General The Alter Thread

This thread was requested so now I'm making one :)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Show off your altered MtG cards here. Preferably the ones you have in your cube :p

Here are some of my favorite colored cards


Isamaru, Hound of Konda by CardKitty
Isamaru, Hound of Konda.jpg

Path to Exile in foil by Jérõme Turcotte
Path to Exile.jpg

Oblivion Ring by CardKitty
Oblivion Ring.png

Ponder by Toni Micol
Ponder.jpg

Counterspell in foil by Jérõme Turcotte
Counterspell.jpg

Fact or Fiction in foil by Malte Bigup
Fact or Fiction.jpg

Toxic Deluge by Dustin Bossard
Toxic Deluge.jpg

Lotus Cobra by Sandreline Moussé
Lotus Cobra.jpg

Abrupt Decay in foil by Malte Bigup
Abrupt Decay.jpg
 
Here are some of my favorite colorless cards


Sensei's Divining Top by Jei Linan
Sensei's Divining Top.jpg

Ancient Tomb by CardKitty
Ancient Tomb.jpg

City of Traitors by CardKitty
City of Traitors.jpg

Bayou by CardKitty
Bayou.jpg

Tundra by CardKitty
Tundra.jpg

Taiga by CardKitty
Taiga.jpg

Plateau by CardKitty
Plateu.jpg
 
Good golly. Certainly didn't waste any time with showing off as many cards as possible :) A lot of cool ones. I do like alters with totally new art, really adds another layer of uniqueness

Here's one that I've had for a while, and remains one of my faves. It's fairly unique in that it's one of the only alters I've purchased from Etsy, along with Tormenting Voice.
img_20160809_0001-jpg.1118
 
I gave my likes to the first two posts, because that Lotus Cobra and that SDT are amazing!

I run no alters myself, so I don't really have anything else to add, but feel free to post more sweet alters :)
 
These are fantastic. I don't actually have any alters in my cube, I mostly try to foil it out whenever I can. I'm up to around 328/408 possible, the hardest part is going to be the land section though :confused:
 
Here's a couple more of my favorites. The Starry Night top was a birthday present from gasp I think.. 2 years ago. And the Stuffy Doll! Very cute and unique art for a brainstorm
TopStuffy.JPG
 
These two share the honor of being some of my only alter-art impulse buys; usually I toss things into my watch list for a week at least :p
The stark contrast of the single bloom against the winter scene really drew me to the Tender, she seems much more earnest about tending blooms in that atmosphere.
The ooze is my only foil alter (and my only card from Israel!), and the acidic corrosion look is really outstanding. My scanner does not do it justice..
TenderOoze.JPG
 
I was altering cards just before I went to university, stopped playing Magic competitively and started just collecting cards for cube or EDH, but never really got many cards altered for my own cube. I'd much rather use my time painting alters for commissions, and I was never a fan of running alters if I could run foils.

These are the ones that I still run:
photo_2018-04-27_12-43-56.jpg
photo_2018-04-27_12-43-59.jpg
These were actually commissions by a friend of mine, just before we joined our collections to start building the cube. They are among the first commissions I ever painted.

photo_2018-04-27_12-43-53.jpg
Wastelands were a bit away from our purchase power for a while, so we got a huge amount of cheap-ass World Championship Deck Wastelands at some point. I didn't like the gold borders very much, so I got rid of them.

photo_2018-04-27_12-44-00.jpg
These are some of the last alters I've made for my cube. I had already decided that I liked foils more than borderless alters. I had seen some interesting minimalist alters and decided to try my hand at it.

photo_2018-04-27_12-44-03.jpg
These are from the same batch as the previous one, but I got them signed by Jesper Ejsing last GP Copenhagen

photo_2018-04-27_12-44-02.jpg
These are the only two alters that I run that I haven't painted myself. I got them altered by Raymond Swanland in the second GP that I ever participated (and the first one that I played; previously, I had participated in another one, but because some of the organizers knew my work and wanted me to join and alter cards during the event, since there was no actual artist joining).

This Wurmcoil Engine is one of my absolute favorite cards, and like I mentioned in a few GRBS threads before, my cube was originally designed to make Wurmcoil Engine into a great card, but not a ridiculously powerful card.
 

