Top 10 Card Art Modern Horizons 2
I actually really enjoyed looking through the art in Modern Horizons 2 because it felt like a set where the artists were given a lot more freedom and because of that there are a few pieces that stand out as being unique and fun. So just like we do with every set I will set out a list of my top 10 pieces of card art. As always, I will leave a link to each artist featured in the list so be sure t go check out more of their work if you like what you see.
Nils Hamm is another one of those artists that has an art style that sits just outside of the typical art style of Magic: the Gathering, and because of that we don’t see his work as often as others. When his work does show up though, it really does stand out. I thought Lucid Dream was a special piece in that I think he was simply just given free rein to interpret the concept however he wanted, and well what a spectacular, fun, and lovely piece of work he created. Its welcoming and mysterious in a way that has me wanting to get back to bed so I can have a dream like that.
If Nils work was something on the outside, then Ekaternia’s work is smack dab in the middle. Her artwork is so very Magic and becasue of that it might not always stand out, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic. It’s the type of clean character designs you see pop up in all sorts of Games.
Outside of Magic you would also se her stuff in the tabletop game Pathfinder. As far as Geyadron Dihada, this character isn’t new and I do like this version of the character, it’s absolutely frightening and beautiful at the same time. (Hopefully, this doesn’t awaken anything within me). Be sure to check out more of her work and you’ll be surprised with how much you’ve seen it around.
Before this list I never knew who Evyn Fong was, but now I will be keeping an eye on what she does next. The contrast here between the tranquil dead and the soul bound to some twisted fate is so perfectly captured. I also really enjoyed the costume design, which makes sense as Evyn also uses her illustrations for costume design. The other aspect that caught my attention was her use of colors, make sure you zoom in and really appreciate the water.
Svyelun of Sea and Sky
Are you really surprised to see Seb on this list? Well, you know me at this point, I just love his work. Usually, he is higher on my lists but this one does sit quite a bit lower. As always everything about his composition is perfect and wholly his own but perhaps it misses the darkness that I crave from his work. None the less it wouldn’t be a list without him. I know I told you to get a closer look at the water in the last image, but I am going to have to get you to do the same here, like come on, this is amazing. I really don’t get how he make something feel so real and yet so dreamlike at the same time.
Michael C. Hayes
First off wow! The texture and lighting of this piece is just amazing. If you check out just one artist on this list, I urge you to look at more of Michael's work. He has such a way of capturing the human body that is honestly on another level. He very rarely does work for Magic but when he does it stands out. I really like how you can see every brush stroke in his art but that just adds to it, almost creating imperfections that make the piece feel more real, more human.
Bastien L. Deharme
Any excuse to take a closer look at Bastien L. Deharme’s work is a good day. I love going to his artstation account every once and a while and am happy when he creates something for Magic: the Gathering. Now this is a cult image, one where the ancient god they pray too seems to be creeping around every facet of their reality. Each eye bloodshot and sinister. The corpse covered in wax looks like it was writhing in pain to its last moment. Just another amazing piece from Bastien.
Svyelun of Sea and Sky
Now I usually don’t do this, but 2 versions of the same card just seemed to catch my eye. This time we see Howard’s version of the Svyelun, as compared to Seb’s. It’s such a stark difference that I felt it was fine to do so, as its such a cool piece. I absolutely loved the colors used in this one, each one blending into the other. The moons gold reflects on the shell and the tail, tying everything together. The dark whirl of the ocean culminating in bright waves at the top. The purples that twist into each different shade. Its just something that is simple beauty, and I can appreciate that.
I had to take a double look when Glimmer Barin was revealed because its just so not Magic, but I did not care because it was just so amazing. It reminds me of something you would see in a studio Gibli movie, and I am here for it. Down to the creepy yet kind and simple nature of the Glimmer Barin, and the tattered outfit with its many imperfections. If you didn’t notice this is the second entry in the list from Nils. He really hit it out of the park and really is playing into his strengths with these dreamlike and yet haunting pictures.
Magus of the Bridge
Just like Ekaterina, Bryan’s work is so perfectly Magic: the Gathering. You might not exactly remember any of his work but if you poked around his website you would be amazed at how much he contributes. My favorite part about this piece and why it's on this list is because of the bridge itself. I spent a good while just zoomed in checking out each zombie and its contribution to the bridge and I have to say that it must have been a lot of work to put this one together and I can appreciate that. You just get this perfect image of this Magus walking forward slowly as each zombie moves with purpose to be of use to their master. Very cool!
Priest of Fell Rites
Alright we finally made it to number one! This one is my current background on my PC. I love anything that is a mix of beauty and darkness and well this one fits the bill. Its such a nice piece of occult or wiccan artwork and could easily fit into anywhere in that space, but I am happy to see it on a Magic card. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more work by Pauline Voss in the future and you should too.
Well that’s all 10, as always its been fun talking a moment to appreciate this aspect of Magic: the Gathering. Be sure to let me know in the comment section down below what your favorite piece was or if there was one on this list that you disagree with. With that friends, I’ll catch you in the multiverse, bye!
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