Heresy – Powers and Principalities

Warden of the Seven Celestial Halls, colored pencil, 9 x 12″ (1995)

For the collectible card game (CCG) Heresy, Kingdom Come, I did thirty-four illustrations for cards. Twenty-four were for the Alephs, or magic items, and ten cards were of some of the Powers and Authorities, which were all portraits of people. These three drawings are in that category. I wasn’t given a lot to go on for the creation of these characters, just a brief, one-sentence definition of the character and his/her powers. This guy, the Warden of the Seven Celestial Halls, was some kind of mage or archon, who has power over the celestial realms.

Ruler of the 28 Mansions of the Moon, colored pencil, 9 x 12″ (1995)

The Ruler of the 28 Mansions of the Moon is one of my favorites from this series. I wanted to have her have a light side and a dark side, like the moon itself. The moon often represents emotion, intuition, and the subtler forms of influence. The Dark Side also shows the possibility of madness and lunacy. Orbiting her head are the moon in its many phases, and the cool colors suggest the night-time.

Chief of the Planets, colored pencil, 9 x 12″ (1995)

The third potentate, or elemental force in this series is the Chief of the Planets. He is more of a solar elemental, with the planets orbiting him, as opposed to the lunar aspect of the Ruler of the 28 Mansions of the Moon. The Chief (sun) and the Ruler (moon) form a pair of opposites or compliments that belong together. Rather than traditional 3/4 portraits, I decided to do all of these ten Powers as either profiles or frontal-views. This, I argued with the editors of the game, gave them a more iconic and formal feeling, like portraits of kings and queens on postage stamps. To enhance that perception, I often put the portraits in ornate frames or some kind of border.

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