Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord

Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord.

Here is a painting created entirely in photoshop for Magic the Gathering's Return to Ravnica set. 

Here is my original digital sketch. The approach I took with this piece began with a few thumbnails using light grey scribbling strokes. I spent some time experimenting with the different thumbnails by mirroring the images and laying them on top of themselves and each other at varying opacities hoping to see something in the tangle of lines. Once I started to see something in the mess, I blew it up to a higher resolution and used a thiner black brush on top of the low contrast thumbnail to bring forms out of the scribbles.  

The resulting sketch was Jarad riding on top of an insect-like creature as if it is mobile throne. Unfortunately he was too relaxed looking. It just didn't fit the intended personality. He also need to be emaciated looking instead of the muscle bound Jarad I had here.

I captured the emaciated body type with this next sketch but I thought the pose was too close to the one Svetlin Velinov had already done for the character.

Here is the final direction. Time to paint.

The final artwork: