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Auckland, NZ 2015 - Day One

Journal Entry: Mon May 11, 2015, 6:03 PM


Day 1 – Getting the hell to the other side of the planet – the (technically) three day journey.



The awkward wrestle of transporting our chimeric towers of luggage has become a familiar choreography.  A cantankerous jig of squeaking wheels, clanks, clunks, and the occasional profane outburst.



Checking in to our flight, we are surprise ambushed by a monster so common it needs be in no Dungeons & Dragons manual.  Perhaps the most sinister of their genus, the red-tape viper, (technically an elemental,) has many natural nesting grounds, preferring dreary cubicles, but has also become an invasive species of the wilds of the internet as well.  It paralyses its prey with a long tail of paperwork, and has two sets of venomous fangs, colloquially referred to as their fees, and their more poisonous penalties.



This particular species we had not encountered previously, despite the great deal of time we’ve spent navigating through its preferred territory.  But we should have known.  We were, after all, travelling through Australia, land of everything-here-kills-anything.  The Temporary Visa Even Though You’re Just On A Connecting Flight Sidewinding Red-Tape Viper struck as soon as we presented our passports at check in, and though the bite was a small $40, the paralysis a brief forty five minutes, we started our journey with the lesson we needed to be wary in this new land.



I have no idea how people survived long-haul flights before there were prolific electronic devices, and video players in the back of every seat.  I can only assume that every single passenger on every single long-haul flight in those dark ages would stop by the duty-free store before their flight.  Selecting a bottle of their preferred 80-proof way to wash down the fistful of pills they’d talked their doctor into prescribing for “nerves” and/or “back pain.”



Personally, I use the time to watch bad movies that I secretly wanted to see, but had to wait for the excuse of “Well, I ran out of everything in their ‘Critically Acclaimed’ section.  Therefore ‘the Hangover’ trilogy was all that stood between an uneventful flight, and an emergency landing to expel and probably arrest me after what happens when I get bored!”



Even so, I will echo the cries of countless airline nomads.  The seats are apparently designed by devious chiropractors who have turned to the dark-side; sinisterly engineered to turn the human spine into an aching bramble of tangled vertebrae.



Upon arrival in Sydney airport, we begin our forage for snacks, and survey for a lounge for our eight-hour layover.   (Which became a ten-hour layover.  Thanks, cyclone Pam.)  Kat, for the umpteenth time of the day, uses her mutant power to Cerebro-style detect every person from the Phillipines within a two-mile radius, finding some very helpful lounge gatekeepers.  Phillipinos are always incredibly friendly and open, marveling at Kat’s proficiency in a very uncommon second language.  At least I think that’s what happens.  They’re speaking Tagalog, so for all I know, it’s a cultural thing to argue with bright smiles, and they were actually in a vicious verbal duel.  If that’s the case, Kat is deadly.  And victorious once again, we find ourselves in the American Express Lounge, surrounded by snacks.  And for many hours, solitude and serenity.




I semi-industriously scrawl sticky paintmarker across the tiny, but remarkably expensive canvases of Magic cards.  The rare interruptions are pleasant folks asking what I was doing, or hovering ever closer until I offer for them to take a look.  I’m reminded how few adults engage in creating art every time I’m in a public place doing just that.  People orbit around me, their eyes tethered with a quiet curiosity as though I was practicing a craft they’d only heard of in legends.  Long before anything interesting is on the page, mind you.  And when they finally decide to swoop in for a brief conversation, it does not matter how far along the drawing is: I am seven  years old to them.  I can have four wobbly lines, and they will exclaim “Oh my gosh!  You’re such a good drawer!  That’s so amazing that you can do that!  Boy, I wish I could do that.  I bet your parents are very proud!”  And if they happen to have an actual seven year old along with them, I get introduced to the children as though I am the Avatar-god of Dreams Fulfilled.  Steeped in myth, with the power to inspire a young mind with but a few words, gifting everlasting keys to forge destinies, conquer all obstacles, and live every hope one will ever have.  This, of course, always ends in disappointment when I offer up something like “Yeah, it just takes practice.  Art is no different than anything else.  Put the work in, and you can do whatever.”  It’s like they expected my words to call a rainbow on a bolt of lightning, revealing the gift of a talking pegasus, hand them an amulet that fulfills desires; and what they got instead was a grunt of “meh,” and mildly farty dog wanders in from somewhere and won’t go away.



