Alexstrasza is one of World of Warcraft’s most iconic dragons, so it was only fitting that she be put in the centre stage of the MMORPG’s next expansion, Dragonflight.
Bayard Wu is a principal illustrator for Blizzard Entertainment and has made tons of gorgeous artwork for the popular MMORPG. His latest creation is arguably the most important piece of art to come from the Dragonflight expansion, and it’s the Life-Binder Alexstrasza’s key art.
Wu posted a video to his YouTube channel showing how he created the key art from start to finish. He gave a behind-the-scenes look at the painstaking process of making such an enormous image, as he went through the stages of rough outline sketches of Alexstrasza’s human and dragon forms, to fill out the colours of their bodies, and then colouring in the background and the other dragons off in the distance.
Overall, the artwork took 30 hours in total. Bayard spared viewers a 30-hour video and sped it up so that the video came in at just under an hour.
One of the most shocking parts comes at the 53-minute mark when Wu changes the posture of the Queen of the Dragons extremely late into the design process. Although it seems nearly impossible to pull a manoeuvre like that so late into the design Bayard manages it by rotating Alexstrasza’s torso to be more upright, then completely redrawing her legs in order to fit the new positioning.
The final product is a breathtaking illustration of the Red Aspect. Her updated character model has tons of new gold accents like in her horns, gear, and staff, which truly help her stand out.