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Author Topic: JSH's Art Rankings  (Read 65869 times)

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jsh357

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JSH's Art Rankings
« on: July 21, 2014, 05:42:28 pm »
+36

This is a thread in which I am going to give a comprehensive ranking of the aesthetic values of card art in Dominion. I don't want this to be seen in any way as trying to degrade actual discussion. Indeed, that is one of my favorite things about this site. Yet I am still doing this - what's the difference? There are a few key differences: This is purely my own rankings, not composited with other people; this is purely because I'm procrastinating from real work; this includes all artists into a single comprehensive list; I'm only looking at the entire scope of art with all cards (not by expansion). I will also probably not have coherent descriptions on each card. Anyway, on to the list!  Note: for the purposes of sanity, I am not including the base treasure and victory cards that are just numbers; I will, however, include the updated Base Cards art.

Big thanks to dominion.diehrstraits.com for making it possible for me to do this while eating a bag of Doritos and playing Minesweeper on my phone.  Extra thanks to the various artists of Dominion card art, without whom none of this would exist, and even if I poke fun, I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to get their art out there.  Honorable mention/apologies to WW; I have a terrible sense of humor.

If you hate this and I should feel bad, I'll promise to stop.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 05:42:40 pm »
+10

PART 1: THE BOTTOM TIER



241. Candlestick Maker

This is the first Dominion card that I looked at and immediately didn't like at all aesthetically.  I can appreciate that the "Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker" are attempting to be a fairy tale type thing and have their own cartoony look to get that across, but the biggest problem here is just the slant of the guy's head.  What's wrong?  Is he hurt?  Is he sick?  The background looks okay, but so many style points are lost by the pose that it makes the bottom of the list.
240. Envoy

I mean, do I even have to say it?  Just look at his expression!  Envoy of Derponia, I'm guessing.  This guy doesn't have a clue, and he won't be winning any fashion shows any time soon.
239. Harem

OK, look.  Real talk here.  I have nothing against Kalusky's art style in particular.  He does an interesting wacky style that I can get behind in the right environment.  The problem is when you try and put that style in Dominion, which has more of a classical feel.  It doesn't help that nobody in this Harem looks like a gal I'd be paying to see, if you know what I mean.  $6 is rather pricey all things considered.  I'll give this art one thing: the girl on the left has a great facial expression that makes me grin on occasion.
238. Chancellor

There's something to be said about how worn down and droopy this guy looks, but... well, he looks a bit too much like Droopy Dog.  The choice of hat is plain, the robes are unnatural, and nothing about this guy is right.  I wouldn't even be surprised if he were a cardboard cutout posing as a politician, which might be appropriate considering what the card does.
237. Shanty Town

It's a funny scene, like a beggar comes knocking at the guy's door asking for cash and he's all 'do you even know where you are?'  However, like Harem, the clash with all of the other cards makes this one rub me the wrong way.  Funnily, the Shanty Town itself looks really good for what it is.  It's just the people turning this in to a mediocre image.
236. Scout
I hate to put a meme card this early in the list.  I love the jokes myself.  That said, the art on this one never impressed me much.  This Scout looks so terribly bored with his job, almost like he knows how useless he really is.  The snow scenery is nice, but the hands are all wrong, his face is too weird, and his clothes are so last winter.
235. Butcher
Again, it all comes down to being jarring in the full set here.  I like the bald head, I like the super-long pig being slaughtered, but let's face it, you wouldn't see this guy chilling out with Junk Dealer and Herbalist.  In fact, I imagine with that pale skin tone he spends a whole lot of time in there whacking at chickens.  He'd probably have enough free time to code his own Dominion sim.
234. Woodcutter
Everybody knows the joke with this one already, but in case you don't fall under that category, just take a hard look at this art.  How does the saw's position make any sense?  That's not how you cut wood.  I know, cause I had to do it once.  Never again.  Just look at the wound on the tree and the shape of the tool.  I mean, maybe they're still getting set up, but their poses sure don't say that.  The gold standard for this is of course those two guys in Link to the Past: 
233. Wishing Well
I wish this card looked better.  Eh?  Eh?  Anyone?
232. Navigator
The thing that bothers me about this one is the sky in the back.  There's no detail; it's just like a static blue, at least when compared to the detail seen on other Dominion cards.  Those ropes aren't enough to give me the impression of a fantastic voyage.  If it weren't for that, the style of the card wouldn't actually bother me too much here, but sadly Navigator is doomed.  I don't think he could get a date, much less qualify for Mr. Dominionland.  Also, the position of his right arm is way off what it should be.

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« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 09:09:58 am by jsh357 »
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 05:53:17 pm »
+4

At first glance I think Wishing Well deserves to be higher ranked than that.  That being said, I haven't given too much thought to ranking the artwork, so I will have to look into that

And now that you mention it woodcutter really is quite bad.  I mean, the background leaves don't match the tree which doesn't match the woodcutters themselves. 
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Donald X.

