Illustration: PanĂŻvar, the Broken Promise đź’Ž

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Man, am I hap­py to final­ly be able to write these lines. My first illus­tra­tion for my per­son­al project ​“Beneath Two Pale Suns” is fin­ished!

I start­ed draw­ing Panï­var back in Feb­ru­ary 2018, and — all things con­sid­ered — I must have sunk between 35 to 40 hours into this art­work, mak­ing it my most time-con­sum­ing paint­ing yet.

But now, I am ready for you guys and gals to meet her. With­out fur­ther ado, here is Panï­var, the Bro­ken Promise:

1 Paniivar, The Broken Promise

Hum­ble beginnings

It all start­ed when I wrote a sto­ry for the NoSleep Pod­cast: my sto­ry ​“Word & Col­or” (which you can read for free) fea­tures a pro­tag­o­nist being mag­i­cal­ly trans­port­ed into a strange and des­o­late desert where he hap­pens upon a gigan­tic, eldritch being speak­ing a pow­er­ful word in an alien lan­guage. I received a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back for the sto­ry, and ever since then, my mind kept vis­it­ing this name­less place in idle moments. 

At the begin­ning of 2018, my life was in a lit­tle bit of an upheaval (under­state­ment of the year) and I couldn’t respon­si­bly take on com­mis­sions. The stress­es I under­went at the time would have pre­vent­ed me from pro­vid­ing my usu­al lev­el of quality.

But out of some idle sketch­es from that time grew a con­cept, and the idea of Panï­var was born!


(I wrote more about the sketch in my blog before)

With this sketch, I already nailed down some things I knew about her:

  • Panï­var col­lects the ener­gy released when a promise is broken
  • she stores that ener­gy in the crys­tals that sur­round her
  • she can — among oth­er things — fly!

Her con­cept, how­ev­er, grew as the paint­ing pro­gressed. As you can plain­ly see, this paint­ing is set against a night sky in the desert, but when I start­ed out, it was actu­al­ly daytime!

PanĂŻvar - Inbetween

In that stage of the draw­ing, Rachel Bradley just so hap­pened to make a call­out on her Twit­ter offer­ing free paintovers. An offer I glad­ly took her up on!

The first thing she sug­gest­ed was set­ting the scene at night, which I prompt­ly did! The dark back­ground works as a con­trast to her pale skin, auto­mat­i­cal­ly draw­ing the view­ers eye to the focal point of the painting.

As soon as I changed the image accord­ing­ly, the rest fell into place quite quick­ly, and it was just a mat­ter of putting in the hours until the paint­ing was done!

Part of a greater world

Panï­var is the first glimpse into the odd world of ​“Beneath Two Pale Suns”, and the first in a long list of beings I call the Sun­dered. They are pow­er­ful qua­si-gods that rule their domains, undis­turbed and unfazed by humans, but some­times twist­ed by their own power.

She plays an impor­tant part in that world, and I wrote her back­ground sto­ry here for you to read:

What I learned

While work­ing on this piece, I learned a lot of valu­able skills I can’t wait to bring to my next painting:

  • Patience. When you put a lot of work into a paint­ing, it will show
  • Val­ues. In art, val­ues describe how ​“bright” or ​“dark” a cer­tain col­or is. Pay­ing atten­tion to val­ues means employ­ing con­trast to high­light the parts of the paint­ing you deem impor­tant. It also makes for bet­ter-bal­anced art­work. I learned a lot about val­ues dur­ing this paint­ing, the most impor­tant les­son prob­a­bly being how much I still have to learn
  • Anato­my. The human body proves a myr­i­ad of chal­lenges to the artist, and explor­ing and mas­ter­ing them is one the most fun things you can do

I hope you enjoy this paint­ing and I promise I have much more to share from PanĂŻvar’s world very soon.

In the mean­time, I love you all.