Queen of Ravens is the result of an idea that I had for a couple of years before finally committing it to paper. The essence of the composition came to me in a flash, but it took me some time to work out the pose of the woman on the stone plinth and other details. The windblown hair, shroud fragments, and ravens add some motion to what would otherwise be a very static figure drawing.
I am not a bird expert, but I learned a few things in the course of doing this image. Before I started I didn’t know that there were white ravens. I also didn’t know that I was going to draw some of the ravens in white. I started coloring in the ravens on the left first, and as I was working I started to like the lighter colored ravens on the right that were still just outlines. I did some research, found out about white ravens, and decided to go with it. I think the white ravens add a little drama to the image, matching the color of the shroud which is still white on that side.
Another area that ended up different from my initial inspiration is the sky. I had thought to make it look more like night with a much darker background. Unfortunately, dark ravens against a dark sky become almost invisible, so I had to modify my idea somewhat. Now that it’s done, I like the twilight colors.
Sometimes the art almost tells me what to do, and I’ve learned not to ignore that. Even though the finished Queen of Ravens is a little different from my initial flash of inspiration, that’s okay. I think the final image is actually better for it.
There are a lot of possible interpretations for the symbolism in this image. I like to leave that part up to the viewer, and not color anyone’s interpretation with my own opinion.
The original drawing is done in Prismacolor colored pencils on 2-ply Bristol vellum.
Note: The URL and copyright watermark are not part of the image.