The Breakdown: Commander 2019 Preview Edition

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Sean Sevestre made his debut in Magic art in 2016 in the set Shadows Over Innistrad with the art for the transform card Startled Awake/Persistent Nightmare. Card size definitely doesn’t do some pieces justice, sometimes you just miss things that the artist may have been trying to show you; and this is definitely one of them. We can see in the art a woman, awoken in the middle of the night, bottles on the nightstand, with a hazy childlike ghost extending a wicked sharp finger towards the woman. I never noticed, due to the aforementioned card size issue, that some of the blue ghost aura almost seems to be coming out of the bottle. Maybe the woman is haunted by them, being the alcohol, as much as the spirit itself. The rough brush strokes of the whole scene really help convey the feeling of just waking up and recovering from a disturbing nightmare.

Persistent Nightmare by Sean Sevestre, (Digital)

Persistent Nightmare by Sean Sevestre, (Digital)

Sean’s next card was in the Kaladesh set, on the card Elegant Edgecrafters. The elves of Kaladesh are inspired by nature in the creation of their inventions. Here we have two elves, artificers, and though they are obviously wielding weapons I don’t get the feeling that anyone is attacking anybody in this painting. 

I am a big fan of the use of color and style in this piece. Sean’s previous work was very monochromatic; mainly blue. Elegant Edgecrafters also takes the rough brushstrokes to another level. The effect is very much like impasto painting, where traditionally paint is put down so you can see the texture and brush strokes. As this piece is digital all of the texture you see in the painting is very intentional on the part of the artist. In the background specifically you can see from very loose, and very textured areas of color. The figure itself is rendered so that their detail contrasts the background, really making the figure stand out. The Shadows Over Innistrad work and this one both deal with figures in the art, this piece however is very different as it uses the complementary colors of red and green. The red bits really catch the attention of the viewer as they contrast against the greens around the two elves, making sure the elves really stand out as creatures.

Elegant Edgecrafters by Sean Sevestre (Digital)

Elegant Edgecrafters by Sean Sevestre (Digital)

Sean Sevestre wouldn’t have another Magic art piece on a card for three years. So with that in mind, I’m excited to show his newest piece and TokyoMTG’s preview card for Commander 2019, Thalia’s Geistcaller!


Here Sean is painting another humanoid figure, but it’s done differently than his previous paintings. The scene is again very blue, but we see a more broad palette of colors than we did in Startled Awake/Persistent Nightmare, though not as eye catching as the red and greens in Elegant Edgecrafters. There’s a common element in his creature cards though so far; Persistent Nightmare, the figure in the back on Elegant Edgecrafters and Thalia’s Geistcaller are all gazing at the viewer. Eye contact is important as it gives us a focal point and helps us make a connection with the creature on the card.

Like his other works this scene doesn’t feel dangerous, even though the figure is holding a weapon; I don’t feel like violence is imminent. That said the strength of the figure is obvious and the confidence with which they hold the weapon really belies the 3 power it has. We also see another rendition of a spirit in this piece as well. Like Startled Awake it’s hovering behind the main figure, though it isn’t as prominent as the bright blue spirit from before, it is not threatening and it serves to illustrate Thalia’s Geistcaller’s ability to generate Spirit tokens..

If you’re interested in more of Sean Sevestre’s work, his website is linked here and he has a Youtube channel here with several videos talking about art instruction, his process, and some other humorous videos. I’m excited to see more work from Sean in the future and of course what else is in store for Commander 2019!