New Illustration | The Wild Hunt

The nights grow darker, winter approaches and the Wild Hunt is riding out again…

Last winter I was inspired by a post on PMM (when am I not, let’s be honest), and that lead to this. The Wild Hunt is a piece of faery lore, with many variations and origins, the core story of which is a Hunt ridden by terrifying Fae, who run down unlucky humans and carry them off. In some lore the leader of the Hunt is the God Herne, a sometime representative of the Horned God aspect.

I love faery lore, and the strange twists and turns it has. The rules of faerie, the consequences of dealing with fae, the bits and pieces of magic that then find their way into the present day. It’s something I draw on a bit when making Wyrdhope, and it’s something I always want to explore more of in my creative work. I especially like it because there’s a lot of it centered in the British Isles, and it gives this deep sense of the history of superstition and lore of my home country.

As for this artwork – it’s big. It’s very big. I possibly shouldn’t have made it quite that big, since it reads just fine in a small size, but I wanted to try something ambitious. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the various in-progress shots of the studies that led to this. I wanted to design everything to fit together, and to tell a story, and read in the way that I pictured it. I wanted this story-book, ghostly sort of feeling, which I feel like I achieved.

Once again, we have skull-headed animals, my trademark. I’m particularly proud of the horses and the wolves, and the sense of movement I feel I was able to convey with them. Getting movement into a static drawing is something I struggle with, but we keep working on it, we aim high and occasionally fall on our faces, but we always learn something.

I don’t think I’ll be making huge pieces like this in future. It ended up not needed to be that size, taking forever to stitch together from the scans, and I also wound up doing a lot of post-production on it in Photoshop to get it finished. Back to A3 maximum for me, I think. I stepped outside my comfort zone and it was, predictably, uncomfortable. Maybe in the future, I’ll return to huge works, but for now I’m going to make small things.

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