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Alterations – Until It’s Gone

Tuesday, March 22 – Finally, we have Jeremy’s first real article on StarCityGames.com! This popular Talent Search writer brings us the process by which he alters popular Magic cards, this time Angel of Despair.


Do you know what you have? Yes, you have some Magic cards and some free time to read this article. Do you know what you really have though? The
things we take for granted in our lives are astounding when you take the time to reflect, though full appreciation is only garnered upon the loss of
these (for lack of a less religious word) blessings.

Where am I going with this? Well, last week, my wife Tiffany was required to fly away from our snow-covered forest in southern Ontario for a business
conference in sunny California. These types of opportunities don’t come along very often for either of us, so obviously she jumped at the chance. This
left me with the new formal title: “President of Familial Operations,” which is much more glamorous-sounding than “temporary single father of three.”

As I climbed into bed on the eve of her departure, I grinned smugly. You see, she was so concerned about the children and the house falling into
disrepair while she was away for four days that she took to making charts so everyone would know what to do. Obviously, being the big strong man that I
am, I found this a tad patronizing, so I was intent on making it through the week and greeting her with a spotless house and well-behaved children upon
her return.

The problem with this, I discovered, is that she does most of the work around here. Every night consisted of making dinner, doing two loads of laundry,
one load of dishes, homework supervision for two children, getting three ready for bed, preparing their clothing and lunches for the following morning,
and of course, keeping the house tidy while all this was going on.

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Lock that away in your head somewhere. Appreciate everyone in your life and everything you have because when you don’t have them, it bloody well hurts.
I know it’s a saying everyone is aware of, but we’re never aware of it when it matters; it only ever seems to be spoken in retrospect. Whatever it
takes, change that.

I’ll start now: I’m truly thankful to the crew at StarCityGames.com for the Talent Search and for now taking me on as a biweekly columnist. I don’t
know how long it will last, but I appreciate the soapbox I’ve been given, and I hope I can keep readers entertained and interested for as long as I
still hold a paintbrush.

With that out of the way, let’s do some painting, shall we?

My buddy Stefan has suffered a much longer separation than ours. His Angel of Despair has been missing from his Commander deck (and in my possession)
for probably a year or so at this point. He gave me his Angel, a Tooth and Nail, and his general, Child of Alara, to paint quite a long time ago, and
though I managed to get the other two done relatively quickly, the Angel was seemingly forgotten. I knew I had to do it at some point, but I just got
so busy with commissions at the time that it always landed on the backburner for one reason or another. I managed to finally finish it off this week
for him and documented the process, as is my new custom.

The pictures I took between step one and step two that you see here were practically unusable. I base coated and worked a tad on the lighting and wings
while at the local shop, which has extremely poor lighting. The first base coat picture turned out decent though, where I’m using a stock purple to
hide the border. By the time the second picture was taken, I had darkened my purple down by adding black and finished base coating. The top portion was
then worked on, getting a nice lighter purple blend. I also began feeling out what I was going to be doing with her feathery wings.

Despair1

The third step (on the left) was an experimentation, more or less. I’ve had these Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip Markers
for quite some time, but I haven’t been able to put them to good use. I used the black one to outline all the feathers on both sides and to accent a
couple of the buildings in the background. As much as I enjoyed the control and smoothness of the markers, they simply stay too wet on the card
surface. After this stage, I was forced to leave the card alone for two days to ensure that everything was dry. I must mention, however, that using
these markers leads to a more glossy/wet color, closer to that of the standard printing on the card. Acrylic paint tends to dull the color down in
comparison and is especially noticed in black.

Step four, on the right side, shows further work on all of the wing bits. I started with that same purple but used a khaki color to fade it out a
bunch, then highlighted some areas with a stronger purple/pink concoction.

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In step five, you’ll notice that the sword has been extended out fully and that I’ve added some shoes at the bottom of the card. The feet look better
in person; in the picture, they look pretty brutal though. Moving over to step six, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the change, but I wanted to add this
picture to show that the finer details are what make altering awesome. I’ve used a metallic gold paint on all of her armor and the golden bits of her
sword. Again, it scarcely shows in a picture, but when you see the card, the gold definitely stands out a bit.

Step seven sees us adding the buildings in the top left and right of the card. Pretty simply, I just used that light pinky purple to do the highlights
down the sides of buildings, without drawing in buildings first. Turns out, the highlights are all that is needed to achieve the effect. In the final
image, I’ve touched up a few unnoticeable things and also added some green lighting to a couple buildings that didn’t have it prior. Also, signed and
sprayed.

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So after a year of yearning for his precious Angel, he will finally receive her back in all her acrylic glory. I hope he gained appreciation for her
while she was away. Who am I kidding? Stefan probably just slotted in a backup copy.

Thanks for following along!

Shunkov pointed out in his article this week that a great camaraderie developed between a bunch of the contestants near the end, and I just wanted to
second this. I consider you all friends at this point, despite having never met you or spoken with you live. Cheers to all the SCG Talent Search peeps!

Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or commissions:

Twitter: @Jerfroggatt

e-mail: Jfroggatt at persona dot ca

MTGS Forums: Kyrian

or on Facebook as myself.

Jeremy Froggatt

P.S. You’ll be happy to know that I did manage to present my wife with a clean home and sleeping kiddies (because she made it home for 11 pm), but man
did I ever miss her and everything she does for this family!