Late on Sunday April 11, 2021, the original artwork for Losheel, Clockwork Scholar by Daniel Zrom was sold for an incredible $25,000 on the MTG Art Market.

Losheel, Clockwork Scholar, oil primed paper, 12” x 16”

Losheel, Clockwork Scholar by Daniel Zrom is a work of oil on primed paper and measures 12 inches by 16 inches. It was commissioned for the upcoming Commander 2021 release and resides in the Lorehold deck, Lorehold Legacies, which becomes available later this month. It is the artist’s second published Magic card, and his first original Magic painting to be sold.

The original artwork was offered on the MTG Art Market via auction, with Vorthos Mike acting as agent for the artist for the first time. The opening bid ask was $5,000 and was met quickly, but less than a half dozen bids came in following its initial opening—that is until the final night.

About an hour and a half before scheduled end, a $10,000 private bid was placed, and that seemed to ignite the powder keg. At that point the increments became $500 at a minimum and sometimes moved by the thousands, as two private bidders exchanged raises all the while the clock began to run out. It was the final $25,000 bid, jumping from $20,500, which finally sealed the deal on this brand new painting. What an unexpected fireworks show it was!

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The devil is in the details they say, and as you see above this painting has more than any painting I can recall in recent memory. Zrom’s attention to the little things is no doubt was set this sale in motion, and the auction listing included a short interview about exactly what we’re seeing here. Daniel said:

I am aware of how crazy I go with details, at this point I have realized that I cannot solve this obsession, it’s not intentional at all. It is just the way my brain works, and the way my eyes see. I pay close attention to details and textures anywhere I see. I love to imagine how everything I paint would feel to the touch.

During my university years, I focused on analyzing and studying 19th-century art and became obsessed with Alma-Tadema and a very unknown painter from my city, Jimenez Aranda, and these two are probably the ones who got me into little details. I know those details don’t show in the cards, and yes I know they are not necessary, and yes, this is a big problem for my working times and my wallet, as I cannot take many commissions (notice that I’m doing only one card for the sets, and sometimes none at all) But in the end, I paint for myself, and take it very seriously. Either I do my best or don´t.

I tend to learn as much as possible and absorb information from everything I do to apply it to my work. for example, I love historical fashion, and the shirt I used as a reference for this painting I hand-sewed it myself. This has given me a lot of information on how fabric behaves, how it gathers, how it stitches, and the final touches look when done by hand. Applying all this information was just so much fun!

Regarding this painting, I really enjoyed imagining how those parchments would behave, the wear they would have. the old books feeling, and the weight of her tools. But what I most enjoyed was experimenting on that background, trying to create space and air behind her using very little differences on the values and pushing the vibrant hues on the edges just to see if it works.

As a final note, yes, I waste a detail brush per painting.

It’s only April, and this is very possibly going to be the strongest Magic: the Gathering artwork of year. I’ll be writing about it in an upcoming Grand Art Tour. Stay tuned.

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