Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pictures of Creation

Pictures of CreationA couple of weeks ago I finished the new version of Creation. Just knowing where to start when capturing the awesome events of creation is always a challenge to the Bible artist. What makes it even harder is when you know that you've already illustrated it twice before, and each time you want to do a better job!

There are seven pictures in this set. This brings our total Bible picture count to 745.
Picture one illustrates the first two verses of Genesis ch 1. Picture two shows the creation of light on day one. (Not the sun, which wasn't created until day four). I remember hearing a lecture given many years ago by a professor from Jodrell Bank Space observatory. He explained how we know that light came before anything else. Mind blowing stuff! I wish I could remember all of what he said.
Picture 3, (above), depicts day two. Picture 4, (day three), shows when the land and all plant life appeared. Most artists show this scene taking place during the day. Because the sun was not created until the following day, I chose not to show a blue sky, but rather bathe this scene in the brilliant white light created on day one.

Picture 5, (Day four), shows the creation of the sun, moon and stars which presumably included the multitude of galaxies also. When we consider the immensity of our own solar system alone we have to join in with the psalmist and say "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him..." Psalm 8:3-4.
Picture 6, (day five), is always a little tricky, and most artists (including myself) usually divide the canvas into two. The top half being sky, the bottom half water. It is the easiest way to show both birds and fish, but there is always the risk of your illustration looking like a page from an animal encyclopedia! (Which mine does!)

I noticed in DC Comic's 'The Bible' illustrated by Joe Kubert and Nestor Redondo, that they show the animals being created on day five, not day six, which is a pretty basic mistake. Other than that it's a very well thought out and well researched publication, and I love Nestor Redondo's art.
Picture 7, (day six), shows Adam and Eve with a selection of the animals. In my two previous versions of creation I have only shown Adam with the animals on day six because chapter two covers the creation of Eve. On reflection this was not correct as both Adam and Eve are mentioned at the end of Chapter one. Chapter two is like a recap. The Bible back-tracks in the story to look at the creation of Eve in more detail.

Any depictions of dinosaurs were rare until the end of the 19th century which explains why they don't appear in earlier Bible pictures of day six. I'm not sure when dinosaurs started to appear in Bible illustrations, possibly early to mid 20th century. Bible artists of today regularly add dinosaurs into their pictures, in fact they feature quite heavily in CEF'S curriculum.

I would like to close this post with a quote that I like from Dr. "Fritz" Schaefer, Professor of Chemistry and the director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia. He said "The significance and joy in my science comes in the occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, 'So that's how God did it!' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's plan."
To read Dr Schaefer's article 'Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God' click here.

To see some stunning pictures of God's creation, click here!
The heavens declare the glory of God. Psalm 19:1


Bradford said...

That first picture moves me! I FEEL something of the power of creation looking at it. That would make a wonderful wall poster!

deboraw said...

Graham, That's an impressive picture. Deboraw

Paul Green said...

Are your latest illustrations photo montages Graham? The first one is very effective.

Bible artist said...

Four of the seven pictures are completely digital! I did try to illustrate, with brush and ink, the one you mention which depicts the separating of the waters on day two, but I couldn't capture the power that I wanted. I ended up doing digital illustrations over the top of photo references. Sometimes line-work just doesn't work!
The other limitation I had was space. How do you capture such awesome events on an A4 size canvas? This scene could only be captured effectively with photographic like imagery. It needed a 'Wow' factor! This was one of those scenes that makes you do the sound effects while working on it!

What makes an image like this powerful is the fact that it is believable, it actually looks real! I drew day three, where the land appears, with brush and ink and, although some might think it a nice illustration, it doesn't have the power of a photographic like digital illustration.

When I was working on this set of pictures I was reminded how reliant (for inspiration) we artists are, when trying to capture a powerful image, on the images that we see in nature. Our creative ability is limited in practice to what God has revealed to us of His infinite creative power in creation. Even the most talented Sci-fi concept artists, when trying to come up with a unique alien life form like 'Predator' or 'Alien', rely for inspiration on insect life. To quote an Old Testament writer; "Nothing is new under the sun".

Buzza Shuck said...

I am so glad to find other christian artist. I have been a christian sculptor for many years.
Sculpting over 250 scenes from Genesis to Revelation. I really love the work your doing.
God Bless & God Speed

Bible artist said...

Many thanks Buzza! Do you have a website that displays your biblical sculptures? I could link to it from the blog. I have been thinking of adding a 'Christian Sculptors' list to the blog.

I should have known from your first name that you were a beekeeper! You should shorten it to Buzz!

Rachel said...

Are these pictures of creation part of the set that is available to purchase on The Bible Picture Website? If not, is there a way to order a copy of this newest set?

Bible artist said...

Hi Rachel
We are hoping to launch a new website this January that will be replacing the Bible picture website. The set of creation pictures will be available on the new site. If you can't wait until then, you can email Jem Hudson at:
Thanks for your enquiry.

Cheryl said...

My name is Cheryl. I am a missionary working in Thailand. I have been here for 21 years. I work a lot with Children and women who can not read. I have been looking for Bible pictures for a long time that I could use with children and adults. Yours are prefect. I just want to stare at them. They draw me in. I have a Pastor friend in the states who is writing you to ask permission to print the powerpoints to use while he is here next month working with us. My husband is a doctor and we take teams to remote places and share the Gospel while doing our mobile clinics. We also teach children in the schools nearby the clinics. We meet so many people who have never heard God's name or anything about God at all. Your pictures could really impact our ministry here.