by Sebastiaan Van Doninck

This illustration serves as the cover image for a new project, an illustrated book about ‘Greek heroes’.

After a long time painting with watercolors for my previous picture book ‘The fantastic flying competition’, I decided to go back to my Cintiq for this series (it’s the first of a series of 65).

While starting this landscape, I had several rough ideas. I didn’t want to go to Greek stereotypes nor did I want too much drama. It felt important to me to portray the hero ‘Perseus’ in a more human way, more recognizable and searching for a purpose. That’s why I gave the landscape & nature the main role.

I always loved ‘parasol’ pine trees when visiting the Mediterranean countries. When visiting Greece for a holiday, I was studying those trees, I made several sketches. What struck me was not only his shape (like a huge parasol), but also it’s heavy shadow. He didn’t allow any sunlight to come trough and his shade was blue, the colors underneath were cold. I loved this contrast and wanted to translate it in this illustration. It also gave me the opportunity to use this spot for the main character, Perseus, standing in the shadow.

I wanted wild colors, like a dream. I little bit impressionist. I used a lot of structures and different kind of scans (pieces of old paper, failed prints, charcoal,…) to put more depth into the picture. Ancient Greek stories about heroes are fictional of course, and I wanted to accentuate this by drawing the characters in clear lines, without any color. The surrounding gives character and color. All this to show somehow the ‘mythic’.

All sort of plants have always been an inspiration to me, and since I have a garden the last past years, it shows in my work. They are always slightly based on plants I see in my surroundings.

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