Digital Painting #11

A gust of damp air brushed against her cheek. She stirred, slowly opening her eyes to gaze out across the dunes, and gasped. The horizon was a silent mass of roiling amethyst. Struggling blades of light pierced the clouds to dance among the menhirs that seemed to have been haphazardly sprinkled across the desert. Above the vista, blurred hues of orange and purple surrendered to velvet black. Hundreds of thousands of stars studded the night, a twinkling shroud to smother her world.

She didn’t bother to wipe away the tears this time, letting them instead cascade freely down her cheeks. Which were greater, she wondered? The stars above? Or the grains of sand beneath? A laugh bubbled up at the absurdity, and with it, a smile. Tears began to pool at her chin, tickling it, before falling to the dust below. Daylight waned as she stared at the churning knot, and in the quietude she sensed a presence. She wiped at her face, resigning back into a mask of stoicism. There was a soft crunch of leather on sand as he stopped a short distance to her right. The sorcerer. Her captor.

“Storm’s coming.”

My partner and I have a tradition of going to a local bookstore on Sundays, getting a cup of coffee or beer, and doing some work. I often find myself ruminating over fictional worlds and characters, which is a fancy way of saying “constantly daydreaming”. Lately I’ve been curating these ideas, collecting them up like little puzzle-pieces; one day I hope to write a novel based on the foundations I’m building today.

It was one of these little fragments that I chose to base this painting on.

I worked on my eleventh painting, which is unofficially dubbed “Storm’s Coming”, for most of the summer. My work schedule during the blistering months doesn’t lend itself to staying up late and painting, and thus I struggled with completing it. In the end, though, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I had a lot of fun working on the mass of clouds, and totally underestimated the skill required to paint galaxies.

For my next pieces, and the immediate future, I’m not going to be focusing on original concepts and instead practicing skills using reference photos. Scouring the internet for amazing imagery is a fun little adventure in itself, and I’m excited to not have to agonize over compositions for a while. Practice makes perfect, and I feel like I need to get some reps in.