Fantasy Card Illustration with Randy Vargas

Fantasy Card Illustration

On ArtStation Learning, Randy Vargas shares insight into his entire process for creating a fantasy illustration for TCGs. In this first part of a three-part series, he covers getting the brief from a client, beginning to thumbnail, getting feedback, and then refining the design of a character in preparation for the final sketch.

Watch Part 1

Randy Vargas is a Sci-fi and Fantasy illustrator from Cuba, now based in Barcelona, Spain. With over 8 years of industry experience, he has worked on projects for Mynet.Inc, Valve Corporation, Riot Games and Wizards of the Coast.

In this interview, he talks about how he developed his course, how you can prepare and more.

Most memorable learning experience:

In Cuba, we didn’t have access to the Internet until a couple of years ago. Even today, it’s quite limited. I personally didn’t have any contact with it until I came to Spain in 2011. So, I grew up with a really narrow point of view on almost everything, only with hints, here and there of the more universal culture. I didn’t even know what illustration was (let alone concept art and the game industry as a whole).

Once I decided I wanted to do this art thing, the most memorable experience was discovering what was on the internet and the massive crash course on years of pop culture. I learned what was influential/popular/relevant at the same time and learned to use the new tools. Everything was completely new for me, but I needed to know at least the basics, just to be able to talk the same language. I still filling the gaps, but it’s definitely exciting.

Behind the course:

I have been thinking about these ideas for a while after doing so many portfolios reviews for people trying to get into card illustration or simply improve at their art. The most recurrent complication I see is the lack of planning, lack of work put in to achieve the desired result or just not knowing what are they really pursuing (whether it’s a specific company or level).

1 sentence of advice:

Work hard in one thing at a time and give it your best shot.

What you need to prepare:

My course is meant to help generate better ideas, work more efficiently and center the theme of your illustrations.

The knowledge you have of the fundamentals will reflect on the work you’ll produce using these methods, but you can take the course regardless and keep learning and building your base skills to improve your art in the meantime.

ArtStation Learning courses are included in all ArtStation premium subscriptions. Find out more >

See more of Randy’s work here.

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.