Ethereal Encounter

I love creating shapes that flow. They’re some of the most fun things to draw and paint for me personally.

When it comes to flow, what could be more natural than water? Hints of, and elements relating to, the ocean show up in my Realm Ethereal universe. Sometimes I can’t help it: I live right by the ocean.

Monterey, California, is my home. I’m a native Californian, born and raised. Growing up, the ocean was only ever about just an hour away at its furthest. In my 20s, I moved a little closer to the ocean by about 30 minutes. And just in the last 10 years or so, I’ve lived 6 blocks away from the ocean. I see it every morning when I awaken, walk by it several times a week, and can see the white caps on it on a windy day. I consider myself lucky to enjoy this.

I’m also fortunate the Monterey Bay Aquarium is only a nice walk away from where I live. It was at the aquarium where I first discovered the magical sea creature called a Leafy Sea Dragon. The moment I saw it, I was inspired to draw or paint it one day. It looked so much like what a magical, fantasy creature should look like.

I took that inspiration and developed the painting, Ethereal Encounter. This painting features Kiana, a character from my Realm Ethereal universe. She is what’s known as a Metaterran. She is half human and part Ethereal. This makes her unique and gives her special abilities. One of those abilities is being able to travel in between different dimensions.

Kiana-MetaterranIn the first painting of Kiana, shown here, she floats in a realm somewhere in time and space. There, we see what looks like water, flowing all around her. Her arms and legs appear to indicate movement, yet she travels nowhere. She is, in fact, in a state somewhere between the physical world we all experience and the Realm Ethereal.

Kiana is able to will herself in and out of this state. This gives her the ability to travel in between and, in essence, move between different worlds, almost in the blink of an eye. ◈

I love creating shapes that flow. They’re some of the most fun things to draw and paint for me personally.

Kiana-Encounter-fantasy-art-Rene-Arreola When it comes to flow, what could be more natural than water? Hints of, and elements relating to, the ocean show up in my Realm Ethereal universe. Sometimes I can’t help it: I live right by the ocean.

Monterey, California, is my home. I’m a native Californian, born and raised. Growing up, the ocean was only ever about just an hour away at its furthest. In my 20s, I moved a little closer to the ocean by about 30 minutes. And just in the last 10 years or so, I’ve lived 6 blocks away from the ocean. I see it every morning when I awaken, walk by it several times a week, and can see the white caps on it on a windy day. I consider myself lucky to enjoy this.

I’m also fortunate the Monterey Bay Aquarium is only a nice walk away from where I live. It was at the aquarium where I first discovered the magical sea creature called a Leafy Sea Dragon. The moment I saw it, I was inspired to draw or paint it one day. It looked so much like what a magical, fantasy creature should look like.

I took that inspiration and developed the painting, Ethereal Encounter. This painting features Kiana, a character from my Realm Ethereal universe. She is what’s known as a Metaterran. She is half human and part Ethereal. This makes her unique and gives her special abilities. One of those abilities is being able to travel in between different dimensions.

Kiana-MetaterranIn the first painting of Kiana, shown here, she floats in a realm somewhere in time and space. There, we see what looks like water, flowing all around her. Her arms and legs appear to indicate movement, yet she travels nowhere. She is, in fact, in a state somewhere between the physical world we all experience and the Realm Ethereal.

Kiana is able to will herself in and out of this state. This gives her the ability to travel in between and, in essence, move between different worlds, almost in the blink of an eye. ◈

Kiana-Encounter-Realm -Ethereal
"Kiana - Ethereal Encounter" Artwork by Rene Arreola.

Kiana – Metaterran

Kiana is a Metaterran, a new breed of powerful beings that walk the lands.

Kiana is learning to control her abilities to warp and shape space-time to her will. She finds herself shifting in between realms hidden from most of the world. In harnessing her abilities, Kiana encounters a strange creature.

The strange creature looks like a dragon, floats similarly to Kiana. It has a warmth and a charm, leaving Kiana with the feeling that this creature is not hostile. There is a peacefulness and warmth Kiana feels while floating in this strange, hidden world. She will continue to explore her newfound abilities to move in-between space and time. And, with a new curious creature at her side. What could the future possibly hold for the both of them?

Watch a Time-Lapse Video
of The Drawing Process
for Kiana in Ethereal Encounter

Here is a time-lapse video of the drawing phase for the painting. This was done in Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately, I was unable to show how I painted the color for this painting. But, below is another video where I explain my process for adding color to my paintings in Photoshop.

Below is a time-lapse video of my thumbnail sketch for the painting. This was done in Procreate on the Apple iPad Pro.

About the Artist

Rene ArreolaMy name is Rene Arreola and I am an artist creating comic books and illustration. Figment is my personal art blog. In it, I am combining my love of both fantasy and comic book art to create visual stories. If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive notifications when I make new posts, you might consider subscribing to my newsletter. It costs nothing to sign up and you may unsubscribe at any time.

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