Working on alters shouldn’t be about getting everything right on the first time. When it comes to doing art, part of the fun, to me, is the learning process. When you find out why things aren’t working the way you want them to, then you’ll be able to use what you learned in the future. If you don’t have references or a base to fall back on when you get stuck on something, you’re projects will just be frustrating.
Working with transparent colors
A difficult part of card alters is that you want to have the paint to be be flat. That means you need to get as close as possible to the color you want the first time. When you work with colors that are naturally transparent this can be difficult to achieve. If you start with a light grey base and then work it up to white you’ll be able to put the correct color on top of that. This is going to involve a lot of thin layers, gradually lightening to white with each pass.
“I’m just starting. What cards should I practice on?”
Whatever cards you want.
Within reason. I wouldn’t suggest working on a ‘Jace, the Mind-Sculptor’ as your first alter. If you practice on cards that have artwork at interests you, you’ll be more interested in the project. Let’s be honest it can get pretty boring just painting dark border extensions all the time. You don’t have to limit yourself to following the alter rules either. They are there for tournament legality, but if you’re planning on doing alters for Commander or your Cube, have fun! Who knows, you could come up with the next big thing that everyone else will copy.
” I’m doing 3D alters and having problems matching the colors of my markers with the cut edges of the cards. It seems like i would need hundreds of different markers to match everything. Doesn’t help to be R/G colorblind. Any tips of tricks that could help? Thanks! “
When you’re working with 3D alters you don’t really care about the thickness of the cards. I like to use paint to color the edges when I’m doing nicer 3Ds. Since you don’t care about the thickness you can just go buy cheap craft paints and match the colors as close as possible that way. You also don’t have to be careful when you apply paint. If you dab/blotch some paint on and then wipe off the top of the card the paint should stick to the cut parts and come of clean of the printed card. This really helps to get into the tight corners.
If you’re worried about not being able to match the colors because of being colorblind you could try to open the card in a photo editor, use the ink dropper tool and read the RBG to see what the color is. Also, just plain black doesn’t look terrible to cover the edges. It helps add depth to the artwork and if you use it for the whole card it will keep things consistent. I use black edges for my basic 3D alters.