Longtime MTG artist Pete Venters talks about his artwork

Pete Venters, a longtime Magic: The Gathering artist known for his work on cards such as Grapeshot, The Abyss, and Ensnaring Bridge, joins Magic Untapped to talk about his artwork.

Specifically, he's talking about the very special few pieces out of the more than 300 cards for which he has created illustrations for the collectible card game.  And the first one that came to mind for the artist probably isn't one that most would have guessed.

"Drawn Together from Unhinged," he says.

And it's not because he's actually in the picture, either.

"It's a retrospective of, wow, 20 years of creature cards that I did," tells Venters.

The artwork features the like of Baron Sengir, Shauku, Endbringer, Flametongue Kavu, Lhurgoyf, and others.

Three other of his artwork also stand out to him for their beauty: Recollect, Tanglewalker, and Beast Whisperer.

"Two of them are elves and one is a dryad," he comments.  "I guess it's a thing."


There is, however, one other card that really stands out to Venters above most of the rest: Kiki-Jiki. Mirror Breaker from Champions of Kamigawa.  It's a card which has artwork that turned out differently than how he first envisioned it.

"When I did the original sketch for it, rather than the dragon in the background, it was one of the Kamigawa ogres," he says.  "And that was because the art description asked for there to be an illusionary large creature in the background and the Kamigawa ogres are big."

When he received feedback on his original sketch (which can be seen in the video above), Venters had a hunch that the card was going to be a big deal thanks to a specific change Wizards of the Coast wanted.

"The art director said we really like the goblin, but can you change the ogre for a dragon," Venters recollects.  "And that's when I knew it was a rare card because they don't say please add a dragon for any old card."

Venters, whom has been creating MTG art since his debut in the 1994 set, Antiquities, is still creating new art for the CCG today with four new pieces soon to debut in Modern Horizons 3.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.