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 06:00:49 pm »
+13

I mean, do I even have to say it?  Just look at his expression!  Envoy of Derponia, I'm guessing.  This guy doesn't have a clue, and he won't be winning any fashion shows any time soon.
You'd raise an eyebrow too if there were a scroll embedded in your hand.

Wishing Well looks quite nice, what's it doing down here. Where is Council Room, the one where the table is in perspective but the chairs are all the same size.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 06:06:41 pm »
0

I mean, do I even have to say it?  Just look at his expression!  Envoy of Derponia, I'm guessing.  This guy doesn't have a clue, and he won't be winning any fashion shows any time soon.
You'd raise an eyebrow too if there were a scroll embedded in your hand.

Wishing Well looks quite nice, what's it doing down here. Where is Council Room, the one where the table is in perspective but the chairs are all the same size.

Some of these placements may be plants intended to cause rage and fervor.  Or are they?  But no, I just don't like the way the people look in the Wishing Well art.  The Well itself?  It's fine. 
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 06:08:08 pm »
+1

I have to agree with e that you've underrated Wishing Well by quite a bit.

A few cards I'd expect to see soon are Remodel (the weird stained-glass shadow always looked weird to me), Hunting Party (just too dark), and Fairgrounds (so drab for something so exciting). Minion is pretty ugly, though I agree not as bad as Envoy.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2014, 06:27:24 pm »
+1

man, envoy is clearly #1. he makes me laugh everytime i look at him.
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Grujah

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 06:40:25 pm »
0

Why am I the only one who actually likes Harem art?
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shraeye

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2014, 07:05:55 pm »
0

candlestick maker is indeed the worst.  Scout's hands be crazy, but Butcher?  That card is awesome.  There are plenty that need to be lower than Butcher.  Butcher could be near the top.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 07:34:19 pm »
+3

I just don't like the way the people look in the Wishing Well art.  The Well itself?  It's fine. 

Wait, there are people in the Wishing Well art?
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 08:59:37 pm »
+1

Dominion has some pretty bad art. I aint gonna lie.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:37 pm »
+1

Dominion has some pretty bad art. I aint gonna lie.

Oh for the text mode of isotropic
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 03:22:37 am »
0

Envoy is actually good, I would easily rank it in the top20 if not top10. Sure, the guy has a funny expression, but aesthetically speaking, few cards have art that powerful.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 04:15:00 am »
+1

The worst art in the german edition is Explorer. I think the Explorer is a women, but the german card says it is a male Explorer. Same with Soothsayer.

Ok, in fact it is not the art, but the translation, but it is strange too.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 07:41:49 am »
+24

There's nothing wrong with the artwork on Explorer. Man, why do people complain about Explorer. They can't all be the best-drawn $5 card ever.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2014, 08:15:57 am »
+7

I like the art on Explorer.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2014, 08:48:06 am »
+3

231. Baker

The final of the trio to appear, Baker still has the style clash issue that the others suffer from, but it fares a little better.  Those globs of bread evoke the feeling of coin tokens well, and her confused and critical expression is both as baffling as it is cute.  The strangest thing about this art is the Baker's neck.  What is she, a giraffe?  I'm not sure they even know how to bake.  You'd better watch out if you go to get a biscuit at this bakery.
230. Prince

Ooh, how controversial!  Let's pick on the new guy!  No, no, it's not that.  Again, I just don't like how the cartoonier style looks compared to the other cards in Dominion.  Prince fares better than most since he's meeting up with a meme reaction image faced Baron here, which evokes jollies in my heart.
229. Steward
I get that the pose is meant to make the guy look snooty, but maybe I never thought of him that way because I was exposed to the isotropic art first.  I'm not sure why Dick Tracy is talking to the Steward either.  This guy doesn't even want to be here, so why should I butter him up and put him higher on the list?
228. Fool's Gold

Admittedly, an artist can only do so much when asked to draw 'a pile of rocks,' but actually I want to place this one here to say I don't care for how the blue and yellow backgrounds on the cards clash.  It has to be some kind of fashion crime unless you're displaying your loyalty to the Ukraine. The image is OK, just dull on the eyes.  I'm sure you guys'll let me know how wrong I am about this one.  WHERE'S COUNCIL ROOM??
227. Sea Hag

In one sense, this card art is a success.  The hag is chubby and looks slightly off-human, and it's a cool setting for the lady.  On the other hand, her face has this weird uncanny valley effect that really throws it off for me.  The fact is, I don't think she'd even make the first step on the stairs to the beauty pageant.  Interesting detail I never noticed about this card art: the moon appears in the background behind her.
226. Baron
Another great meme image.  I know what he looks like, and that's hilarious, but I just can't ignore the shoddy proportions here.  The weird shading on the wall to the Baron's left has always bugged me a little, too, not to mention the design of the windowsill isn't as consistent as it should be.  This is one I've possibly underrated, but in fairness, the art is already starting to improve as we climb the list.
225. Dame Anna
No, no, no!  She closed her eyes and they didn't even get another take?  What photographer was responsible for this one?  He needs to be fired immediately because, otherwise, the picture is quite nice.  Anyone ever noticed how similar her expression is to trollface?


