Hurley Burley Studio

Fantasy Art and Illustration

Alter Feedback – Just starting

Reddit user /u/ProperMarionberry just started working on card alters. These are a pretty good start, and make me want to take the time to get some Guilds of Ravnica cards done. Here’s what were going to touch on today. 

  • Grey coat vs Acetone
  • Matching Colors
  • Extending Art
  • Cleaning edges

Grey Coat vs Acetone

Using a grey base coat is the way to go with my high level alterists. If you are putting your paint down correctly it is not going to add any thickness that would be noticeable. This seems to be the main concern that pushes people to use acetone or an erasure to make a working area.

Unfortunately, I do not have any experience with using acetone on non-foil cards. I had a discussion yesterday on Reddit about it. If done correctly there seems to be no risk of water damage, which was my main concern. However, not all cards will wipe off the same… because of this I would lean more towards sticking with the grey base coat. That way you only have 1 skill to master instead of splitting your learn between 2.

Matching Colors

The color matching is pretty good for just starting! Overall the painted colors are just a tad darker than the printed colors. When fine tuning don’t just rely on white or black. One of my favorite colors to use is Titan Buff, it can lighten colors without making them brighter because it’s a bit of an off white. If you really aren’t able to match a color, because let’s face it some of them are hard, you can paint into the artwork. This is will blend the line between printed and painted and forces a gradient change between the two. I use my finger to smudge the paint while it’s wet as well. This helps keep the paint thin and can help blend it.

Extending Art

A big art of doing extensions is creating what is beyond the art box. Some cards like the Instructor and the Recruit are easier than others, like the Beetle.

I’ve done a quick sketch of what could be extended from the art. Even if you aren’t doing a textless alter, you still need to think about what would go through the text box because it could come out the other end!

With the 2 people you did, their legs are cut off. I think that feet are hard to paint so I would try to come up with something that would be there, but something should be there. The instructor should be standing on something, I like to do gravel type pathways, but brick roads can work as well!

Adding something to the sides adds detail as well. A curb or wall type thing could be used on the Instructor. While potted plants, or a sword holder could be in the hallway that the Recruit is standing in.

With the Beetle, I think the art is painted to stand alone. Mostly because if you look at it the bench is kinda just floating already. So technically the extension that you did was correct. When I do extensions though, I like to add as much detail as possible. The bench could be sitting next to a walkway where there is grass around it and a bush. It’s your world, so you get to decide what’s there. 

Cleaning Edges

When working on alters it’s almost impossible to keep the paint from going into the art where you don’t want it. It’s not something to worry about! You can use a toothpick to clean the edges. Dampen it a bit with, I use my mouth, but you could use water as well. Just make sure it’s not too wet. For the majority of the cards the paint will come right off. There are some sets though where the paint really sticks to the card. It’s a trial and error process to find which sets do and which don’t.

These cards are very good for a beginner. What needs to be worked on are skills that just take time and practice. 

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