Behind the Veil of Night: Crafting ‘Haunter

 In Works in Progress

As I continue to delve into the mystical realms of dark fantasy, the creation of ‘Haunter’ emerges as a personal exploration of contrasting themes and a challenge to my artistic boldness. In this artwork, I hoped to capture the haunting beauty and tortured expression of a ghostly pegasus and bring it to life using chalk pastels. I chose this medium for its delicate, ethereal texture, which starkly contrasts with the haunting and tortured essence of the image.

The vision for ‘Haunter’ was clear from the beginning – a white, spectral pegasus with bat-like wings, soaring through a night sky blanketed in rolling, black clouds. I wanted this creature to be more than just a traditional pegasus. Its form was exaggerated as an extremely thin and gaunt horse with pronounced bones. This was a deliberate choice on my part as I aimed to infuse her with a sense of agony inspired by the tortured expressions of vintage carousel horses.

In composing ‘Haunter’, I wanted to embrace dynamism and tension, so I pushed the pegasus boldly into the foreground, breaking the frame’s boundaries and symbolizing its escape from the confines of its form. I exaggerated the length of the front legs and neck to purposefully warp the perspective and create tension in the pose. Behind the subject, the silhouette of a gothic city stretches beneath a luminous moon which was loosely inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s 1827 lithograph, Mephistopheles Aloft, (a demon flies over a dark city). In this cityscape, I was hoping to create a secondary focal point – the place where I imagined this beast was flying from – as if she had awoken like some living gargoyle under a full moon and taken flight. The choice of a stark monochromatic palette in black and white chalk pastels was deliberate, I don’t think this piece needs color.

‘Haunter’ initially came to life not just as a piece of art, but as part of a creative venture for a band’s show flyer. I originally started drawing it for Book of Wyrms (and at the time envisioned it in full color). However, as creative journeys often do, that project took a different turn, leaving ‘Haunter’ in a state of suspended animation. This drawing, though initially set aside, was never forgotten. I loved it too much to let it go. It was years later when I revisited it, driven by a deep connection to the artwork, and finally brought it to completion.

This return to ‘Haunter’ wasn’t just a revisiting of an old project, but a rekindling of a lifelong love. My affinity for horses, rooted in my childhood experiences growing up with these majestic creatures, has always been a part of me. Their anatomy feels familiar, almost second nature, and the pegasus, though spectral and otherworldly, carries with it a realism born from a lifetime of observation and connection. This artwork, at its core, is a manifestation of my enduring love for the equine form, a tribute to the grace and beauty of the horses that have been a part of my life. In the lines and shadows of ‘Haunter’, my personal history with these animals intertwines with my artistic expression, creating a piece that is as much a part of me as it is a work of art meant to be appreciated by others. Will it succeed in being appreciated? It’s hard to say, but it certainly succeeded in snapping me back into my art and helping me find purpose and inspiration to continue creating.

Haunter - Ghostly Pegasus Flying Over a Silhouetted City in the Night

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