Tuesday, October 21, 2008
These top three drawings were some of my sketchbook sketches for Odin. The bottom is my final.
Odin is the All-Father of the gods. He is the god of the hanged (one story has him hanging himself to get ultimate wisdom), god of arcane magic, god of the wild hunt, god of the storm, god of the rain, god of the harvest, god of wisdom, and god of victory. He is the Zeus of Norse mythology in many ways. He collects half of those who die in battle (the other half go to his wife Frigg) where they prepare for Ragnarok in Valhalla where they kill each other every day, only to rise again whole and drink and eat together. Odin is also known for his eight legged horse "Slepiner," having two Ravens symbolizing thought and memory, having two hunting hounds, having a winged helmet, and for having only one eye (he gave it up for wisdom/ to see what would happen at Ragnorak). When he moves around in the mortal relm, Odin disguises himself by wearing a floppy hat to hide his one eye.
I struggled with how to show Odin. As the All-Father he is an impressive being. While he wanders the earth he is a wise old man with a big hat. I decided, having seen to many greek god pieces, that I did not want Odin to be shown on his thrown. An eagle horned norseman seemed to predictable. It would make a more interesting image to represent him in his disgused form. I took the compositional risk and had Odin face forward to make him seem stronger as he stairs straight at the viewer with his single eye. I kept Odin's ravens as the main symbols for what this form of him represents. He is a wise watcher more than a warrior in this image.
I chose to try out a different style with this piece. I tryed an additive style with touches of reduction. Here I also added a hint of blue in Odin's eye to emphasize it.