Aug 222020

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.

From the Vault: The Family Sengir (1996)

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Oct 212010

I’m a little too busy to tackle the Baron repaint right now, so I thought I’d share with you one of the few additional Baron images I painted over a decade ago. This one was published in the Duelist and I’d thought it accompanied an article for the launch of Homelands. However, the year on the art says 1996 so I guess the article may have been a story review to help fill in the blanks for people. I’ll have to see if I can dig up that issue. Lord knows where I stored my Duelists…

So, presenting the Family Sengir –

The Baron and his inner circle.

This is the only time I’ve ever painted the Baron accompanied by ‘Granny’ and Irini. Also I got to include his adviser, the Sengir Autocrat (originally painted by David A. Cherry), and his henchman, Veldrane of Sengir (originally painted by Susan Van Camp).

W.I.P. ““ Weighing the Options for the New Baron

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Oct 182010

Thank you all for your feedback!

Unsurprisingly, the vote favored a new pose for the Baron which is probably for the best. However, the issue of whether to include a sword split the ranks pretty evenly so I’m leaving that option open for now.

Now to address a few things directly;
Trees, skulls, swords, and no feet to be found!

Oct 122010

October 1995 saw the release of the Homelands expansion for Magic the Gathering. While the set was unpopular with players, it remains one of my favorites because I was given the opportunity to bring to unlife Magic’s First Family of vampires – the Sengir family, and most importantly, their patriarch Baron Sengir.

Baron Sengir (1995)

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