I hope you’re accustomed to the constant barrage of artistic stimulation because we’re finally nearing the final steps, and you are in for a massive treat. This time there are only ten artists featured on this page because as their quality increases, so too does the number of pieces of art used to represent them. I can describe what follows in no other way besides a splendid visual feast to send your eyes to a blissful oblivion…
20. Lamin Martin
Kicking off the list is, Lamin Martin, a brilliant fantasy artist who can whip up powerful, dramatic scenes as well as some truly thoughtful conceptual pieces. It’s quite apparent that this man understands how to set a mood for his illustrations. The first picture below is easily one of the most supreme depictions of a dragon I’ve seen. “Verse 1, Chapter 1” at the bottom is a thought-provoking concept of a demon wanting repentance so bad that he attaches pages of the bible to his wings.
19. Mike ‘Daarken’ Lim
This particular artist is a pretty big hit in the fantasy art market. He illustrates non-stop and is one of the most famous artists in Magic. It’s pretty easy to tell why because his compositions consist of so much activity. It’s almost like there’s two layers to each painting. One being the subject, which is lovingly crafted, and the other being the motion, which is distinctive for it’s surreal streams of color racing across the painting. It’s an incredible style that has never gotten old and has persisted through most of his collection.
18. Kekai Kotaki
This is one artist who has a rather large fan following, most likely attributed to the fact that he is the lead artist of Guild Wars 2 which is an MMO game that puts a tremendous emphasis on it’s artwork. It definitely shows because Kekai Kotaki is a master of style and his art oozes with spectacle. He’s was also a contributor to magic, but has unfortunately not drawn anything for them in the last few sets, but both of them together have helped expand his catalog to well over a hundred stunning paintings. He is a fan favorite for a well-deserved reason.
17. Tang Sin Yun ‘Sandara’
Calling Tan Sin Yun ‘Sandaragon’ would be a perfect nickname for this extremely gifted artist. She brings dragons to life like none other with incredible feats of quality on her reptilian design. Even outside of winged beasts, she still creates wonderful scenery with a dynamic sense of her point of view. Overlooking the water from above, partially submerged in water, or slightly tilting the angle are all fresh vantage points that I don’t see much and are all exemplified below. Much like Tyler Edlin with his castles, I hope Sandara never stops drawing dragons.
16. Raymond Swanland
Raymond Swanland has an intense and aggressive art style. His drawings instantly stand out with the swift, sharp angles and constant action and excitement on each piece. He never goes overboard with the detail and manages to keep it at the sweet spot right underneath that plateau. He could also be considered the most popular of Magic’s more recent artists, drawing several of the most prominent artwork for the game in recent years. “Immersturm,” the first picture below is a masterpiece to me and a perfect representation of all the qualities Raymond Swanland possesses. It’s a roaring cacophony of war and chaos that’s nearly impossible to take in with one glance. His extreme close ups are also feel like a sharp explosion, yet he can deftly switch tones and use his style of slick streaks to make something much more noble and quiet.
15. Michael Komarck
Following the impressive display thus far is another realism/fantasy artist who creates stunning vistas and jaw dropping epics for fantasy fans to drool over. Komarck raises the bar even higher by bringing the viewpoint back to capture enormous scenes and yet still maintains a meritorious level of detail. He’s one of the most talented artists Magic has ever hired, and his ability to adapt between landscapes, characters, and creatures is a laudable skill indeed.
14. Svetlin Velinov
Svetlin is a master of color who can create powerful portraits ripe with alluring beauty. He’s a recent hire at Magic but has already proven that he can bring as much to the table as the pioneer artists do. My favorite signature characteristic about most of his artwork is the sense of “awe” and majesty that he can convey in his subjects and the feeling of dominance that results. I normally prefer heavily contrasted colors; bright colors that pop from a dark background, and Svetlin’s work does do that, but there’s an elegant blend with his colors that make it blend with the background in a very beautiful way.
13. Yeong-Hao Han
Yeong-Hao Han is one of the newest artist working for Magic on this list, and if he keeps up this quality of work, he will quickly ascend in no time. He has some of the best environment artwork I’ve had the pleasure to see. The thought process it takes to come up with his breathtaking artwork is something worth commending. I could never think of a water city with river streets with that much intricacy and detail. All of his artwork has a very distinct level of clarity that makes each illustration seem real and open.
12. Marek Okon
Continuing the trend of impossible amounts of detail comes another jaw-collapsing artist from the depths of Deviant Art. Okon, doesn’t just paint scenery or characters, he crafts stories and emotions that can only be accomplished by someone of this caliber. I’ve never wanted to go into the world of a painting as badly as “Follow me, the first one pictured below. I’ve never felt such shock and sorrow until sadly staring into the painting of “Apocalypse Please,” the second picture below. Each portrait makes a profound statement and stands on it’s own to separate themselves from most fantasy artwork in the industry. You don’t just gaze at his artwork, you interpret the thoughts of the characters depicted within.
11. Michael Ting Yu Chang (Possibly?)
Do yourself a favor and click on the first four pictures to see them at full resolution. We’re ending the third part on an epic scale with one of the best concept artists in the game industry, and here’s the shocker; I don’t even know who he his. I have dug to the very bottom of the internet to find out who is responsible for these masterpieces, but not a single instance of this image is credited with an artist. The closest I found is this man Michael Chang who is the most prominent “Souls” artist, however, his gallery doesn’t contain the epic landscape pieces below. Whoever this mystery artist is, his scale and detail is utterly superb. Every light from the staves in “War of the Giants” pictured below is drawn in that illustration. Every. Single. Light. Dark fantasy is easily my most beloved genre of fantasy and Michael Ting Yu Chang delivers it with tremendous satisfaction. He is the main concept artist of the “Soul” series of video games and his style leaks into the game itself as well. Beautiful and grim, his talent sets a new standard at putting everything you have into your artwork.
The final part will release tonight! Thanks to everyone who’s kept up this far!!