Monday, March 10, 2014

Artist of the Week: Daarken

Last week, in case you missed it, we featured Noah Bradley, and specifically it was for me to keep a promise I made that I'd remind everyone about his MTGO Moat art. Of course, I couldn't decide from all the different artists over the history of Magic, so once again, I looked to Twitter, and I saw this tweet:

Imagine being a Magic artist and you are given the artist proofs (blank white on one side, the actual card with art on the other) for the art you submitted for a set. Now, these aren't tournament legal, but artists like to sketch on the back and sign or else just sign them and sell some and give others away. Naturally you would want to keep one for yourself. Daarken's only copy of his first, and so far only, planeswalker was stolen from him. I'm glad he was able to get one that a fan sent him.

So let's take a look at some of Daarken's history with MTG. His first art came out in Future Sight on a couple of cards:

Bitter Ordeal   Korlash, Heir to Blackblade

He's done some artwork in recent years with cards like Everflame Eidolon, Shipwreck Singer, and Ethereal Armor, but probably the most widely recognized are these:

Bloodghast  Birthing Pod  Fetid Heath

Bloodghast is a must if you wish to play Vampires in Modern. Fetid Heath is the only land Daarken has illustrated for MTG thus far and fits into the cycle of "Filter Lands." And last, but not least: Birthing Pod. If anyone watched tournament coverage for Grand Prix Richmond over the weekend, then chances are you watched a couple games with a deck called Melira Pod where the main goal is to suck in creatures with Birthing Pod and pop out larger creatures from your library. It's an efficient deck if you can draw what you need and seems to be a very popular deck.

But we aren't here to talk about those cards, we're here for Sarkhan Vol.

Sarkhan Vol

A great card for using with creatures or specifically dragons, he was the original R/G favorite planeswalker before Domri Rade and Xenagos, the Reveler showed up. So here's to Daarken's Sarkhan Vol.

If you want to download the above image as a wallpaper, please click the artwork and you'll be taken to the Wizards of the Coast page with downloads for a couple screen sizes (this was back in 2008 before we had tablets and giant monitors, people...)

UPDATE (3/10/2014):

Daarken has informed us on Twitter that he painted the art for the MTGO Badlands featured recently in the Holiday Cube. So here is his art (since Gatherer doesn't have MTGO cards/art in their database):

For those of you unfamiliar, Badlands was the first Black/Red dual land and was printed in Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, and Revised.

You can find Daarken on Twitter and Facebook. Monday Morning MTG also has Twitter, but we don't have Facebook. Maybe one day, but not right now.

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