Every once in a while i would like to talk about the process of my more succesful pieces, made around 1.5-2 years ago. Besides the fact that i hope to help and inspire those who are reading, its a great way to delve into the realm of Nostalgia.
The piece itself was made within a series, of historical characters interacting with supernatural beings.
The painting depicts Nikola Tesla, having Captured the Norse God Thor and using his anger and hammer to fuell the Tesla Coil. These series were a great vessel to increase my inspiration for further painting i would make.
''As a human race we are weak. Countless Philosophers, conquerors and inventors did not change that fact of the matter. But look at us now. Together, we can make so called ''gods'' kneel, and serve as the footstone of our civilisation.'',
Here are a few sketches of ideas i had in mind, trying different POVS. I decided to go with the second POV however i changed a few things:
1. The manner Thow was chained to the coil, looks too much like a crucific. I did not realise the resemblence up until i made the sketches, and i decided not to go with this subject matter. Mostly because of the fact that the theme of a christ like figure being chained is overused/cliché and could be perceived as offensive. Furthermore it didnt add any interesting design or narrative to the story i wanted to tell, to i did some research about Tesla, and decided to use a full Tesla Coil where Thor is chained up to.
2. Thors Hammer, Mjolnir as shown in the Mythology (and the Marvel Cinematic universe) can only be wielded by Thor himself, so it wouldnt make too much sense for a skinny guy like Tesla to wield it. Even though Thor is held in submission. From this point i decided to make Mjolnir the main part of the Tesla coil, and let the viewer decide how it got to be a part of that contraption.
In this image i wanted to emphasise that Tesla is in a large ball room kind of area with thor. the setting, while wanting to show alot of energy, seemed a bit stiff and could have alot more power. Thor wasn't struggling, and the setting seemed a tad dull and boring.
So this section is a significant improvement. It shows alot of dynamics, where the lines of the ballroom, add depth, as well as pointing towards the Coil. There were still a few problems. There were a few perspective issies as well as Thor still needing a bit of Work. The tension of being bound was still missing!
Design wise i went slightly different with Thor. I really, really, didnt want go for a Marvel/winged helmet kind of look so i just took my liberties with the fact that he is the god of fertility too besides being the god of Thunder.
Photos by Jimmy Nelson's ''before they Pass Away''. A must include if you are a character designer.
As you can see here, these are obviously not norse characters, but African. However, i thought it would be cool to combine the two elements. Part A of how we know Thor, and part B of something completely new. Adding two unrelated subjects together is a major way of creating cool and unique characters.
At this stage things are starting to come together. Thors hands tell alot about the Tension he is enduring, and them wearing metal gauntlets also give a nice contrast to the organic and shamanistic objects he is wearing.
Regarding Tesla and his consorts i wanted to go for a steampunk look, to make them look mighty enough to be able to challenge an entity like Thor.
At the finished piece, i played alot with the lightning from Mjolnir to show depth, action and movement. Thors red hair and yellow flowercoat prove an interesting focalpoint against the general blueish hue of the image. The lightning also connects the two main characters of the image. Thor and Tesla.
It was a challenge for me to utilize these aspects back then since i was mostly proficient with more static characters, so this piece proved a milestone for me using various elements to enhance the dynamics in future paintings.
I hope you enjoyed this blogpost, please let me know if you found any use in it and if you have any comments.
All the best,