The process of making this piece was live-streamed to the Hive.Pizza Guild Thank you to those that stopped by while I was drawing! 🍕
When starting this design, I had no idea that I needed to go through a stage of re-learning certain drawing basics. Things like the snarling expression on a canine and wolf head proportions. I was soooo out of practice. Much to my horror I swiftly realized this fact in the middle of the stream. Fortunately, I had the wonderful PIZZA crew cheering me on.
After taking some time as the guild suggested, I quite literally got back to the drawing board. Sketching the canine form every chance I had until I was satisfied. It took two live streams before it was sorted out.
I had every intention of doing a black and white design with slight 'gold-like coloration'. But, as you can tell from the final results, things ended up not panning out that way. A lot of key elements were kept from the original concept.
Myth Behind the Art
Recently, I have been on this kick of incorporating historical myths into my art in some way. This painting was no different.
Most modern-day education institutions teach students about the elliptical orbit of our solar system. The constant rotation of the planets that reside within the Milky Way Galaxy. So why am I sharing information about orbits when we were just getting ready to talk about myths?
Well, I think it's important to share a little backdrop on the information that the myth is trying to explain. At the core of a story, about wolves, chariots, and a personified sun and moon, there is an attempt to explain what felt so unexplainable. Giving reasoning to the world. Attempts to give an explanation for the rise and the fall of the Sun and Moon each day.
To them, creation and light are followed by guaranteed misfortune and darkness. A macabre atmosphere for a story. But one that is prevalent through many of their ancient tales. Long, cold, and dark winters. Lots of time to think and imagine expositions for the world's happenings.
So, it came to be. Two wolf brothers, sons of Fenrir. Named Sköll and Hati. Or "Treachery" and "Hatred" (Translations are derived from 'Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend' by Andy Orchard). Participants in the bringing of the end. Filled with hunger and eternal desire. An impulse that drives them towards their one goal, the consumption of both Sol (The Sun) and Mani (The Moon). When they inevitably succeed, the world would never be the same. It would be one of the catalysts for the beginning of Ragnarok. The undoing of the world.
To delay the certain coming of the end, the ancient Norse Gods took a few precautions. One of them being the creation of two chariots.
With the passing of each sunrise and sunset, the Sun and the Moon were whisked across the sky. If they dared to look back, they would see the wolves following them as they went. Constantly nipping at their heels. A great reminder to never slow down. A feral pursuit.
Success graced both vessels most days, but not always. The ravenous beasts did at times capture their quarry. Swallowing both astral bodies. In a brief moment almost completing what they had set out to do.
So, why is the world still here? If these wolves have eaten both the sun and moon, then wouldn't that disprove the myth? WELL, dear reader, let's embrace this transition and charge forward!
The story goes, that when the sun and moon disappeared from the sky, the people of the world screamed in shock and fear. What a calamity they must have made. At that moment, a jolt of surprise caused the wolves to release their prey. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, the chariots would flee across the sky. Hoping to never be caught again.
So what does it mean...well, we will never know for certain. Many folks smarter than I have concluded that this story is about an amazing natural event, a solar eclipse.
Various historians and astronomers have found correlations in other myths around the world at this time. All including various versions of a great beast devouring the sun. The loud noises were made by the people and with great luck! The sun returning to normal. Amazing how so many other historical cultures arose to the same conclusion.
As far as the design goes, I implemented a lot of personal creative spins. After some searching, I was unable to find an actual description of the wolves. Note, there are a lot of wonderful modern storytellers and world builders who have added their creative imagery and descriptions for the wolf brothers - I just couldn't locate historical source material. As a result, I wanted to go with some natural fur patterns.
Next, we have the chariots and the horses themselves. Both were described in a few old poems. But for me, they weren't the focus of the painting. More like little background decorations that your eye may or may not drift to. So, I opted for a simple silhouette look so that they did not overburden the center of the design with additional detail clutter.
In the end, that leaves my moth. I know she's plain but I wanted her that way. Her purpose is not to be noticed. She watches the world by concealing and blending in with it. A nocturnal creature that is magnetized towards the light around her. Personally, it felt like a fitting tie-in.
Again, a huge thank you to those you endured throughout the whole process. Your patience is outstanding. I wasn't sure I would get viewers again after 2 hours of drawing hair at a 5-time zoom.😂
Interested in reading more about Norse or Icelandic Myths? Check out this title:
"The Prose Edda - Tales from Norse Mythology" by Snorri Sturluson is a great place to start.
Tool: XP-PEN Tablet & Stylus
Original Dimensions: 4096 x 4096
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