Surveying His Domain

Illustration of a scarred wolf-like creature; glowing hot magma can be seen beneath the scars and in his eyes; he is walking in a green wilderness with mountains in the background

Saying that it hasn’t been the best of times would be an understatement. It hasn’t all been bad. One of the changes that has occurred over the past couple of years that I didn’t mention before has been finding someone for me. It happened completely by accident — at least from my end. We started talking because of our mutual interest in art, and it just went from there. This is for her as a thank you for putting up with me; she deserves it.

I did, however, mention that I would paint shortly before bed most nights. What can be seen above is the result of these late night painting sessions. People who also follow me on Instagram have been getting snippets of my progress on this painting for well over half a year. Yeah, I have been working on this in some form or another since at latest June of 2016, perhaps earlier. I don’t quite remember. It has gone through several revisions and changes through this period, so I cannot even give a ballpark figure as to how much time I spent on this. Let’s just say a lot even though I worked on it here and there.

The painting is my imagining of the world of a story and a character she has been working on and has illustrated herself some already. The area is called The Columns because of the stark vertical pillar-shaped mountains. The wolf-like figure in the foreground is named Silence who rules over this landscape. Ever since seeing her own paintings of Silence I was interested in having a go at it because of the opportunity to experiment with lighting. He emits his own light due to the hot magical magma and fire escaping from him. My initial idea was to paint him only being lit by himself using smoke as a surface to bounce light off of, but she started explaining to me the world he inhabits; the wheels started to turn in my mind, resulting in this landscape. It ended up being the perfect thing for me to paint because it combines multiple things I’ve painted before into one piece: I experimented with trees in The Enmity of the Maples and with grass and mountains with Libertad. I believe I’ve improved from both of those.

As said my original idea was to experiment with light, and I still have been able do that. The background is in light while the foreground isn’t. I didn’t set out to experiment with that sort of composition; it was out of necessity. I needed Silence to be in darkness so I could show the light coming from him while having the landscape behind him lit.

The original image is 12,000 × 5136 pixels at an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of roughly 2.35:1 reminiscent of the old epic cinema landscapes shot in that manner; that makes it roughly 40″ × 17.12″ at 300 d.p.i. (101.6 cm × 43.49 cm at 118.11 It uses 16-bit per channel color and is the largest Photoshop document I’ve created to date at 5.03 GB because of the combination of the large size, that high color gamut, and the numerous amount of layers I used. I intend on getting it printed someday soon, and I will update this when that occurs with an image of the print.