Monday, December 12, 2011

Alter 40 - Gideon Jura

I recently got a commission for this guy. I have been wanting to alter him anyway so it was a nice coincidence to get the commission anyway. I tried to make the feel a little more dramatic. It took me quite a while but I am happy with the result and look forward to doing more of these :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Alter 39 - Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

Tezzeret was an instant favorite of mine. I am always looking for excuses to play him and I figured making an alter of him would only encourage that.

I have been enjoying altering planeswalkers and might have a commission lined up for yet another potentially. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alter 38 - Delver Of Secrets(es)

Delver is a card that when I initially saw it I just thought "Bad for limited, next." It turns out it is pretty bad for limited. It's made a surprising splash in constructed, specifically in Standard and Legacy, and as a result I have grown to appreciate this card more and more.

I also thought this was one of the best uses of the Transform mechanic, as you can really get a feel for the change from "normal curious guy with a penchant for bugs" to "horrific buglike mutation".

Also as a result, I have gotten some alter requests for this card. My first inclination was to just alter both sides, but after asking around I decided against it. I think that the best way to make the most impact here would be to make the difference from the front to the back the biggest gap possible. That meant leaving the front it's normal innocuous art and card frame. Then when he gets flipped, it's all "BLAM" and he is even more dark and scary than normal. I kept the alter fairly simple as I just wanted to enhance the dark scene and spotlit bug we have in the original.

While I was working on this my friend Nick (@hawzzy) half jokingly said "Make me one where the flip side is the bug guy wearing a party hat"..

Party bug!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Alter 37 - Rafiq of the Many

The first card that I ever really latched onto as far as power level was this fella right here. I worked on a deck with him in it for my first big sanctioned tournament, which was Regionals. I ended up with a pretty sweet list, but a few days before the tournament people realized how good Finest Hour was. I used a modified decklist that basically combined what I was running already with both Finest Hour and Rafiq. I went X-2 at that tournament, even though I had zero clue what I was doing. I remember 2 main things now from it:

1. Beating people down with Birds Of Paradise for 6+ damage.
2. Losing to Jon Loucks, now my fellow Limited Resources podcaster and friend.

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for old Rafiq :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Project: Desert Bus 5 Donation Complete

The last few posts on here have been about the DesertBus 5 donation project that I have been doing. It's all sent off so I thought I would put up a pic of all the alters together.

Alter 37 - Lightning Greaves

As part of the project for Desertbus For Hope's annual charity event I did an alter of a Lightning Greaves for the set of Commander cards which I was donating. I have always found the art on the original Greaves pretty boring. It's some boots with some generic green earthy stuff going on in the back ground. Meh.

So I decided to push the boundaries and try to snazz it up. Now all of the other alters I have done for this project have been extensions and I have tried to the best of my skill level to do justice to the original card. But for the Greaves I wanted to mix it up a bit.

I failed.

As is often the case when one is pushing boundaries, you learn a lot during the process, but the final product is often lacking. And that was the case here as well. Unfortunately I put a nights effort into that one, and had to scramble the next evening to redo a normal one. I am pretty happy with the result on this one, and learned a *lot* from my experiment gone wrong with the original as well. :)

Check out if you are interested in bidding for these particular boots, along with their friends :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alter 36 - Karn Liberated

I recently did an alter for my buddy @James_LRR from LoadingReadyRun, and through that he had an idea. Every year the guys from LRR do a charity event called Desert Bus for Hope. They raise money for the Child's Play charity by playing the worlds most boring video game for dangerously long periods of time. Awesome!

Along side the Desert Bus stuff, they do auctions to raise money for the charity. This is where I come in. James asked if I would be willing to donate some alters that they could auction off. Naturally I said yes, and immediately started thinking about what cards to offer.

I asked around, but our fellow Community Cup teammate and just awesome person Michelle (@Sunie_FDC) came up with the winning idea as she is prone to do. Her idea was to do popular Commander cards. This way we could concentrate on colorless cards, which broadened the potential customer base. It also ensured that the cards would have longer term play value than say a Standard staple or maybe a themed set of older cards.

