“Mirela – Of The Land” was an attempt to expand upon the character I first painted in 2018. It also stemmed from my desire to create a new and more impactful image to add to the lore of the Metaterrans. Metaterrans, in the Realm Ethereal universe, are beings who have extraordinary abilities that mark them as something more than human.
When I first created Mirela in 2018, I started with a really strong pencil sketch. I’ve always felt the pencil drawing was superior to the final painting. It’s not a knock on the final painting itself. I like how it turned out, but it just didn’t have the same punch that the initial pencil drawing did.
Looking back about two years ago, I was just starting to paint on my iPad Pro when I created the first Mirela painting. Using the iPad to draw and paint took some time to adjust to. Two years after the first Mirela painting, I feel I’m certainly a lot more proficient painting on the iPad using the Apple Pencil.
In this new painting, I used no reference to paint anything, except for her face, hands, and feet of Mirela. The purpose was to add a certain flair of spontaneity to the overall drawing. I was seeking to create a new piece with a different feel. While that feel might not be apparent from the outside, I felt it inside me. In reviewing this new painting of Mirela, I realize it captures more of that feeling I was looking for when I drew the very first sketch. Interestingly enough, I did use a model reference for that drawing and painting. But with the new painting, I hardly used any reference at all.
I think I can mostly attribute this to becoming more confident in my abilities using the digital tools. There is an efficiency with painting digitally that I can attest to only after having painted with traditional painting materials for many years. I feel I can truly paint faster and better digitally. It would be interesting to see how that carries over if I were to again paint using traditional materials.
In the end, I’m excited to add a new character illustration to my growing stable of Realm Ethereal creations. At last count, I’m up to 31 character design/illustrations for The Realm Ethereal. All the work leading up to this painting feels good because I know that putting in a little sweat-equity has the potential to pay off in the long run. And that is my goal with The Realm Ethereal. ■