Friday, September 27, 2013

New Magic Cards, and a Blog Announcement

I was having one of those roller-coaster days yesterday; on the back of an in-depth review of the new Theros art for Magic: The Gathering, I made an informal remark about how selective I am about which pieces of card art I post on my blog and put in my portfolio.

That was mostly meant as a teaching moment about putting your best work forward. Probably 1/3 of my Facebook feed is now young artists and students, and that's a point I've been trying to drive home a lot during portfolio reviews. But after sleeping on it and meditating for a bit, I realized that I do also feel guilty for not making every painting equally accessible, and part of my statement was an excuse. I'm a terrible self-critic, and maybe I should lighten up a bit; plus I've seen whispers on reddit and other sites like "heeey, when is she gonna post [xyz painting?!]" and I don't want to let down fans, even when I don't feel a piece came out as strong as it could if I had it to do over again.

I made another informal statement in the comments about a plan I've been devising for the last month. I intend to make a tagged entry for each of my Magic cards, like a Cynthia's Magic Card Database type thing, so that they're all in one place here on the blog and easy to search. They'll be listed under the tag "Magic: The Gathering Card Artwork." There's always The Gatherer for quick searches, but I've always regretted that Gatherer doesn't cover special cards, like my DCI Judges' foil promo of "Bribery," or my Innistrad Zombie token. Plus, doing it in blog form, I get to add notes about any interesting stories regarding the artwork, or links to step-by-step process pics. It feels like a good idea, and I'm planning to go live with it within the next month. Hopefully that will satisfy people who've had a hard time searching for my work in the past.

Meanwhile, I just received my whiteback proofs for Wingsteed Rider and Scholar of Athreos in the mail, just in time for next weekend's Escapist Expo! As a quick note: I am still horribly behind on sending out sketches and signatures by mail- if you're waiting on something from me, I promise I still have it and it's coming, and I apologize for the loooong wait. I'll be changing up my policies on sketches-by-mail soon and will try to keep that info up-to-date on the new Magic blog section, too.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Magic Card Art: Wingsteed Rider

Card Name: Wingsteed Rider
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link:

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Magic Card Art: Scholar of Athreos

Card Name: Scholar of Athreos
© 2013 Wizards of the Coast

Gatherer Link:

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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

IlluXCon 6 Magic: The Gathering Panel

Listen: Exclusive Coverage of the Magic Artist Panel at Illuxcon 2013

Joshua Krause from was kind enough to record audio of the Magic: The Questioning panel at IlluXCon 6! We did an informal turn-based Q&A from the audience, which was mostly comprised of up-and-coming artists and art students curious about the hiring and commission process for Wizards of the Coast.

Participants (also pictured L to R in the photo above) were as follows:
Winona Nelson (moderator)
Anthony Palumbo
Jeff Menges
Karla Ortiz
Cynthia Sheppard (me)
David Palumbo
Randy Gallegos
Steven Belledin
Donato Giancola

Sunday, September 22, 2013

New Cover for Call of Cthulhu "Denizens of the Underworld" Expansion

© 2013 Fantasy Flight Games | Digital Painting | Art director: Andrew Navaro

My latest cover for the Call of Cthulhu: Denizens of the Underworld expansion was just released to the public while I was at IlluXCon last weekend. This was a really fun assignment, and a big challenge. The composition was pretty much set in stone before I started working, but creatures aren't normally a staple in my artistic diet. I had more questions for the art direction team than usual, but Andrew was very patient with me as I figured out the byakhee anatomy. I learned from this that I love rendering creepy scaly skin.

The box art, courtesy of

Monday, September 9, 2013

Packing for IlluXCon 6!

What ho? Do I spy an 11x15 inch charcoal drawing of Jeleva??

Coming soon to the lands of Nephalia... or the Lehigh Valley, you decide.

To see her and other traditional works of art in their full, unadulterated (and in-focus) glory, come to IlluXCon 6 at the Allentown Art Museum this week and weekend! I'll be showing my art in the Weekend Salon event, and there's a ton more to see in the Main Event and the Showcase. Not to mention all the incredible programming! For those interested in hearing about what working for Magic: The Gathering is like, I'll be participating in a panel Saturday at 4PM alongside Winona Nelson, Donato Giancola, Jeff Menges, Dave & Anthony Palumbo, Randy Gallegos, Steve Belledin, and Karla Ortiz to talk about our experiences and answer your questions.

Anyone who's followed my blog for a bit knows I gush about this show every year (and I've had the privilege of attending every single one so far), but this year there's an exciting venue change, and more artists than ever before. Also, being pushed up to September, I will NOT be bringing a winter coat for the first time...

To Pat, Jeannie, and all you lovely artist people who will be there, see you within the next 48 hours! <3