some thumbnails of my illustrations

some thumbnails of my illustrations
Please click on the links below to view my portfolio ........ Images copyright of Carrie Osborne

Monday, 12 December 2011

Huginn and Muninn... on the wings of the storm

please respect my copyright of these images

This wild sky with its wind hurled messengers seems a very appropriate painting to show you tonight as I sit writing next to the window that is rattling with the night's savage temper of storm.
The wind and rain outside are ferocious, seething around the house, flinging icy spats of rain against the glass... that hollow boom, powerful, elemental, ominous...
I'm glad to be inside, wrapped in layers against the drafts!

This is a painting I have made for my sister in law on her fortieth birthday which was today! We framed it for her in the workshop in dramatic black and gave it to her as the storm began to gather its furies in the twilight...
It is of 'Huginn' and 'Muninn' - 'Thought' and 'Memory', the two Ravens that accompany Odin and bring him knowledge of the world. They are birds of portent, and it is said that Odin gave them the power of speech, and their presence in turn gives him another of his many names - 'Raven God'.

Here are some more closeup details...

I love the unpredictability of using watercolour washes like this, I have an idea of what I want - the colours, the dynamics... but the joy of it for me is watching the paint move to its own purpose, not quite knowing where it will rest, the beautiful living quality of the paint... I love it...

I used my Artists Rotring ink pen over the wash rather than under it to get a deep crisp black...

I intend to do a series of these on a larger scale, a project that's been burning in my mind for a long time now... but as ever just waiting for that precious elusive spare time! I can hear the Raven croaks, the wingbeats invisible in the back of my mind, the ravelling winds rushing... they are crying to be painted!
I am pleased with the result of this first attempt, and its the first painting I've managed to produce for what seems like ages. Our business devours all our time, especially at this time of year, so it is a small victory for me to get it out there! Hooray!

Ooh, the wind is really howling now, lamenting like a wild bereft thing out in the wide dark, crying for the lost and forlorn with a throat of night and emptiness.
I'm off to make some cocoa with extra chocolate and full cream milk! Hope you liked the painting :)


  1. I love it, especially the asymmetry. The beautiful wash effects pull the eye across the painting to the ravens. Are you using salt in the wash to get those ferny tendrilly things? They look like hoarfrost on a window. Very nice effect. You've just given me some ideas for twin characters.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. Your sister in law is a lucky lady. It seems you also paint with words, you multi talented little person. I love your blog,
    Happy creating.

  3. Thanks for the nice comments folks, its great to get the feedback and encouragement! I did enjoy this one...
    And WOL yes indeed I did use salt, just to add another level of unpredictability! But I love the effect you get with it on these big washes... it is like hoar frost isn't it...

  4. Beautiful artwork Carrie, I love the watercolour effect. Your drawing skills are amazing, you have captured real drama here. Well done!

  5. That's a gorgeously atmospheric painting, Carrie!

  6. Carrie this is so beautiful, i love the colour & composition. Isn't watercolour grand to work with. Im sure your sister-in-law was hugely happy with this piece.


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