Monday, July 21, 2008

The Temptation of Christ

The Temptation of Christ
Just finished illustrating the 'Temptation of Christ' Bible story. There are five pictures in this set which brings our total Bible picture count to 711.

Pictured above is one of the wilderness backgrounds that I've used in this story, (in black and white, and color). This mountain range took me a whole day to draw in brush and ink! The image looks a lot softer in digital color.
Bible artist William Hole shows the temptation taking place on a snow-capped mountain, presumably Mt Hermon. He also depicts Satan as a naked man with transparent wings.

I decided to 'play it safe' when depicting Satan. I didn't want to stray too far from the Biblical texts. I did take the liberty of clothing Satan in a black robe which served the purposes of hiding both the bodily form and facial features. This also alludes to the darkness of Satan.
We know that Satan was a fallen angel. What type of angel is still debated. There is one thing however that all angelic beings seem to have in common, (which I've also included in the pictures), and that is hands! We find that Angels have hands from Revelation 8:4. Cherubim have hands in Ezekiel 10:7-8, and Seraphim have hands in Isaiah 6:6.
I've avoided wings as although we know that Seraphim had six, and Cherubim four, in most descriptions of angels, wings are not mentioned. Many artists who have shown Satan to have wings have illustrated bat wings as opposed to bird wings, which I suppose looks more sinister!

Part of picture 3, which shows The Lord Jesus and Satan on the roof of the Temple, can be seen here. It would have been difficult to show Jesus standing on the very edge of the Temple roof looking down, (although this would have been more dramatic), due to the anti-bird spikes around the perimeter of the Temple roof! See the What did Herod's Temple look like? post.

Picture 4, which shows Satan offering the Lord Jesus the Kingdoms of this world and their glory, (Matt 4:8), can be seen here.
Bible illustration blog reader 'Greg Owen' has done an impressive 'Graphic novel' version of the Temptation story which can be seen here. Greg used his wife as a model for Satan! (Brave man!) More of Greg's work here.
Your comments are always appreciated!

Related posts:
Drawing the Devil
Drawing Angels
Drawing Cherubs


Paul Green said...

Very effective use of landscape Graham. It looks suitably tortuous in its structure. I'm a big fan of b/w line artwork so I prefer the b/w version for its stark contrast.

Bible artist said...

I remember Horseman saying on the 'inking' post that he preferred b&w too, so I thought I'd add both versions. There's a lot of detail that's hard to see due to this picture being so small. I originally tried to upload a big version, but Blogger wasn't happy!

Horseman said...

Yeah... Blogger gets unhappy at me a lot too. Great landscape. It seems that I see some dust there blowing over the rocks. I think such effects give it a real feel. This makes me think of the area around the Jordan as it nears the Dead Sea (forgot the name of it - where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls).

Hey, no joke... I just now, this very moment noticed your mention of the Tempt the Messiah comic. Thanks Graham. Kind of you to do that. I saw the post before, but must confess that sometimes I just look at the pictures - so I did not notice that you did that until now. Just so the folks know, I do my work with the unbeliever in mind. So, it may be ...a little different. Also, I have a more updated version here:

Your work on this part of the story of our Lord looks great, Graham!

Bible artist said...

Your style's very original horseman.
I would love to see you do a Bible based graphic novel.

Are you working on anything new at the moment?

Horseman said...

Aside from making occasional improvements to existing work, I am slowly working on an introduction chapter to "Tempt the Messiah" (sequential art). It is about John the Baptist and the baptism of our Lord. I am also doing a single piece about Mary, our Lord’s mother. Sometimes, when I work I have such energy that productivity is high. It is as though the Lord put a word in me and I burn to release it and work hard to do so. But these projects do not seem to be this way and so work is slow. Further, I am finding it difficult to remain interested in drawing and painting the backgrounds that I have planned for this chapter. Also, I am finding that water is difficult to draw and paint. So it may take a long, long time to finish. SINCE I AM ONLY A HOBBYIST, I GUESS IT IS OK TO BE SO SLOW.

Here are some samples of John the Baptist... and my water that looks more like... ice, or something (copy and past into your browser to see this).

Peace be with you

Bible artist said...

Wow! The pictures are very striking horseman!
I love the shadows of the Pharisees.
I think that the water works really well. I would just soften the edge where it meets the sand. At this point the water is shallow and you will see more of the sand through it.
I've sent you a very quick overlay to show you what I mean. Hope it helps.