Our oasis paradise of free snacks and power strips was not to be entirely blissful, however.  There is another sort of family, with another sort of child, that you’ll occasionally encounter out in the wild.  The family that advertises vasectomies far better than any pharmaceutical company ever could.  The family of gremlin children born to zombie parents.  This will be how we spend our final hours in the airport lounge.  Peace broken by a dozen adults, trailed by what seemed like a thousand grabbing hands and slobbering mouths.  A rising tsunami of smelly bodies, screeches and howls, leaving everything in their wake sticky, gross, and somehow violated beyond the realm of physicality.  The “adults” scavenge the free bar like starving, shell-shocked survivors of the apocalypse, drenching and drowning what was left of the awareness of the multitudinous horrors they’ve unleashed, with whatever bottom-shelf liquors they could find.  In the meantime, those tiny humanish-shaped horrors descended upon the lounge as slimy pink locusts suddenly let loose from their 12-hour imprisonment on a plane.



These people and children are…  less than pleasant.  I had to save several Liliana of the Veil from literally being eaten.

 

Arriving at the hotel after midnight, the instructions for getting in included getting our room key from a safe in the lounge.  We arrived along with a handful of players, who opened the safe and rifled through a handful of envelopes exclaiming “Steve Argyle!”  Silly me, I thought they had recognized me, and wandered up to claim my envelope.  “I’ve got a ton of stuff to get signed.  We should totally wait in his room and ambush him.”



“Hi guys!  Hope to see you tomorrow at the show!  Have a good night!”  And gestured for my envelope.  They looked at me with an inquiring scan, suspecting I was a crazy person.  While not wrong, I clarified “that one’s for me.”



“Nice try.  There’s just ours, another group we know, and Steve Argyle’s”



“Yep.  Steve Argyle.  …  Um, that’s me.”



They then delightfully lost it for exactly seventeen seconds.  A frantic whirlwind of questions and compliments later, we parted ways to hibernate in our remarkably large suite.  We were in Auckland.  The GP was about to begin…





  • Listening to: Half of the voices in my head. The rest is jerks.
  • Reading: I'm trying to learn how.
  • Watching: Every step you take, every move you make.
  • Playing: a lovely little fiddle ditty vs. the devil.
  • Eating: Whatever wanders close to my glowy angler tongue.
  • Drinking: in the irony of it all.
Winter Master - Whirlwind Adept by SteveArgyle
Winter Master - Whirlwind Adept

The keen-eyed will notice that this is not exactly the image that you see on the Magic card.  It's not uncommon for me to have a couple different versions of published artwork.  In this case, I went a bit "off-concept" from what the Djinn of the Jeskai Clan are supposed to look like.  Mostly with the horns, and being a little less androgynous than called for.  But I loves me a lady with horns.  I'm not sure how they could have figured they'd give me one to paint and expect me to be normal about it.

 

 Fun fact, her staves are carved from the rare, towering hardwood cinnamon trees.  So when she beats faces, the battlefield smells like snickerdoodles.

 

For Magic the Gathering. Copyright Wizards of the Coast. Art directed by Jeremy Jarvis.

 

Shot on location in the frozen shard-wastes of my freezer.  I think those used to be chicken breasts and broccoli.  In the time before time.  In the never-never-going-to-actually-eat-this.

Sketches and timelapse video on my website: www.steveargyle.com/#!whirlwin…
Prints available at: buyfantasyart.com/catalog?arti…

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Thalia, Guardian of Thraben by SteveArgyle
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

Thalia card by SteveArgyle Thalia sketches by SteveArgyle 
Creating artwork for a promotional version of a character is an interesting challenge of balance.  You need the work to stay true to the original, but offer some new insight, story, or perspective.  It's also really intimidating to be following artwork that is already incredible, such as the original by Jana Schirmer and Johannes Voss.

