bridges connecting trees."
Initial sketches for Magic cards are often rough, and usually in black and white. So Wayne points out that these lines on the upper left of the sketch are related to the "trees" and not to the white meteorites, both in order to show their function and to illustrate that he understands the look of Mirrodin green environments.

3. Final Art

Tempest of Light's final art is a real treat. It mostly speaks for itself, but we'd just like to point out how the cleric figure in the foreground has shrunk to emphasize the power of the Tempest even further. And make sure you appreciate the immense detail in the piece, even going back into barely-seen background structures.

4. Card

Finally, here is the card as you can see it in booster packs.

Tempest of Light

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