You can tell this is another 2013 mat, partly due to the artistic style but mostly due to the ‘cinematic’ bands at the top and bottom: ‘Coming to a theatre this fall, when was the last time thunder hurt anyone?’
It definitely caused me some Issues though, at the time the cards weren’t even out yet over here and I’m not sure that they had english names either both of which made finding info about them quite tricky.
In the end I looked to the manga for inspiration this had the added benefit of providing a more detailed look at their costumes, personalities and some additional poses something you cant always guarantee being able to have available when working with Yugioh creatures. Having more viewpoints to work from when examining characters is always a plus, especially since there is quite a lot of Yugioh art with some really weird poses or foreshortening that can leave things looking very odd.
Speaking of which, ugh Utopia’s card is a pain to work with, dynamic sure but where are his legs? Not to mention the fact his sword blocks half the art. It was again quite lucky that there were other views of him – being the signature creature for a series tends to help in that regard. The shape and position of the horns on his helmet can also cause weird effects, they were one of the elements that it took me the most time to get looking accurate since he seems to be built of quite a number of convex and concave surfaces that at first glance don’t tend to make a lot of sense at certain angles. Starliege wasn’t quite so bad, his left leg is a bit odd but at least all the major detail is clearly visible on the card, and he has the added benefit of looking like something out of Tekkaman Blade.
Being thunder themed creatures they obviously have electricity effects (should be sound themed really I would have thought) and that gets reflected in the mats background, the angle the photo was taken at also lets you see hints of the white effects on the characters that also have feature lighting style effects, although these shift depending on your viewing angle.
My favourite element though, and something i wasn’t even sure would work, is Starliege’s sword. Getting it to look transparent was somewhat nerve racking as you slowly build up and mix colour.