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Transcendence by strychninemime Transcendence by strychninemime
** Recently updated to a better quality image! Much more crisp and color accurate.

I've cleared my gallery, but as this piece seems to be loved well enough, I'll leave it. Expect no further activity.


#2 of my illustration assignments.

The objective here is to illustrate a concept and explore the medium of gouache. The assignment is essentially open, but must include blending and rendering of form. No flat painting was permitted. Limited color was also a requirement. No more than two in addition to black and white. The focus is design principles and using color in this sense.

The concept was inspired by a combination of things. It was born of the song Cordyceps from the Planet Earth series. [link]

As illustration is to tell a story, I'll explain, but feel free to interpret as you please. I wanted to portray a less conventional view of the spirit of death, creating a mood that was both ethereal and unsettling. If I was successful, it should feel cold and hopefully make you uncomfortable, as if you'd seen something very strange out of the corner of your eye that wasn't there the second time. The deer is meant to symbolize innocence and grace and the stag power, so I used this animal to communicate a sense of respect and a beauty that was meant to be untouched. Supposedly the deer is a spirit or a god, shown with its exaggerated proportions, coming to collect the hearts of the dead. Why it takes this organ is similar to the reverie the Egyptians had for the organs and heart. The specking is intended as either ash or snow falling, conceptually as an aural effect of the deer.

Whether or not the organs are taken by force or at their proper time is up to the viewer.

Gouache on cold press illustration board. 12in x 12in.

(c) Kris Watson
No permission is given to reproduce this image in any way.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-01-31
From the artist's comments: "I wanted to portray a less conventional view of the spirit of death, creating a mood that was both ethereal and unsettling." A gouache painting of startling vision and originality, Transcendence by ~strychninemime more than lives up to the artist's intentions. ( Suggested by AYSAMO and Featured by SRaffa )
:iconle-petit-fritz:
Le-Petit-Fritz Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!
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:iconevanesces:
evanesces Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
so beautiful
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:iconponychops:
ponychops Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
This is a wonderful painting, i'm glad you left it in your gallery
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:iconpaintinggael:
paintinggael Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
At first I loved it, but was horrified that what I thought were orange hearts turned out to be spiders (in my imagination). I was going to close the page, but I realized that this piece of art had elicited an emotional reaction from me. And something besides, "Oooh, pretty." That's a powerful thing. So this is going in my favorites.

(I just read the whole description, and I realize that they were hearts after all....but their long arteries make them look so much like orange spiders!)
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:iconi-kal-i:
I-Kal-I Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011
I found this on D.A. looking for pictures of Black Stags.. I've got an RP where I want to incorporate them in some way, but I'm looking online for mythological explanations with different cultures.. specifically the one involving something I heard about a Stag turning black after it's lived for a thousand years. Can anyone help direct me? I've been so far unsuccessful in finding further info on this.
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:iconpyroboy95:
pyroboy95 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very nice looking
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:iconpadfoot-never-died:
padfoot-never-died Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
[link] featured!
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:icontakiouttio:
Takiouttio Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OHHH! This is fantastic!
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:iconfaelourn:
Faelourn Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
As a member of Animal-Illustration we’ve featured this image of yours as part of our 100 members celebration ;) You can find it in here --> [link]
Enjoy!
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:iconstrychninemime:
strychninemime Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2010
Thank you!
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:iconreymonkey:
Reymonkey Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2010   General Artist
This is.. fascinating and disturbing and... yeah, all those things you were going for. I'd say it's a very successful piece!
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:iconrawrimadragon13:
rawrimadragon13 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ab-sol-fucking-ly beautiful
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:iconzwerg42:
Zwerg42 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2010
A nice concept. I suppose if I were dead, I'd rather be approached by a graceful elk than a guy wielding a scythe...
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:iconhidexclamation:
hideXclamation Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
this is sickening....the serene power of the stag with the hearts of the dead...he's threatening but peaceful at the same time. i'm in love with it xD
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:iconwakerra:
Wakerra Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
when you say "I wanted to portray a less conventional view of the spirit of death, creating a mood that was both ethereal and unsettling. If I was successful, it should feel cold and hopefully make you uncomfortable.." you definitely got that right. I saw this and was staring at what was hanging on his antlers for a while, before I noticed they were hearts, then I took a second look at it and was all, what the heck...?!

