Remember this guy? Ice Age’s Lhurgoyf was one of my first encounters with having a card that generated a LOT of excitement upon its release. Sure, ‘The Abyss’ is still the most expensive card I’ve drawn but at the time of Legends launch, a lot of cards were jostling for the limelight. But at the Ice Age release event that I attended, the buzz was all about the Lhurgoyf.
So, when I was offered the chance to do a new image of Lhurgy for 8th edition, I jumped at the chance…
But where to start? The Lhurgoyf has always been a representative of the darker side of Green. After all, a carrion eater is usually the province of Black mana, but Green creatures being forced to live off the dead was a clear indication of how the colors had to adapt to survive the Ice Age.
Settling down to some new sketches, I soon discovered that the Lhurgoyf’s odd anatomical proportions meant that in certain poses he just looked ungainly, comical or flat out ridiculous. I spent a few days running in circles trying to find something that worked. The images below are just a fraction of the poses I explored (I didn’t want to fill this page with acres of scribbles)!
This next set of images features a profile study of Lhurgy to get a feel for the many contours of his skull and mandibles. It also shows how flat his head is. This is because he’s built for digging and his jaws and claws contain shapes somewhat similar to a shovel! There’s also a couple of quick sketches exploring what the entirety of the Lhurgoyf’s mouth looks like as a portion of it was obscured in the original painting by his latest (but most certainly not fresh) meal.
I even considered doing a head-shot composition to give players a closer look at Lhurgy, but I decided that wasn’t going to make a good card image, even with the fun of having him holding a bull skull in a very Hamlet-like pose. I suspected players would want to see the Lhurgoyf’s full figure, this time in a more dynamic pose than the original.