Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Standard

“Air” East

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Fire” South

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Water” West

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

“Earth” North

Oil pastel, watercolor, graphite, gouache on vintage book page 4 x 6 inches

The ancient Greeks theorized that the elements of air, fire, water, earth, was manifested by spirits called Elementals, which corresponded to east, south, west and north.  Each element had a host of other Slyphs, divas, or sprites  in charge of different aspects of the major element.  I thought it would be fun to depict these major elements personified as beautiful women or goddesses, as I imagine the Greeks might have.  These are very small portraits, only on a book page of 4 x 6 inches.  Working this small has its challenges!  Oil pastels do not have fine points, so its often difficult to work the eyes, and sometimes I use graphite to further enhance the eyes after the drawing is complete. Watercolor is used for eye color, and gouache is used for the whites of the eyes and as a layer over the oil pastel on the face.

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6 responses »

  1. wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to simplify life to to the elements and have a host of charges to be your handmaidens! Would be so peaceful I think to just curse the gods when you are having a bad day. I think the size can be a challenge but it is also so personal, intimate, so there’s the trade off. the ladies are very fine…nicely rendered.

  2. Thank you, Rosemary! You have a wonderful way of looking at things, I appreciate that!

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