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In 2018, as part of my Realm Ethereal universe-building process, I came up with a new series of character creations: The Ethereal Guard. They serve the Realm Ethereal by guarding the plane borders across multiple worlds. Additionally, they are generally under the service and orders from The Ethereals themselves.
Azure is the first Ethereal Guard I designed from back in 2018. That first painting was weak, even though I really enjoyed the design of the character. Consider this painting a refresh and a reboot. Prints available for sale here.
“Elandra” began her journey like many of my other pieces, as a sketch. The initial sketch was based on nothing more than a feeling and on a whim. For this character, I wanted to convey a sense of her effortlessly floating. The whim: just try to draw something spontaneously and see what happens. Prints are available for sale here.
“Gladion, The Ethereal of Protection” introduces an all-new Ethereal. As for the inspiration for the actual character, I had come up with his name first (sometimes I don’t have a name until after I’ve done some drawing) so I wanted to make sure stands out.
Being the Ethereal of Protection, it meant in my mind that Gladion should be bright, like a beacon in the night. These traits became evident after I completed the initial gray scale phase of the painting. When adding color, I wanted hues that would contrast with the planets in the background.
Giving Gladion a gold-themed color seemed appropriate for a protector. The Star Sword featured in the painting is also bright and beacon-like. Add to this color scheme the backdrop of dark outer space and partially shadowed planets, and I knew I had the perfect visual contrast. I was tempted to keep the upper background almost a solid black fill. But going that route seemed just a little too lacking. After going back and forth, I added some reddish space clouds to contrast some warmth with the cooler planets in the background.
Gladion does not actually wield the sword as a weapon. He protects others from the Star Sword itself. The sword is one element of the mysterious Ethereal Golden Armor. This armor, coupled with the Star Sword, constitutes the ultimate defense artifact of The Realm Ethereal. An armor said to be worn by only the most worthy Metaterran, during a time of calamity and revelation. But that is a story for another time…
“Gladion, The Ethereal of Protection” is an all-new Ethereal set to officially debut in the Realm Ethereal this upcoming March in a collector’s art print. Gladion will mark the ninth Ethereal to emerge in the series of Ethereals I have been creating and designing. Gladion’s title “Ethereal of Protection” marks him as a key player with regards to the Ethereal Guard.
To the Ethereal Guard, Gladion is often viewed as their unspoken leader. Gladion’s role is to prepare and gather all Ethereal Guards from vast worlds and bring them to the Realm Ethereal. Gladion acts as the conduit between all Ethereal Guard’s from the moment of their birth and into their eventual training to become Ethereal Guard.
Gladion wields the Ethereal Star Sword. This sword is made up of pure ethereal matter and energy. The sword exists in a state between reality and dreams. With the Ethereal Star Sword, Gladion is able to detect new Ethereal Guard. Ethereal Guard are born into their roles. An Ethereal Guard also possesses an energy signature that can be detected at birth by most Ethereals.
Gladion is able to command all Ethereal Guard at will. Were he inclined to do so, Gladion could easily turn from his role of protector to that of aggressor. But if he did that, he would have to respond directly to Om, the Ethereal of Vibration, who is the most powerful Ethereal in The Realm Ethereal. ■
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