Top 10 Card Art Crimson Vow
Updated: Nov 27, 2021
As someone who rewatches interview with a vampire every year and counts Innistrad in their top 5 Planes, this was the hardest top 10 list I have ever made. I toyed with the idea of ballooning the scope of this article all the way up to 20 picks but managed to trim my list back down to 10. A task that was heartbreaking in many respects. What I have for you now is a list of my favorite pieces of art from Crimson Vow. As always, I will leave a link to each artists website, that way you can check out more work from the artists featured here. I highly recommend you do so, as there are some new faces on this list that I have not featured before. Alright enough rambling lets get on with the list.
By Sam Guay
At number ten we have demonic bargain by Sam Guay, an artist who is new magic and one I eagerly look forward to seeing more work from. I am happy to see Wizards of the Coast reach out to artists with more unique styles for certain cards, and this style works for a piece like demonic bargain. The composition of colors chosen by Sam for this piece are a highlight to me, the merger of pinks, purples and blues are a striking collection of colors that are rarely used in Black and yet work so well here. One aspect that I find so amazing with this piece is its twist on what you would expect, in many ways it seems like the human is in control of the situation and the demon is the one who asks for the bargain. This card art is a flip in every way of what we would expect from Magic art and yet that’s what makes it memorable.
By Jesper Ejsiing
Oh, come on you saw this one coming. Jesper somehow makes it onto every one of these lists. Spiked Ripsaw is somehow completely absurd and yet believable because of how Jesper captures motion and utilizes practical parts in impractical ways. It would have been easy enough to make some simple chainsaw and yet Jesper envisioned a hand cranked version that seems to almost be falling apart and yet slashes through the tree. The expression of the characters face is also what sells this piece in that they almost have the same thought as us as they are carried away by its momentum. “Wait what it works… oh no it works!” I always look forward to Jesper’s art and it’s not the last time you’ll see them on this list.
By Jesper Ejsing
Well, it sure didn’t take long to get back to Jesper. I get the feeling that they must have had a lot of fun crafting art for this set. Getting tasked with making the spiked ripsaw and now Catapult Fodder. Everything about this piece is absurd and yet is held together by that same odd realism. Each figure eager to be tossed over a castle wall as they struggle to all fit into the bucket of the catapult. One of the things I love about Jesper’s work is the texture of his pieces. Most Magic artists use digital art, which is no less valid, but there must be something said about the charm that can only be achieved by putting brush to canvas.
Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben
By Magali Villeneuve
Magali is Magic art through and through, each piece of work under their belt is a testament to the crisp clean and iconic compositions that modern magic is famous for. To the point that Magali’s art is featured on the box for Crimson Vow. This art for Thalia is what I would consider a perfect character piece in that it tells a story, a story that is emboldened with each deeper look. Her clothes and armor are worn and determined much like the expression on her face. The building she stand firm in is a relic of a time past, much like herself. Finally, the hordes at her back press in, eager to taste her flesh and yet she is not worried about such simple monsters as these. Thalia is a hardened warrior who has seen more horror than most and yet is not deterred by what Innistrad can conjure up.
Curse of Hospitality
By Dominik Mayer
There are two things that usually draw my eye when it comes to magic art, and that is abstract pieces and dark subject matter. A card called Curse of Hospitality could have gone so many ways and yet what we received, while abstract does still invoke the core idea of the card’s name. As we know humans are drawn into the vampire’s court, especially that of Olivia and the Voldaren. At the center we have a bound human who seems to have relinquished herself to her fate and swirling around her are the shadowy forms of vampires. It conjures up the idea of a dream, as if we are there with the victim as she closes her eye, her final moments a blur of motion, horror, and sadness. Once again Dominik could have taken the simple path, but if they did, we would have missed out on this gripping piece of art. Plus if you check out more of Dominik’s work, which I recommend, you’ll see that it just isn’t their style.
Witness the Future
By Anato Finnstark
From one abstract piece to another here we have Witness the Future, a card I absolutely fell in love with. From the rough strokes that imitate the stroke of a brush to the cracking of the old woman’s face, the art for this card is a master class in the bridge between digital and analog. With a medium in the center and the two forms of the same woman on either side, Witness the future captures a cyclical view of time, both viewing into the future and the past. The sharp gold lines guiding our eye through it all.
Eruth, Tormented Prophet
By Ekaterina Burmak
Next up we have Eruth by Ekaterina Burmak. The key strength to Burmak’s work is their characters. Most of what Burmak creates for magic is clean single character pieces of art. Burmak’s ability to create characters that are both convincing and truly human is a feat that we shouldn’t take for granted. If you look through Burmak’s catalogue, you’ll see what I mean. The reason I chose this piece is for that very reason. Burmak’s ability to capture exactly the torment that Eruth has suffered is spot on. Those Red tired eyes tell us she hasn’t slept in days, the redness on her knuckles are a reminder of frustrated outbursts. With her clothes tattered and her leg shackled we can’t help but have our heart ache for this character, and in image alone we are told a tragic story, and that is the key to great art.
Chandra Dressed to Kill
By Ekaterina Burmak
This is a funny list in that we have a couple artists who we have doubled up on, but I suppose that goes to show my preferences in style. Like I said before, Burmak knows characters, and gives us some of the most convincing versions of them. Chandra is haughty and proud in her beautiful dress even if she is in a den of vipers. A simple smirk does so much here and encapsulates Chandra’s character at a glance. I don’t know what else I can say about this piece, except that it was truly designed to turn heads and further endear Chandra into our hearts.
By Justyna Gil
Justyna is on my list of top artists to watch for in magic 2022. Even though they are relatively new to creating magic art they have made their name known in crimson vow with a few amazing pieces. I decided on this one in particular because it felt different than most of the vampire art in this set and while it is subtle it is striking. The pose, the face and the framing make for an image of a vampire that pulls us in and yet repulses us. It is horror and beauty, death, and gallantry. Justyna will be on every list going forward I am sure of it.
Olivia Crimson Bride Alt Art
By Bastien L. Deharme
Typically, I leave alternate art off these lists as they are usually so stylized and different, they would take up most of the list. As we have seen though Magic has been willing to step outside of their key style and I feel comfortable adding in at least one, and to me this is the best piece of art in the set by one of my favorite artists full stop. I think there is a good chance this is my next print. For me personally this is vampirism. The women in this image are grace and beauty and yet the blood is still fresh on their lips. As always Bastien lends their classic ghostly style to the piece, as everything they do feels like its pulled from a dream. The characters at the center are sharp and yet everything fades around them. You must not look away for if you even blink, they will be gone.
This was one of the hardest lists I have ever made, and it was nearly impossible to trim this list down to 10. So, if there was something you think I missed on this list then let me know. If you enjoyed this article then be sure to check out more articles on this site or become a member today, that way you can be notified when my next one goes live. Also, I will have links down below to everything Dicetry so follow me everywhere, and with that friends, I’ll catch you in the multiverse bye!
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