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“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…