I was on board right away, and we decided on the following list:

1. Sol Ring (new one)
2. Solemn Simulacrum (new one)
3. Lightning Greaves
4. Command Tower
5. ????

I wanted to do something big for the last one, but Darksteel Colossus or Blightsteel Colossus seemed out of place to me. As did Sundering Titan, Wurmcoil Engine, and everything else I could think of. I wanted something splashy and cool, but also that could go in all decks.

Karn to the rescue! Our newly Liberated friend seemed like a great fit, so we settled on that and here he is in finished form :)

If you are so inclined, I suggest you to check out the Desert Bus and Child's Play sites I linked to above and look into donating. Also, if you want a shot to bid on this set of alters, the info should be on there. (I'm not 100% sure how that part works).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Alter 35 - Sphinx Summoner

I know this card isn't wildly relevant, but it's been one of my favorites for both what it does and also the artwork on it for a while now. I picked up a Japanese version and just had to bust out the paintbrushes for it. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alter 34 - Garruk, Primal Hunter

I won a set of paper M12 this year playing in some MTGO tournaments at PAX. I hadn't really sorted the cards yet, but when I did I realized that the Garruk, Primal Hunter has a big damaged spot on the front (about half the size of a dime) with all the ink missing and the paper showing below :(

Never fear, I decided to just make this my first Planeswalker alter :D

It came out pretty well, and he will fit right into some Commander deck or something I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Alter 33 - Seshiro The Anointed

I had the privilege of being invited to the Community Cup for MTGO earlier this year and had a truly amazing time there. The best part was meeting all the cool people and making new friends within the Magic community. I hit it off with the guys from Loading Ready Run right away and have stayed in contact with them since. If you don't know them, they do sketch comedy on their site which then gets featured on other sites as well. I got to meet up with them again at PAX this year, and promised James to do an alter of his Commander... um, commander, Seshiro for him. I had to do the Swords alters first, but finally found some time for the snake of all snakes :) Hope you like it James!

Monday, September 26, 2011

All The Swords Together

Just wanted to get a shot up of all the Swords together :)

Alter 32 - Sword of Feast and Famine

And here is the last sword for the big commission. I'm really happy to be done with these, but that being said I learned a ton from them and am really glad I took on the challenge. Now back to doing Generals for my buddies and random other stuff ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Alter 31 - Sword Fire and Ice

Here is the 4th sword from the commission. I wanted to push the boundaries a bit with this and change it around slightly. I went for a more dramatic "fire" side. Pushing my painting boundaries and trying new stuff is pretty intimidating when you are working on *someone elses* 30 dollar card, but I feel that pushing it a bit is what this is about.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alter 30 - Sword of Light and Shadow

Here is the 3rd Sword for the 5 sword commission, Sword of Light and Shadow. I have never thought the art on this one really resonated, but making it full frame really brought it out for me. I really appreciate the muted tones in the original art and tried to stay true to this with the extension. Sometimes I try to punch up the work a little bit with some more color or contrast, but this one I wanted to just keep nicely muted.

2 more Swords to go before I finish this massive commission! (Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Feast and Famine)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alter 29 - Sword of Body and Mind

As I mentioned before, I was commissioned to do extensions on all 5 of the awesome swords, and here is the next one I did. I really love the art on this sword and it was really sweet to do the alter. I also hate to be that guy, but man taking pictures of these altered cards is *really* difficult. They look much better in real life, and I have heard other alterers say as much as well. Oh well :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Alter 28 - Maze of Ith

My buddy Mike has been hankering for one of these for a long time, and I finally dove into the Maze on this long weekend. This is the first old frame card I have done, and it was pretty challenging. The new frames give you a nice template for doing an extension, but the old does not. I think this was the 2nd hardest one I have done (curse you Viggo Momirson), but I also think I learned the most from this one. Nothing like pushing your boundaries!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alter 27 - Sword of War and Peace

I recently got my biggest commission yet, my friend Steven wants a full set of swords altered, so this would be the first. These are going to be pretty challenging for me, and it's kind of daunting staring down 5 cards but I am happy to meet the challenge. This is the first of the 5, not sure why I chose this one but I am pretty happy with it. As always I only see the things the bug me about the job I did, but when its sitting on the table bashing someone for a million damage, it looks sweet :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alter 26 - Solemn Simulacrum

Oh you sad sad robot you. I had never resolved one of these until M12 came out and man, was I missing out. Those that know me know I love value from my cards, and this guy just pukes it out on the table. I vastly prefer this art to the awkward chubby kid one on the old card too, so away I went :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Alter 25 - Momir Vig, Simic Visionary

My buddy Chuck uses this bastard as his Commander. We call the deck "Vigo Momirson". I wanted to do this alter for him for a while, but was pretty intimidated by how complex this card is, so I kept putting it off. Last night however, I confronted Vigo.

