Posts Tagged ‘Magic Card Art’

Hot for Mentor?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Stern Mentor Deconstructed

Stern Mentor Deconstructed by Michael Jay LaRue

While poring over my recent card acquisitions from Avacyn Restored I noticed art by an artist I have not noticed before, Igor Kierluk. His work on Stern Mentor is outstanding, and it serves as an example of effective composition.

The character is emphasized by choices made by the artist. The most important of these choices is the triangular composition formed by the three candles. The grouping of three items, is itself a common and effective technique – this choice is pleasing to the eye.

Beyond just the grouping, there is thoughtfulness in its placement. The bases of the candles, labeled A,B, and C create an interesting planar structure in the drawing. This plane is oriented in such a way that establishes an up shot. The viewer is looking upward into this scene. This choice adds drama and makes the character seem more imposing and formidable. As such, the artist is faithfully executing the art consistently with it theme as embodied in its title. Isn’t it appropriate, and therefor effective, to portray a Stern Mentor in this way? I think so. 

Not to belabor the point but there is an additional side benefit to this approach – notice how the plane intersects the character at about the level of her sternum. The lower two thirds of the figure, below the plane, is shaded in red in my deconstruction drawing. The placement of this intersection bisects the figure at its topmost third. Things presented in thirds are appealing.

A final element worth noting is the triangular construct formed by the orb in the background as a counterbalance to the character in the foreground.

To summarize, I think this is very beautiful drawing that is enhanced by careful use of triangular constructs that focus our attention on the character. There is an ample demonstration of depth, foreground, to middle-ground, to background.

I totally buy this approach – that character clearly and truly is a stern mentor; my complements to the artist Igor Kieryluk.