James Stevenson

Steamflogger Boss
Staff member
These are outstanding, Vince. I'm really impressed, I wish I had skills like that. What's your technique? I always wonder how it works, working on these tiny pieces of cardboard.
 
x0pyySR.jpg
Qiib3u9.jpg
l3OctjM.jpg


I painted alters for a few months a couple years ago and these are my 3 best. Admittedly I have none of these cards in my cube!

The winter orb is the only time I painted "new" artwork instead of just extending the artwork. At the time (before EMA) this art was only available as an MTGO promo and I never was too fond of the polar bears.

If I ever try altering again I'm buying much smaller brushes.
 
These are outstanding, Vince. I'm really impressed, I wish I had skills like that. What's your technique? I always wonder how it works, working on these tiny pieces of cardboard.

Thanks a lot!

I'm not sure if I had a specific technique, but I'd usually would just mix a bunch of paints and throw them in the card with fine brushes. I know that some people erased parts of the card they'd paint over, or do multiple layers. I usually did as few layers as possible, and I'd avoid base coats for alters that will use darker paints.

I honestly don't think you need to be extremely skillful to do an alter, because people overlook tons of details. Especially colors. It takes some amount of training and the right light to notice some subtle color differences. What took me the most time to learn was how to mix the paints to get the right colors, thought it helped me that I was studying a bit of color theory and anatomy drawing, but if you already have any artistic training, it really shouldn't be that hard to do it.

If you have a set of acrylic paints laying around (but not the ones with a glossy plastic finish, because those look like crap on alters), I'd suggest you to just get some brushes, go to a well lit place (either with some sunlight, or with a super-bright white lamp) and throw some paint over your cards too! The first 5 or so are guaranteed to look like crap, the next 10 will look OK, and by the time you paint your 50th card, you'll probably already know what you are doing well, and what you need to improve at.

And to wrap up the post, I found pictures of some altered cards that have been in my cube before, but ended up getting removed:


wasteland paint.jpg

I'll start with these two that I posted before and technically haven't been removed. I did remove the golden borders from the cube, though, so I'm saying it counts.


2013-02-14232626.jpg
Remember the time we used to power-max and this guy was a great white weenie card?

2013-05-06193445.jpg
The Wild Nacatl from the last post was wielding the two swords available at the time, but the Knight of Meadowgrain had the honor of carrying the fork of power.


2013-02-27035115.jpg

This is the same Mana Vault I posted before. I was trying to get rid of as many of the white bordered cards as I could, but it made sense to maintain it for the Winter Orb :)


cursedsaved.jpg

Before and after pictures of this Cursed Scroll restoration project :D

WorldMoxDiamond.jpg
Technically, this alter was never in my cube, but the card was. I took this out after I got the FTV:Relics Mox Diamond for my cube, then painted and sold this one. This was one of the last alters I've ever painted, and probably the prettiest one as well.

The stars were made by splattering paint with a toothbrush. A technique that I also used in the two wastelands.
 

James Stevenson

Steamflogger Boss
Staff member
Thanks a lot!

I'm not sure if I had a specific technique, but I'd usually would just mix a bunch of paints and throw them in the card with fine brushes. I know that some people erased parts of the card they'd paint over, or do multiple layers. I usually did as few layers as possible, and I'd avoid base coats for alters that will use darker paints.

I honestly don't think you need to be extremely skillful to do an alter, because people overlook tons of details. Especially colors. It takes some amount of training and the right light to notice some subtle color differences. What took me the most time to learn was how to mix the paints to get the right colors, thought it helped me that I was studying a bit of color theory and anatomy drawing, but if you already have any artistic training, it really shouldn't be that hard to do it.

If you have a set of acrylic paints laying around (but not the ones with a glossy plastic finish, because those look like crap on alters), I'd suggest you to just get some brushes, go to a well lit place (either with some sunlight, or with a super-bright white lamp) and throw some paint over your cards too! The first 5 or so are guaranteed to look like crap, the next 10 will look OK, and by the time you paint your 50th card, you'll probably already know what you are doing well, and what you need to improve at.

Cool. I'll have to give it a go at some point :) Thanks!
 
Top