This here illustration is a rare success for me.
I did about five sketches of the Baloth charging forward and they all seemed less aggressive than the picture I had in mind. While cooking dinner I got a glimpse of a solution where the beast had the head held low and I did the thumb while the stew was simmering on the stove. I took a chance and sent it as it were to Jeremy, the artdirector at Wizards, hoping that he could make heads and tail of it. I was actually a little embarrassed having sent such a loose sketch. Having seen some of the other sketches that my fellow artist at magic submits I knew I was way beyond blurred sketching leaning on stick figure...But Jeremy liked the action and trusted me to go on.
So I simply transfered the thumb to a board and did all the detail - well most of the drawing actually - on the board. I have tried for years now to cut the stages of sketching and keeping the drawing fresh and impulsive while jumping directly from composition to final transferring. The rare thing for me is to actually succeed in cutting away the sketching and to seemingly effortlessly do a nice drawing almost from scratch and then proceed to the first layer of paint. If you compare the thumb and the final the bare silhouette is almost identical. I just added details.
I masked out the beast and did the background in coarse strokes and washes of thin acrylic. I use an airbrush to mist the wet paint with water, so that it doesn´t dry up too fast. That way I can control a glazing more precise, I think.
The mouth of the beast was inspired by Jason Chans Malfegor card.
The blood around the mouth was something that I added last because I thought the picture needed some color contrast instead of becoming to monochromatic.