and is it just me, or do spirit guides of the undead/afterlife keepers/etc seem to be a popular subject now? I recently created my own version and made a story/scene for him, then I discovered another one someone else drew with the same purpose not too long ago, and now this one! :iconwoooplz:
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:icongenkaku-kun:
genkaku-kun Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Because of their proximity and identical warm value, the shelves link visually to the organs and through them, the deer. Because of this, the cold isolation of the deer is removed. Although an interesting compositional solution, I have a hard time with them tonally.
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:iconstrychninemime:
strychninemime Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Thank you for the criticism! I was trying to use color to link that the hearts had come from the jars, but retrospectively I agree with you that the color there wasn't terribly necessary.
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:iconsianyde:
Sianyde Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
I don't believe I've ever loved a piece of art as much as I love this. It most certainly does it's job in creating an eerie and unsettling mood, leaving me slightly disturbed and incredibly moved. I can't exactly describe what about it moves me so, but it truly is astounding.
I applaud your work.
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:iconxxxtorahamu-chanxxx:
xxxTorahamu-chanxxx Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Amazing.
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:iconnoisebeast:
noisebeast Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Beautiful and haunting. =O I love the symbolism and the concept. I hope you got the A you deserve on this. XD
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:iconpurpleyedcoyote:
purpleyedcoyote Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
A true dream.
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:iconfrighteningcute:
FrighteningCute Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
This.. Is kinda scary. xD
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:iconkway929:
kway929 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Student Interface Designer
I Love this! I love the concept and how you portrayed it in your art. It makes sense and it made me think a little because it wasn't so literal, which is what art is supposed to do. And I like how the deer is like a new interpretation of the grim reaper. Very good job :)
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:iconincraftystitches:
InCraftyStitches Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Student General Artist
very nice painting!
It reminds me of this:
[link]
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:iconfrenchtown:
Frenchtown Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
I adore everything about this piece, to the style to the concept to the creepiness. It gives me the same exact feelings you meant to portray. Well done and congrats on the DD, it's well deserving!
Reply
:iconn-szewski:
N-Szewski Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is great! I really must favorite it:D
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:iconhokuto:
hokuto Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
What an amazing painting - the delicacy of the colors is beautiful. :heart:
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:iconbrad-macd:
brad-macd Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
this is ...whoa. XD
super super good.
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:iconzombie-matrix:
Zombie-Matrix Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is fantastic. I think you definitely achieved what you were going for.
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:iconcrimson-jazz:
Crimson-Jazz Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
The more I look at this, the more I feel like the horns are growing and reaching towards me. Definitely adds to the unsettling effect of the picture. If death actually is like this, I'd be very happy. Much better than a skeleton in a robe.
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:iconcolliderscape:
colliderscape Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
i love it... wow :)
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:iconkigaweirdo:
KigaWeirdo Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Woah, this is just plain astonishing work... I feel somehow very calm and comfort when looking at the deer. He looks so.. Well, calm, and wise, like you'd have portrayed the image of peace and tranguility in a single creature. As if he'd come to gently and humbly rescue the hearts of people who have suffered their last days in the hospital, most probably barely even knowing where they are anymore. Looking at this is like someone'd sing a lullaby to you, a lullaby with a lovely, smooth melody but with dark lyrics.
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:iconwapiti1986:
wapiti1986 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010   Traditional Artist
Is it collecting the hearts of hunters? *Muahahahahahaa*
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:iconfirefaerietalia:
FireFaerieTalia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa it had exactly 666 faves when I looked at it.. That's really ironic...
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:iconglieco:
GLIECo Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very disturbing, yet somehow appropriate in the world of science and the unknown. I enjoy it.
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:iconlilacisthenewblack:
LilacIsTheNewBlack Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
This is beautiful :) I love it ! Great job
x
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:iconlilacisthenewblack:
LilacIsTheNewBlack Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
This is beautiful :) I love it ! Great job
x
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:iconfootinadream:
footinadream Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
you did a great job portraying what you intended to! when I first noticed the thumbnail at the bottom of the screan it did give me a slightly unsettling feeling that contradicted my usual response to a dear and that made me want to look at it closer! you did a great job
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:icontuhkasade:
Tuhkasade Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
If I would normally enter a room, then see this, staring at me... I'd definitely froze. When I look at those hearts, it makes me feel like my own is squeezed and sick..
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:iconcobaine:
cobaine Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
This is too amazing. Congrats on your DD, it's well deserved!
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:iconanaiaram:
anaiaram Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Student General Artist
great concept! i'm amazed how you could create such a piece with those limitations :D :+fav:
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:iconlamby17:
Lamby17 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
this is beautiful. i love this picture and i love the music too. it works.
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:iconsakurasyanide:
SakuraSyanide Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Gorgeous and horrifying. I love it. ^^ :heart:
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:iconpieprotector:
PieProtector Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
wow nice! please cheak mine outs trying to get ppl looking at my work cheers :D [link]
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:iconqzurr:
Qzurr Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh man...





:heart:
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:iconverysmallindeed:
VerySmallIndeed Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Atmospheric.
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:iconant1ph0n:
ant1ph0n Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Professional General Artist
cool. i actually didn't interpret it how you meant (or any way to be specific) but after reading your own, that's how i see it as well.
Reply
:iconmyrlejonet:
myrlejonet Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010  Hobbyist
it's brilliant!! I love it <3
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:iconamber1010:
Amber1010 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Wow.
I respect the deer, as it takes the hearts of those who have been passing/passed. It seems like he's a gentle spirit who cares for these hearts. But knowing that it represents death as well, still leaves me with a unsettling feeling.

I bet you had a good grade :)
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:iconplynex:
Plynex Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2010
Wow, how cool is that?
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Details

Submitted on
December 22, 2009
Image Size
349 KB
Resolution
809×821
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Stats

Views
17,571
Favourites
1,114 (who?)
Comments
103

Camera Data

Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D60
Shutter Speed
10/150 second
Aperture
F/7.1
Focal Length
44 mm
ISO Speed
800
Date Taken
Jun 1, 2010, 10:01:00 AM
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