 

As shown in the sketches, a few of the approaches considered were to show her in front of, or in, a vibrant, thriving city of Thraben.  Or perhaps commanding her armies, or admiring a statue of Avacyn.  While you only get one piece in the end, between me, the art directors, and the concept teams, a whole lot of ideas are explored.  In the end, we settled on one with subtlety.  Instead of a more typical Magic high-action, or epic hero shot, we see this fearsome commander in a moment of humility, saluting another mighty guardian, Avacyn.

 

And that part is pretty subtle, no?  Avacyn is portrayed here almost entirely as a light source.  And while you'll never-never-never-ever-ever see it on the card, Avacyn is there, a tiny little reflection of her in Thalia's eyes.  I am relentlessly detail obsessed, if you hadn't already noticed.  (Such as the basket hilt design, which if you haven't caught it, is a heron of Innistrad.)

 

For Magic the Gathering. Copyright Wizards of the Coast. Art directed by Jeremy Jarvis.

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Pinklecheeks von Mauvebottom.  the Pink Baron. by SteveArgyle
Pinklecheeks von Mauvebottom. the Pink Baron.
Flying is hard.  Oh sure, you've got the mighty smitey angels of old, descending on firey wings and devastating the wicked and such.  But you'll note that there's rarely mention of them taking off again.  Truth be told, most angels wings are useful only to slow down an otherwise catastrophic fall from the heavens.  And even that is done with little grace, and a tremendous amount of screaming.

Add to that a bit of a sweet tooth, and too many Doctor Who marathons on a severely comfortable couch, and flight becomes a distant fantasy.  However, Pinklecheeks is an innovator.  Not to be detered by pesky physics, and far to adventurous to embark on the drudgery of diet and exercise, Pinklecheeks has concocted a novel solution.  Now the Pink Baron, giddy delight of the skies.

Coloring token for the Ascended Minion Project.

Copyright me and such.  But do feel free to give coloring it a go if you like.
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deviantID

SteveArgyle
Steve Argyle
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
NOTE: No notes! In my supreme big-shot-edness, I get too many messages to juggle inboxes for a billion online galleries.

All inquiries, praise, and blackmail demands should be sent through my website contact page: www.steveargyle.com It's cozier there anyhow.

It wouldn't hurt to read my FAQ first. I've probably already got an answer to your question. I'm sure that if you tried, you could come up with something I haven't heard before. But it's not easy.

If you're averse to reading my FAQ, which is just tragic, here are quick answers to the most frequent DA questions:

Everything in my galleries is wholly owned or licensed. (Specifics are in the descriptions for each image.) So none of it is available for stock, derivative work, personal projects, to burn into toast, or anything else. No matter how just-for-fun, not-for-profit it may be. It's not my call. I've got some litigious clientele.

I am not available for private commissions at this time.

No, I do not put my pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. (That would mean I'd be wearing pants.)

Auckland, NZ 2015 - Day One

Journal Entry: Mon May 11, 2015, 6:03 PM


Day 1 – Getting the hell to the other side of the planet – the (technically) three day journey.



The awkward wrestle of transporting our chimeric towers of luggage has become a familiar choreography.  A cantankerous jig of squeaking wheels, clanks, clunks, and the occasional profane outburst.



Checking in to our flight, we are surprise ambushed by a monster so common it needs be in no Dungeons & Dragons manual.  Perhaps the most sinister of their genus, the red-tape viper, (technically an elemental,) has many natural nesting grounds, preferring dreary cubicles, but has also become an invasive species of the wilds of the internet as well.  It paralyses its prey with a long tail of paperwork, and has two sets of venomous fangs, colloquially referred to as their fees, and their more poisonous penalties.



This particular species we had not encountered previously, despite the great deal of time we’ve spent navigating through its preferred territory.  But we should have known.  We were, after all, travelling through Australia, land of everything-here-kills-anything.  The Temporary Visa Even Though You’re Just On A Connecting Flight Sidewinding Red-Tape Viper struck as soon as we presented our passports at check in, and though the bite was a small $40, the paralysis a brief forty five minutes, we started our journey with the lesson we needed to be wary in this new land.



