Mattias Frisk's "Exorcism" is one of the more striking artworks in Sorcery: Contested Realm TCG's Alpha debut. It was one that game creator Erik Oloffson had been keeping held very close to the vest until he surprised fans with revealing it just recently (for reference, this is being written on 26 Dec 2022) in the latest Table Top Simulator update, which included the vast majority of cards expected for Alpha.
I have had the great pleasure of working with Mattias to offer a few of his paintings for auction via the Sorcery: Contested Realm Fan Page & Marketplace Group on Facebook and through the Collector Arthouse Discord. The first offered was Mattias' epic "Minor Explosion" original painting. The second will be his personal favorite, "Exorcism"!
Here is the story behind the artwork in artist Mattias Frisk's own words:
[It was a] quite clear brief on both death and exorcism, I kind of see them as a pair since they were ordered at the same time, and I worked on them about the same period.
Exorcism is my favorite of the ones I made for Sorcery and probably one of the best illustrations I've made, I think it turned out as I imagined it.
Erik just had one feedback on it, he wanted me to do the demons more spirit-like so they would not look undead.
If you look at the sketch its a bit more zombie-like...
Process is similar to many others. a grisaille underpainting, first in acrylics and then a few details in oil I think... not sure actually , then a few layers of transparent glazing in oil. At last finishing up with opaque oil painting. This is mostly the highlight whites and the hand. When working in oils you get an uneven gloss depending on how much medium and how much linseed oil is in the paint.
To be able to take a good picture of the final painting I most often need to put a matte varnish on top of the painting. this takes away a bit of the depth in color unfortunately, but not much. I think it gives the oil a more acrylic-like finish, but even better than a 100% acrylic painting would look in terms of color depth saturation.
Also regarding this painting : In my mind it's a little bit more "free" than my commissions usually are, I worked much more intuitively and in dialogue with the painting, more painting process than usual (look at process images from Wrath of the sea, zombies, flashfires and you get what I mean)
That's perhaps why I'm quite fond of this one [Exorcism] personally, the painting process was more creative than the sketching part... The overall structure was set from the start but I figured out the features of the demon faces along the way. I like how the main demon looking at the cross turned out and also the ones at the bottom (to be hidden under the text box)