This is the first piece in my Beowulf series entitled "The Son of Cain Hunts in Heorot". I wanted each of the three pieces in the series to depict a battle with the three monsters Beowulf faces. This one shows Beowulf as he begins his epic fight with the beast Grendel.
I wanted this piece to depict the beginning of the battle as the first punches are thrown. Where Beowulf shows great confidence before this supposed threat, as his loyal men cheer him on against the demonic descendant of Cain.
The design of Grendel comes from specific parts of the original text. I show Grendel as this ominous shadowy figure that is almost completely silhouetted. I got this idea from a really interesting part of the book where Grendel is described as a dark shadow that lurks beneath the clouds.
Besides being a giant, Grendel is also said to have been disturbed by the noise of the great hall, thus why I designed him with the large ears. The rest of his physical appearance actually comes from descriptions of his mother. She is said to be a demonic sea creature who is refereed to as a sea-wolf. When I read that I wanted to play up that idea of fusing mammalian and aquatic creature aspects. So Grendel's ears were based upon a wolf but then enlarged to gain a more bat like quality. To incorporate the aquatic aspects I gave Grendel webbing that can be seen in between his fingers.
The piece was drawn out on paper and then painted in Corel Painter. I enjoyed painting it and hope you all like it as well.