Return of the Baron

So you may have just seen Wizards reveal a new Baron Sengir painting by me. Is it real? Is it digital or traditional? Buckle up…

Back in the ancient times – we like to call them “2019” – Commander Legends was announced with a preview of two pieces of art – one of which was a new Baron Sengir.

Now, I liked the new art, but the Baron was my most iconic character for Magic and not being asked to do a new version left me very crestfallen. I thought about talking to Wizards to see if there was any option to do an alternative version. But November was filled with four shows, and then December was… well, December.

Somewhere in the chaos of late December, I dropped Sandra Everingham a line. Sandra has returned to working full time at Wizards and was also the AD that originally assigned me the Baron waaaay back in 1995. I wanted to see if an alt art piece was feasible but it turned out the set had already gone to press. So I asked if a prerelease promo was possible and this suggestion was meant with an emphatic “YES!”.

Dawn Murin assigned me the piece and guided me through some of the weird new steps in submitting art to Wizards that have been introduced in the nine years since I did artwork for them. The art description was clearly the same as the original, so I opted to go for an interior shot of the castle, possibly a crypt, and I wanted to throw in a whole bunch more skulls because a) skulls are fun and b) the Baron probably has quite the collection.

So, the first checkmark for you collectors is yes, it’s traditional. It’s painted in acrylics on gessoboard. It is also significantly larger than the original Baron; this new one is 24″ by 18″. The current collector market seems hungry for larger pieces, so I have been dabbling with working larger and frankly trying to work as small as I used to just isn’t feasible with my fifty year old eyes.

Will it be auctioned? Yes, eventually. But this is where things get a little tricky –

When I was painting the piece, my life was beset with some unexpected complexities, chief one of which was helping my wife recover from a back injury that briefly hospitalized her. The schedule got tighter and my crazy insistence of indulging in skulls (about seventy of them) was biting me in the ass. Eventually I had to make the decision to scan the piece and complete it digitally to meet the deadline. An additional thank you to Dawn for helping me wrangle the painting through its revisions to make it so much better.

So, bad news – the painting remains about 75% finished. Good news – I can compare hi res prints of the digital version to ensure the finished acrylic painting matches. Even better news: I’m going to be adding more details and subtle elements that would have been completely lost on the card reproduction.

I’m so glad they let me revisit the Baron. The only thing that I think could have made it better would have been an austere vertical version with those neat transparent text boxes and full bleed art. Maybe next time, huh? 😉

TL;DR Painting is real, acrylic on gessoboard, 18″ by 24″. Auction will occur after painting is completed.

~ by Pete Venters on August 22, 2020.

3 Responses to “Return of the Baron”

  1. […] But the story Sengir, the Dark Baron comes with a twist. […]

  2. I was quite outraged when Gavin spoiled the art for the baron and it wasn’t yours! When i started Magic back in 95 the baron was one of the coolest cards around and the art is still one of my absolute favorite Magic arts. I was absolutely thrilled that you got the chance to do another baron painting and it’s so awesome that you made the choice to do it inside the castle this time.

    It’s things like this new art by you and the new art by Mark Tedin and Richard Kane Ferguson that help keep me invested in the game.

    Thanks for the great art.

  3. […] quite the story about this new artwork as well, and you can read a short recap on his blog. Later this year I’ll join forces with Pete to tell the whole story start to finish, including […]

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