I have no idea how people survived long-haul flights before there were prolific electronic devices, and video players in the back of every seat.  I can only assume that every single passenger on every single long-haul flight in those dark ages would stop by the duty-free store before their flight.  Selecting a bottle of their preferred 80-proof way to wash down the fistful of pills they’d talked their doctor into prescribing for “nerves” and/or “back pain.”



Personally, I use the time to watch bad movies that I secretly wanted to see, but had to wait for the excuse of “Well, I ran out of everything in their ‘Critically Acclaimed’ section.  Therefore ‘the Hangover’ trilogy was all that stood between an uneventful flight, and an emergency landing to expel and probably arrest me after what happens when I get bored!”



Even so, I will echo the cries of countless airline nomads.  The seats are apparently designed by devious chiropractors who have turned to the dark-side; sinisterly engineered to turn the human spine into an aching bramble of tangled vertebrae.



Upon arrival in Sydney airport, we begin our forage for snacks, and survey for a lounge for our eight-hour layover.   (Which became a ten-hour layover.  Thanks, cyclone Pam.)  Kat, for the umpteenth time of the day, uses her mutant power to Cerebro-style detect every person from the Phillipines within a two-mile radius, finding some very helpful lounge gatekeepers.  Phillipinos are always incredibly friendly and open, marveling at Kat’s proficiency in a very uncommon second language.  At least I think that’s what happens.  They’re speaking Tagalog, so for all I know, it’s a cultural thing to argue with bright smiles, and they were actually in a vicious verbal duel.  If that’s the case, Kat is deadly.  And victorious once again, we find ourselves in the American Express Lounge, surrounded by snacks.  And for many hours, solitude and serenity.




I semi-industriously scrawl sticky paintmarker across the tiny, but remarkably expensive canvases of Magic cards.  The rare interruptions are pleasant folks asking what I was doing, or hovering ever closer until I offer for them to take a look.  I’m reminded how few adults engage in creating art every time I’m in a public place doing just that.  People orbit around me, their eyes tethered with a quiet curiosity as though I was practicing a craft they’d only heard of in legends.  Long before anything interesting is on the page, mind you.  And when they finally decide to swoop in for a brief conversation, it does not matter how far along the drawing is: I am seven  years old to them.  I can have four wobbly lines, and they will exclaim “Oh my gosh!  You’re such a good drawer!  That’s so amazing that you can do that!  Boy, I wish I could do that.  I bet your parents are very proud!”  And if they happen to have an actual seven year old along with them, I get introduced to the children as though I am the Avatar-god of Dreams Fulfilled.  Steeped in myth, with the power to inspire a young mind with but a few words, gifting everlasting keys to forge destinies, conquer all obstacles, and live every hope one will ever have.  This, of course, always ends in disappointment when I offer up something like “Yeah, it just takes practice.  Art is no different than anything else.  Put the work in, and you can do whatever.”  It’s like they expected my words to call a rainbow on a bolt of lightning, revealing the gift of a talking pegasus, hand them an amulet that fulfills desires; and what they got instead was a grunt of “meh,” and mildly farty dog wanders in from somewhere and won’t go away.



Our oasis paradise of free snacks and power strips was not to be entirely blissful, however.  There is another sort of family, with another sort of child, that you’ll occasionally encounter out in the wild.  The family that advertises vasectomies far better than any pharmaceutical company ever could.  The family of gremlin children born to zombie parents.  This will be how we spend our final hours in the airport lounge.  Peace broken by a dozen adults, trailed by what seemed like a thousand grabbing hands and slobbering mouths.  A rising tsunami of smelly bodies, screeches and howls, leaving everything in their wake sticky, gross, and somehow violated beyond the realm of physicality.  The “adults” scavenge the free bar like starving, shell-shocked survivors of the apocalypse, drenching and drowning what was left of the awareness of the multitudinous horrors they’ve unleashed, with whatever bottom-shelf liquors they could find.  In the meantime, those tiny humanish-shaped horrors descended upon the lounge as slimy pink locusts suddenly let loose from their 12-hour imprisonment on a plane.



These people and children are…  less than pleasant.  I had to save several Liliana of the Veil from literally being eaten.

