"White Knight of Bright Morning" I think will be the final title, in reference to Baba Yaga's white knight. This is a concept I've had rattling around in my brain for many years now actually, waiting for me to have the time to tackle. There will be three pieces to the series eventually, with the Red Knight of day, and Black Knight of the night to complete the set. This is 18x21 inches. One of the larger pieces that I've done in a while.
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Here were the initial sketches that led up to the final:
From my sketchbook. Focused first on the knight on his horse. Was tempted to make it a unicorn, for the purity and new dawn that the white knight represents, but managed to steer away from that with instead a headpiece on the horse mounted with stag horns; giving it a little of the connotations that a unicorn has, of innocence and sacrifice, but also binds it to some more earthy images and traditions. I wanted the composition to be panned out from the knight a bit, with the sun a looming presence through the trees; perhaps even glowing ghostly through the outlines of the trees. A grove of birches - stark white/grey/blues.
After scanning the initial sketch, I could play around with it in photoshop for the final proportions. Extended the trees up. Added more deer/antelope/stag-ish creatures leaping in shadow forms through the trees. They will be translucent, ghostly. For this mockup, I actually just cut and pasted deer/kierun sketches I had from previous paintings (4 of wands, and sagittarius), using them just as rough shapes to get the concept here; refining and changing them later for the final form.