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Ymir, the first Jotunn by GregStevens Ymir, the first Jotunn by GregStevens
In the beginning, there was no earth and there was no sky. There were no stars and planets, no oceans and seas.

There was only Muspellsheim (the realm of fire) and Niflheim (the realm of ice). And where the two worlds came together, there was a yawning void of swirling mist and vapor: the Ginnungagap.

In the swirling chaos of the Ginnungagap, droplets of water were melted by the sparks of Muspellsheim and frozen by the chill of Niflheim, and so they formed frost. And as the hoarfrost grew, it formed the likeness of a giant man. This man became Ymir, the first frost Giant, and the first living being in the universe.

Eventually, other beings spring from his various body-parts and over-throw him, using his corpse to build the universe. But that's a story for another day.

In this piece, we see Ymir being born as a pattern in the frost between the cold of Niflheim above and the heat of Muspellsheim below.

Nerdy Aside: How cool is it that the ancient Norse peoples realized that a temperature gradient is a necessary pre-condition for life to exist in the universe?

Technical Notes:

Corel Painter 11 on a Wacom Tablet, using highly distorted, colorized and manipulated images of frost and ice found using a simply Google Image Search.

This piece is a mixture of digital painting with some photomanipulation, so I'm not sure the best way to categorize it.

The highly textured background was actually created using Corel Painter's infamous but under-used growth effect to create a complex spider-web on multiple layers, with varied level of transparencies.

I then used the Distortion brush to create a vague outline of Ymir's figure, and copied and pasted and distorted and manipulated actual photos of frost on windows and hoarfrost on tree branches to add detail to Ymir's face and body. Additional contouring was added using the Grainy Blender brush, and the Dodge and Burn tips for highlighting and shadows.

Finally, I added a little color using Tinting and the "Flame" effect un the Concept Glow brush set, so that you can see in the two corners of the image the two "worlds" that are coming together to form Ymir.
Add a Comment:
Chala86 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely stunning.  Well done.
SvalaW Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a truely amazing work with stunning details and colors!

May we use this pic of yours for our new icon at :iconmyths-and-fantasy:?

Thank you!
GregStevens Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I would be honored!!! You absolutely may, and thank you!
SvalaW Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great! :thanks: Thank you so much!
Hrefngast Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
This is great, conveys a real primal energy!
GregStevens Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
FireMarioWii Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Wonderful artistic creation that really hands down the chaos of fire and the stiltedness of ice.
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Submitted on
February 16, 2011
Image Size
990 KB


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