Guy is a serious jerk. The colors, details and all that were ridiculous on this, and he almost won me over. I ended up being happy with the result, but it took forever and there were times I just wanted to shove his creepy bald head into that vat and see how long it took.

In the end, it cost me a friendship to do this alter, as I have vowed to never speak to Chuck again after putting me through this.

You win this round Vigo!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alter 24 - Birthing Pod

Right when I saw Birthing Pod I knew it was a cool card. I didn't know if I would be casitng in Standard (I have already), but I knew it was cool. I might throw this in an EDH deck? Not really sure what to do with it, but I just knew I wanted to do an extension on it.

Alter 23 - Mental Misstep

A legacy staple, and maybe even Standard playable at some point. This card will be around for a while, and I think I might even just do 4 of these. I have 2 Japanese ones as well... hmm. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gear needed for altering cards: The Basics.

This is a video I made to address the people asking what paint and supplies they need to start altering.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alter 22 - Gruesome Encore

One of the awesome things about being on the Community Cup team was meeting all the really cool people who were my teammates. You may have heard of one of them, he goes by LSV but I called him Luis for most of the trip. A mutual friend of ours said that he was a genuinely awesome guy, and he did not disappoint. For someone who is basically the best Magic player around, he is completely personable, funny, and just a kind person. Also, he has a penchant for this one card. He literally carries them with him. He whipped out a handful of them randomly and when asked why he had them replied, "You never know when you might need one." I couldn't resist making this for him :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alter 21 - Command Tower

Couldn't wait to tear this Tower out of my precon Commander deck either. Awesome art, awesome design, awesome card! This was a lot harder than I anticipated, reminding me that I am but a beginner to painting over and over and over.. But I am pretty happy with the result and will be rocking this in either my Gwafa Hazid or my Doran Commander deck most likely. Wheee

Alter 20 - Sol Ring (new version)

Ah Sol Ring. One of the most bustedest cards they ever done made. The original Mark Tedin art is the pure nuts for this card imo, and it's really unlikely I will ever run this art in any Commander deck I have. That being said, holy god this art is good. One of the perks of being in the Community Cup was getting one of the new Commander precons. I promptly ripped out the Sol of it and threw it on my Altar. Should make someone happy somewhere I guess.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Alter 19 - Sensei's Divining Top

This one was commissioned by Card Kingdom for a promotional event they are having soon. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. My goal was to keep it clean, since I didn't want to go all nuts trying to push my boundaries when it wasn't just for my own use. Turns out just keeping it clean pushed my boundaries a bit. Was really fun to do though, hope whomever ends up getting it is happy with it. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Alter 18 - Scion of the Ur-Dragon

Yet another EDH general. These are getting popular and I have had many requests for commissions coming in. (I haven't taken them on yet, still don't feel like I am quite up to par enough, getting there though). This one however is for a friend that actually doesn't have his own EDH deck. Or really any magic cards for that matter. We got together to play some EDH with him though and he had a good time with it and is interested in playing a bit more. I am building a deck for him, and figured that a sweet and interesting Dragon was a great start for his deck. Also, it allows me to throw in all of the great and different things you can do in EDH since it's a 5 color deck. (FTR I am not doing any white spells in the deck, just doesn't feel right with dragons).

