A Matter of Scale

Posted in Feature on July 23, 2013

By Trick Jarrett

Patrick "Trick" Jarrett oversees web content and social media for Magic, and acts as the publisher of DailyMTG.com and Magic content on the web. He's an ardent Commander player and lover of the game he's played since Ice Age.

Scale can always be difficult to figure out when you're looking at art. Sometimes you have to pay close attention to realize that the specks in the art are actually people, or perhaps you have to look at the surroundings and realize that it's just a bit larger than you might realize.

First example is the new Dragon Egg from Magic 2014. Dragons are large creatures, so it makes sense their eggs would also be large. Sure, some see dragons starting out at lizard size and simply growing to some exponential size of its birth size, but that's always bugged me. I much prefer the big dragon egg. Let us see what the art description called for:

"We see a reptile's leathery egg laying in a nest of gold coins, gems, bits of broken armor and weapons, and charred bones. The egg, which is at least 8 feet long, is ready to hatch..."

Dragon Egg | Art by Jack Wang

Looking at the art you can see the weaponry around the egg, providing an idea that this egg is taller than a sword, leading us towards the eight-foot-height note in the art description.

Our next example of scale is from Magic 2014's Millstone artwork. Done by Yeong-Hao Han, here's what the art description called for:

"Maybe it is an enormous millstone that sits flat on its side on top of a huge, sculpted head... it has slowly, magically turned for years so that the stone head is worn down, the millstone now sits at its eye level."

Millstone | Art by Yeong-Hao Han

Looking at the above art you easily can tell that it's a large millstone, but only when you look closely are you able to realize that there are tiny people standing atop the central axle of the Millstone.

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