The Minotaur

The Minotaur
Oil on board
16 x 20

A while ago I was invited to contribute a piece to the first volume of the Fantasy Illustration Library by Michael Publishing.This high end art book will explore mythology from all over the globe with hundreds of new works of art. Not only was I thrilled to join the ranks of over 100 terrific artists (such as Donato Giancola and Michael C. Hayes) and but it gave me the opportunity to explore a character that I've been wanting to paint for a long time: The Minotaur.

Excerpt from the book:

I’ve always been drawn to stories involving labyrinths so naturally I love the Minotaur myth. I feel empathy toward the Minotaur. I see him as an innocent suffering for the sins of his parents and the whims of the gods. His story is usually overshadowed by the hero tale of Theseus where he is the lowly monster at the center of the maze to be defeated. However, the Minotaur is half human and was raised briefly with his human family so couldn’t have been all beast when he was imprisoned in Daedalus’ Labyrinth.  I imagined him as a king over a lonely domain. His human half craved beauty and so he taught himself to carve to pass the time. Many hours were counted in spirals carved into the stone and the walls became covered in years as he made his prison beautiful.

I spent some extra time getting reference for this piece since I knew I wanted the lighting to be very atmospheric and was dealing with some uncharted territory in the anatomy and some of the architecture ideas. Getting a good model (the amazing Dennis!) and taking a quick hour to build a small maquette and light it made all the difference.

One of many pages of thumbnails
One of many photos of Dennis from the photoshoot

Clay model approx 6 inches high

Some preliminary studies to prep for drawing
Preliminary Charcoal drawing
16 x 20
Digital color study