Monday, September 24, 2012

Magic Card Art: Tavern Swindler

*Note: post updated on Oct 1, 2013*

Card Name: Tavern Swindler
© 2012 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link:

Medium: Digital
Original Art Available? No
Artist Proofs Available? Yes

Artist Notes: I actually went to a Return to Ravnica pre-release with a couple friends, and didn't immediately mention to anyone that I worked on the game. One of the game shop regulars came over while I was building my deck, and noted that I had set aside a Tavern Swindler. "You should totally put that in your deck." he insisted. "Really?" I asked. "[lol] no, that card is complete shit!"

Yes, he was talking about what the card does, not the art, BUT there's always that moment of disconnect before silencing my inner critic.

Original comments from 9/24/12: If I had this one to do over, I would change the costume. The art order called for an unguilded female with cloak and gloves, but looking back I think I made her a little too standard-spooky and not quite Magic-y enough. Hey, I still dig the dripping candle wax. Overall, that's one of the downsides about having to wait a year before showing off these card illustrations- sometimes a year is long enough to second-guess your original choices. Hopefully it won't diminish the fun of using the card in play. Was it heads or tails?


  1. They both look awesome! And yes, the candle wax is absolutely fabulous but so is the whole picture!

  2. Both of these are very powerful. I really love the palette of the Tavern Swindler. It's subtle but still has really easy emphasis. Really awesome value range too. You set a high standard with your work Cynthia. It's very inspiring.

  3. Love her twisted grin, it really matches the flavor text for the card

  4. What medium did you use? GORGEOUS. Dripping candles, ftw. :D

    1. Following a bunch of oil painting posts, I'm almost disappointed to say these are both 100% digital... I still love digital painting, of course, but I've grown fond of having an original painting to show afterward.

  5. No no do not worry at all about the correction of clothing, I love this card and will keep it in my collection just for the amazing artwork! Thanks