The Art of Winona Nelson

Posted in Feature on October 18, 2017

By Chris Gleeson

Chris is the copy editor for DailyMTG. If the Ts are dotted and the eyes are crossed, he dun goofed.

We recently caught up with Winona Nelson to learn about how she creates such beautiful artwork, so now seems like a perfect time to take a closer look at some of her most memorable pieces—and the descriptions from our art directors that guided her brush.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster

Color: Legendary white-blue creature
Location: Cloudy sky at dawn, with streaks of sun shining through
Action: This is a unique, legendary Angel character. Show her as a warrior Angel with long bluish-black hair. She wears a dress with similar embroidery to the one in the reference image, but she's outfitted with pieces of metal armor with some blue inlay. She holds a mage's staff topped with a hovering, glowing sphere that resembles the moon.
Focus: The warrior Angel
Mood: Dramatic, wise, divine

Arlinn Kord

Setting: Innistrad
Color: Red and green Planeswalker
Location: A dark forest in the province of Kessig
Action: This is the first time we will see the female werewolf Planeswalker Arlinn Kord. This is a glamor shot of Arlinn in her human form. She is a powerful mage, approximately 45 years old. She wears a single large scratched leather pauldron on her shoulder, which carries over into her wolf form. She has long black hair that is tied into a long pony tail, the tip of which is white. The intent is to quote the shape and coloration of the wolf's tail. In this shot, we see Arlinn walking barefoot through a dark, foreboding forest, but she looks like she owns the place. She smiles because she knows something you don't.
Focus: Arlinn, the powerful werewolf Planeswalker in her human form
Mood: True power just below the surface

Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon

Setting: Innistrad
Color: Red and green Planeswalker
Location: A dark forest in the province of Kessig
Action: This is the movie-poster shot of Arlinn Kord, the werewolf Planeswalker in her wolf form. She has a charcoal gray coat that gets progressively darker toward the ridge of her back until the fur of the ridge is jet black. Her eyes glow bright orange. In this shot, we see her roaring down at some off-camera foe. In her paw, she grips the blood-stained helmet of an inquisitor. Unlike other Werewolf art, we don't see the moon in this shot.
Focus: Arlinn, the werewolf Planeswalker in wolf form
Mood: The monster unleashed

Migratory Route

Setting: Unspecified
Color: White and blue spell
Location: A serene lake within a broad savannah
Action: Above a placid lake, four egrets fly low over the water. Past the lake is an expanse of grassland. The birds are reflected in the still waters of the lake, but the landscape reflected in the water is a magical vision of another land—a rugged, mountain terrain.
Focus: The birds and the juxtaposed landscapes
Mood: Serene, vast, and a bit otherworldly

Whirler Rogue

Setting: Kaladesh
Color: Blue creature
Location: Exterior of an opulent Kaladesh residence
Action: Show a female Human Artificer, who has some trappings of a Rogue. She is lurking on an opulent balcony at night like a cat burglar. She is sneaky and confident. She's clearly done this sort of thing before. The balcony is lit by lanterns. Hovering around her are two Kaladesh Thopters.
Focus: The roguish Artificer
Mood: The start of an exciting evening.

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