Now to build the rest of the deck.. ;)

Alter 17 - Zur, The Enchanter

Did this for a friend at my LGS. This is his EDH general. Yes, I did this for him even though he decided to use this rather despicable general. He always wins with it too, but he really wanted it and he is a good dude so here it is. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Alter 16 - Niv Mizzet, The Firemind

My buddy Joe has a really crazy UR EDH deck, but he didn't have a Niv Mizzet to be the general. He was using some other kinda crappy UR guy instead. I have been looking for a full art foil one for him for a longgg time but haven't found one. I did find a regular one though and he ~comissioned me to do the alter work on it. I have to say, I am proud of this one. I am getting more and more comfortable with what I can do and can't.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alter 15 - Skithiryx, The Blight Dragon

Always loved me some Blighty. (I hate his other nickname and refuse to use it) The thing I like most about him is that even though he has infect, he can be a wincon by himself. And a really fast clock at that. Also, the art is awesome. He is a Dragon *and* a Skeleton. I'm not sure what that means, but I do know it's awesome. I really like his wings too, all bony and such. Apparently this doesn't stop him from flying however.

Alter 14 - Inkmoth Nexus

Another card that I just really like as a card, which happens to have great artwork, and is playable in many formats. Side story with this one: I finished it a few days ago, but only got around to taking a photo of it yesterday. I set it down on the counter to take the picture, and noticed the side looked weird. I went to pick it up and realized that there was some water on the counter and it had soaked into the card :( (you can see it sorta on the right side) It's drying now, hopefully it will recover to a sleevable state, otherwise I will have to do this one again I think.. bleh.

Alter13 - Green Sun's Zenith

I really like this card in general, and even though the art is kind of weird (what the hell is actually going on here?) it is also awesome. I figure I can sell this one or it can go in an Commander deck or something.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alter12 - Caged Sun

This one is a step outside of my comfort zone. I redid the whole background and stuff, which I haven't done before this. This isn't the cleanest alter ever, but I found it encouraging and it gave me a bit more confidence to try out more ambitious stuff. I wanted it to look like it was more night time btw, not sure if that cane across.

Alter11 - Spine of Ish Sah

I tried to do an extension on a Spine for my Legacy deck, but failed so I tried another. Much happier with this one. I learned patience with this one. Getting the colors close is really tough sometimes (I need more paint colors to make it easier I think, I am currently using 6 colors total). But if you just keep making small adjustments to your colors it will eventually work. Sometimes it takes 3 different mixes for me to get it close enough, but you just have to keep doing it until it's right. The picture is actually kinda crappy too and it looks better in real life I think.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Alter10 - Gitaxian Probe

I did this one because of 3 reasons. 1. I wanted to practice getting my water/paint ratios good, so the paint can be thin and flat. 2. I really like this card, and the art on it. 3. I wanted to do something simpler after attempting a couple of harder ones.

Mission accomplished.

Alter9 - Phyrexian Metamorph

Another frustrating one. I am not happy with how this came out overall. I didn't really have a plan ahead of time for what I wanted, and my blending skills were put to the test for this one, and they came up a bit short. The card looks fine overall, but I only see the bad parts.. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Alter8 - Moltensteel Dragon

I was really excited to do this one because the art is just awesome. However I rather rudely hit a wall for myself during this one. I was reminded that I am still very much a beginner at painting when I got to the dragon's left wing. I am really not happy with that at all, and I look forward to doing another of these to learn more about how to deal with really tough colors like this. I also have been told that most people have more than 5 paints which is what I have now. I will be remedying this sometime this week however :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Alter7 - Beast Token

I asked my faithful followers on Twitter if I should do a Moltensteel Dragon or a beast token to go with the Beast Within next. Beast token won.

Alter6 - Beast Within

Beast Within is going to see play in many formats, and the art is sweet anyway so I did an alter. This was my firt attempt at having the image come over the frame. I didn't exactly go nuts with it, but I was really happy with the little claws (they took me forever)

Alter5 - Sharuum, the Hedgemon

5 alters in and I got my first commission. This was for a friends EDH general. I worked really hard on this one, but it also helped me remember that I don't really know what I am doing :)

Alter4 - Porcelain Legionnaire

First attempt at really doing an extension with an object in the frame as opposed to just background.

Alter3 - Oblivion Ring

For my 3rd alter I got kinda brave and did some stuff with the glowing ball thing in the corner. I was really happy with this one.

Alter2 - Behemoth Sledge

This was my 2nd alter. I started getting a much better feel for the paints and how to use them right away. Also did more reading and got some tips.

First Alter - Sunblast Angel

This is my first attempt at altering. Basically just me guessing at how to do this.