This week's "Sketches" takes a look at the illustration of Totem Speaker from Legions. Darrell Riche was the man at the helm for the project.
1. Art Description
These were the instructions given to the artist:
"Location: The Wirewood Forest
Action: Show an elf emerging from the forest alongside a couple of mammal-like, fantasy forest beasts. They are clearly traveling together.
Notes: the elf is a cleric and so should be carring a staff and no weapons."
Here is Darrell's original sketch. The two creatures shown alongside the Elf Druid are odd critters -- beasts, but not quite Legions beasts.
First, the art team wanted to see bonespurs -- thick spikes made of bone -- coming out of the Speaker's companions, since they had to be recognizably beasts for the art to make sense; see also Enormous Baloth and Feral Throwback. Second, they wanted the elf himself to correspond to the Legions look for elves -- see also Wirewood Channeler and Elvish Soultiller. That meant a change to his chin (spikier) and hair (made of vines), and to be sure his skin ended up greenish, since by Legions, elves had acquired many characteristics of their buddies, the trees.
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of the final piece. The elf's look is much more in line with other elves in the set, and his creature friends have acquired some token bone spurs.
And finally, here is the card as you can see it in booster packs.