This image started with me not knowing what to draw.
Like many artists, I have folders upon folders of inspiration saved on my hard drives. Some are artist-specific, some are themed, and some are just random images I found and liked but was too lazy to sort. This image started by looking through one of my landscape photo collections.
The winter-lake image you can see at the bottom center made me stop. Maybe it was the image by itself; maybe it was the soundtrack of “Jotun” by Max LL that I was listening to at the time, which made me pause. Something clicked and I knew I was going for some temple/structure in a lake that would fit into a Conan-like Sword & Sworcery story. With that idea in mind, I collected the other reference images from the web, then I just worked.
The references I used are Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin, Japanese woodcut printmaker Yoshida Hiroshi, and French comic book artist Moebius.
Also, one thing that you’ll probably see reoccurring in future artworks is the exploration of “noise” or “digital texture.”
It’s something that I explored in the past, specifically for some of my bird stylizations. With my current exploration, I’m trying to add texture but to do it more deliberately than the previous technical explorations allowed for.
I’m going to attempt to write stuff every now and then. It’s going to be rough. Read at your own peril.
Read time: ~3-4min
So many lives were lost. What was left of their hope was little more than embers. After days, who knows how many, of unending pounding by this storm, they were the only two left.
Their expedition had started with 72 people; only them, the two who started this disaster, remained. And he had thought they were going to die as well. Had been sure of it more than once. When the rope connecting him to Nathanial had slackened, he had been certain that he wouldn’t be able to raise Nathaniel back up again when he reached him. He could barely keep himself up after all.
Damn this cursed storm. It appeared out of nowhere. This tempest blanketed a clear blue sky and replaced perfect weather with unending desolation. Thick, soggy snowflakes are whipped about with more force than their weight should allow. Each flake feels like wet leaves clinging to your clothes, like tiny hands that try to drag you down into the muck. And whenever they meet skin, they bring the sensation of small sharp biting pincers that burrow into the individual pores and attempt to tear it inside out one pore at a time. They are carried by a harsh freezing wind that never lets up but is never steady enough for you to adapt. Gusts of wind that throw pinpricks of ice under your hood. Bursts of air that entrench frozen barbs between the layers of your wrappings until your movement causes their spikes to scrape their way to your flesh, where they prick into you like thorns. Each sting introduces more coldness and relieves you of more of your fleeting energy. But also, there is that slight relief when the needle pierces, and the flesh heats in response. The small comfort of a droplet of blood leaving the confines of your body, relinquishing its warmth onto the surface of your unfeeling meat.
Curse this damned storm. And now this.