Where Art Thou Michal Vondracek

Most Dark Sun art that is well done can be found among the many publications for the setting. So when there are artists creating Dark Sun pieces on there own, it’s always great to see since they may have new takes on the setting. I mentioned one already, but there is another that must be included on the list of the great: Michal Vondracek.

Michal Vondracek created 24 Dark Sun images in 2009 and posted them on a graphics website called GFXartist under the user name “gandhi“. Unfortunately, the site has closed, though there is still a page announcing its closure and it seems they are looking for a buyer to take the reins.

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The work is excellent as each piece is quite detailed and several provide new impressions to classic creatures. Here is the list of each Dark Sun image and my thoughts where I thought one necessary.

  1. Athasian Druid
  2. Athasian Elf – Amazing costuming.
  3. Athasian Hobbit
  4. Athasian Thri-kreen
  5. Baazrag – This peice has a creature based on one found in Brom’s “The Passage” (cover of the 2e original boxed set). Brom’s creature was likely the beginning concept for the anakore, but between 1991 and 1992 the term “baazrag” was associated to this creature until it was assigned to the smaller animal in Dragon 185.
  6. Belgoi – A very unique interpretation of this classic Dark Sun creature.
  7. Blitz Wenzer – The subject’s stance is part menacing, part ceremonial dance, and wholly excellent.
  8. Boneclaw – Rarely do we see a sense of scale in monsters other than in the text description. I like how this boneclaw (though really it’s more of the size of a true baazrag – see above) is clearly seen as minuscule. We’ve seen a sense of scale before for the baazrag in the Dragon 185 article “Mastered, Yet Untamed” but I this piece is more dynamic and in color to boot.
  9. Brother Soy
  10. Charge – I always imagined this leader is from Draj (lovely helm plumage).
  11. Dwarven Banshee – Seeing the muscle of the face really hit home the undeath.
  12. Dwarves concept – I wish I had a higher res version of the Athasian Dwarf. The jaw bone part of the helm sells it.
  13. Gith
  14. Good Morning Athas – Fantastic facial expression, great costuming, and a well-done, tough-looking 4e half-giant.
  15. Hulk – The point of view makes this image have even more impact.
  16. Jhakar
  17. Kank Bug
  18. Kestrekel Flock
  19. Lirr – Though not a colorful as one might expect, an intriguing interpretation.
  20. Tari – Best Tari image there is (compare to the Tari image in MC2).
  21. Tchowb – Interesting, and better than Baxa’s version in MC1.
  22. Tembo – I like the quill-like “fur”.
  23. Tithian the High Templar – There are few images of Tithian (e.g. Freedom’s Part 43, and Brom’s “Desert Realms”/Obsidian Oracle Cover), but this one is the best and great in showing him in all his self-enacted splendor.
  24. War Drik – Perhaps the greatest of all the pieces, this war drik in action shows how effective (and terrifying) one can be.
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