The Sage was the first human I got to paint for Magic and his card was my first taste of the off-beat groups of gamers growing up around the game: It was at the Essen toy fair in 94 or 95 where I met a young French guy who not only collected dozens of the Sage of Lat-Nam, but the card had become the official mascot of his gaming group who had named themselves “The School of Lat-Nam”. He was delighted at the opportunity to get a boatload of Sages signed.
I’ve no idea what became of that group but I did think about them when I was working as story lead on Alliances, where I reintroduced Lat Nam. Hopefully it gave them all a big grin.
Anyway, jumping to 2005, I did a private commission of the Sage and this time I got him up out of that seat. I figured he’d be grateful after being stuck in it for twelve years. This piece was done entirely in pencil. Scanning and making the image look good for the web makes the pencil work look darker than on the original piece.
Here’s a nice close up of his face. I think that facial expression tells you all you need to know about the wisdom of pestering the Sage while he’s reading… several books… simultaneously.