 

Arriving at the hotel after midnight, the instructions for getting in included getting our room key from a safe in the lounge.  We arrived along with a handful of players, who opened the safe and rifled through a handful of envelopes exclaiming “Steve Argyle!”  Silly me, I thought they had recognized me, and wandered up to claim my envelope.  “I’ve got a ton of stuff to get signed.  We should totally wait in his room and ambush him.”



“Hi guys!  Hope to see you tomorrow at the show!  Have a good night!”  And gestured for my envelope.  They looked at me with an inquiring scan, suspecting I was a crazy person.  While not wrong, I clarified “that one’s for me.”



“Nice try.  There’s just ours, another group we know, and Steve Argyle’s”



“Yep.  Steve Argyle.  …  Um, that’s me.”



They then delightfully lost it for exactly seventeen seconds.  A frantic whirlwind of questions and compliments later, we parted ways to hibernate in our remarkably large suite.  We were in Auckland.  The GP was about to begin…





  • Listening to: Half of the voices in my head. The rest is jerks.
  • Reading: I'm trying to learn how.
  • Watching: Every step you take, every move you make.
  • Playing: a lovely little fiddle ditty vs. the devil.
  • Eating: Whatever wanders close to my glowy angler tongue.
  • Drinking: in the irony of it all.

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:iconbabakosen:
BabakoSen Featured By Owner 1 hour ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday! :iconcarameldansenplz:
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:iconlord-darcy:
Lord-Darcy Featured By Owner 4 hours ago
:icontyttataudnor: :iconcheerplz: :iconpinkrose1plz::iconpinkrose2plz::iconpinkrose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconpinkrose5plz::iconpinkrose6plz: :iconcheerplz: :icontyttataudnor:
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Happy Birthday Fella :D by zakarrandaHappy Birthday Fella :D by zakarranda:iconpinkrose1plz::iconpinkrose2plz::iconpinkrose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconpinkrose5plz::iconpinkrose6plz:Happy Birthday Fella :D by zakarrandaHappy Birthday Fella :D by zakarranda
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:iconelvingearmaster:
ElvinGearMaster Featured By Owner 17 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday! I hope you have yummy cake and get a lot of presents!
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:icongala2025:
gala2025 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
On this day birthday, I wish that you spend an fun day with big surprises everyone you love, that all the year is to find everything you aspire in your life. Receives years so many hugs as you do.  Stefan's Rose 3 in 1 Hearts -Free To Use Cupcake Icon | F2U pokemon gif Misdreavus Free Balloon Boy Icon Lovey-dovey Fella (Love) Licky fella (Love) Cilan Chili and Cress(battle) Frozen Fever - Olaf Eating Cake 


H (Alphabets) A (Alphabets) P (Alphabets) P (Alphabets) Y (Alphabets) Left fella (Reactions) 3d Cake Icon PartyJamming to mah stereo      

B (Alphabets)  I (Alphabets)R (Alphabets)T (Alphabets) H (Alphabets)D (Alphabets)A (Alphabets) Y (Alphabets):Lotus: - NaNoEmoJester Juggle - NaNoEmo14 Day 6

  Gummy (lick) plz   Relaxation Japanese flower   Ace-48-x-50-1     2015YupiANanEmoteGIF00202 FnaF Icon [45] - Freddy Plays Guitar Shinoa Spinning Icon Eviiiil The-joy-of-life-S dancing alien Annie (shy) Gilda,Rainbow dash and Pinkie pie (hug) #2 plz Discord (uh me) plz Fish- Gilda (do not sing here) plz happy-pigeon-S Happiness-50-2 Rainbow Dash (ouch my leg) plz My-friend-s legend of dragoon  gif  Kongol Pigeon-s I-love-you Free Alf Icon Callie (Wave) 
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:iconmishihime:
mishihime Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Steve, I know you're busy working and stuff but I hope when you have more time you can post more videos. Seeing a painting in progress from start to finish really helps me out. :D
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:iconomfg:
omfg Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Seth/:iconmottenfest: here re-adding you, Steeeeve:heart:
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:iconrui-abel:
Rui-Abel Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015   Digital Artist
Amazing Heart 
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:iconleviathen:
leviathen Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
you are hilarious 
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:iconagnopolis:
Agnopolis Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015
I love your art! 
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