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:
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!
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 Panïvar’s world very soon.
In the meantime, I love you all.