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  • Steve Argyle

Portrait of a Planeswalker: Kiora

Portrait of a Planeswalker: Kiora

Because It’s shark week!

Also, today is my Magic the Gathering anniversary! Nine years ago today, my first piece for Magic was published. (Ponder - Player Rewards textless promo.) It's been an amazing and transformative experience to work among such incredible creators. I'm still pretty well astounded that they welcomed me into their amazing multiverse, and even more so that they let me planesmeander around and contribute some art now and then.

So I’m celebrating a bit, by doing some art purely for funzies. Revisiting one of my first oil paintings, and “digitally remastering” it.

She was among my first oil paintings, originally done on a 5x7 canvas for MtG Grand Prix Las Vegas in 2013. Looking at it a few years later, there are things I'd do differently now. Which I hope means that I've grown as an artist, and not that I'm losing my mind already. ...Losing more of it, at any rate.

So this is me, doing it the differently that I would do it now, digitally. Say that five times fast. DO IT NOW.

I know that this is a slight departure from the canonical look of Kiora. But: purely for funzies. That means I can fan-art out and break a few rules. BEHOLD MY ARTY REBELLION! Yes. This is how truly boring I am. Cutting loose and getting crazy means that I add an extra splash of color to something. Don't you judge me. I'm exciting and unpredictable by paper-collating robot standards.

But anyway, digression aside, my inspiration for this departure is my super keen marine fish tank. (Which also has an anniversary today! Happy new home anniversary, kidnapped fishy friends!) Salt-water critters are often vibrant and colorful, and I wanted to experiment with that on Kiora. And hey, many cephalopods can change colors, create patterns, and do all sorts of cool things with their skin. Kiora is the master of krakens, which are presumably some sort of mega-cephalopod, right? It's not that far of a reach to say that Kiora could alter her coloration like a cuttlefish, is it?

Maybe it is...


This is dedicated to my super awesome wife Kat. She's the one who gave me my super keen fish tank. And she takes care of it and all of it's colorful denizens. Because I can't really be trusted to remember to put pants on, let alone feed and nurture living things. Also she's heroically put up with my nefarious shenanigans for many years now, and is still capable of smiling at me every day. While her planeswalking persona is definitively Chandra Nalaar (She modeled for Chandra Ablaze,) she's also pretty much Kiora.

So I guess in summation: MtG anniversary, of a blue card, plus Shark Week, plus fishies anniversary = Kiora fan art.


Kiora is copyright and trademark Magic the Gathering and Wizard's of the Coast.

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