PART 2: NARROWLY AVOIDING THE BOTTOM TIER

224. Counting House
First off: I wonder if this card and Bank got switched around somehow.  Second: The weird paint strokes on the wall look unfinished to me.  It hurts an otherwise solid image somewhat.  Other than that, I do like the perspective on this card, and the victory token on the wall is a nice touch.  The image itself is a little boring aside from those details, and kind of a confusing shot too.  Like, if it's a Counting House, why isn't he carrying money out?  You can barely see what the guys at the desks are doing either.
223. Talisman
It's a big coin, ok, but it took me ages to notice there was a scroll or something on top of it.  Why is there a scroll?  Why does the random presence of a scroll make this and Envoy look so derpy somehow?  I feel like this image could have been more exciting and really evoked the image of a Talisman, but maybe that's me.
222. Sage
The Sage is just a mediocre-looking guy.  He's past his prime and not getting anywhere with the ladies.  Okay, and he also doesn't look sagely at all.  That's really the issue I have here.  When I think of a sage, I think of glorious, whitened hair and a beard full of knowledge, not... this scrawny hunchback guy reading scribbles out of a book.  I think this man may be a poser.

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GendoIkari

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2014, 09:23:02 am »
+1

Every time I look at Talisman I see a giant eye, like one belonging to a lizard or something. I really have to struggle to remind myself that it's a coin.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 09:41:06 am »
+1

Every time I look at Talisman I see a giant eye, like one belonging to a lizard or something. I really have to struggle to remind myself that it's a coin.
yeah, only when I really focus on that can I actually see what it's supposed to be.  That makes it fairly bad art in my view.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2014, 09:46:12 am »
+4

Every time I look at Talisman I see a giant eye, like one belonging to a lizard or something. I really have to struggle to remind myself that it's a coin.

I think it's a talisman, not a coin.
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jsh357

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 10:24:53 am »
+4

221. Haggler

The Haggler is a jolly guy.  I'd probably buy him a burger.  Unfortunately, he's so dingy and washed-out that it's a bit hard for me to appreciate his art to the full extent.  Still, you can't really hate on a guy who's having that good a time getting free stuff with his purchases.
220. Pearl Diver

What's wrong with your face?!  And why is there a trail of bubbles behind him? Granted, I have never done any deep sea diving, but I don't think they'd quite look like that.  I think this Pearl Diver might be poisoning the 8 foot section.
219. Dame Molly
I am aware this is a huge nit-pick, but it bugs me how Dame Molly is only taking up like 1/4 of the image and the rest is just a wasteland.  Shouldn't she be stabbing at an ogre or something?  The art is good; it's just an odd choice to not make her the focal point of the image.
218. Smithy

Anyone else just think these guys are goofy looking?  I actually never noticed until just now that the guy on the left is holding an axe that the Smithy is pounding on.  The Smithy's nose is pretty abnormal too.  He could probably do with some surgery for that.
217. Mint
This picture is one I've always found a little dull.  His clothes are uninteresting to look at and the folds down the chest seem a little off.  At least he has one of the manliest beards in Dominion card art, though.
216. Platinum
So here's the first Base Card.  As one might expect, a lot of these won't rank too highly, although they're decent pictures.  Platinum is just the one I've never cared for out of the set.  Somehow the single piece of Platinum doesn't evoke that feeling of "tons of cash!" like the other Treasures do.  The isotropic art was actually a lot cooler to me, though the color was wrong.
215. Governor
This man's coat is the least fashionable piece of attire I've ever laid eyes on.  How does he hope to govern a nation when he looks THAT uncool?  At least he knows how to hold a pen correctly.  That gets you a long way in politics.
214. Develop
Develop's another one of those 'great concept, meh execution' pictures for me.  The whole thing looks super wavy and the buildings they're looking at just kind of blend in to everything.  I think I'd appreciate the art more blown up and with a bit more distinction between the mountain and the buildings.
213. Dame Josephine
You had better watch out there, Dame.  You're going to put someone's eye out or worse holding the blade that way.
212. Bishop

For some reason, Bishop always struck me as a Magic card reject.  I kind of like how it looks (again, we're climbing the list here) but it always felt a little out of place in the full set.  I do like the colors a lot, though.  The blue background helps to give the card a mysterious feeling.

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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 10:56:00 am »
+2

I love the idea of this list!

I agree that Molly is a bit too inactive in the picture, but I believe those black silhouettes in the background are an army she's leading.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2014, 11:00:07 am »
+1

Huh, you may be right.  To me, it just looked like trees.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2014, 11:06:22 am »
0

I love the idea of this list!

I agree that Molly is a bit too inactive in the picture, but I believe those black silhouettes in the background are an army she's leading.


Funny, I always saw her running away.
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Re: JSH's Art Rankings
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2014, 11:07:23 am »
+2

Pearl Diving can be skin diving from the surface which explains the bubbles and the knife. I can't explain the squarish thing that is presumably an oyster.
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