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Goddess Idun - Close up



So, some time ago I did an illustration for an artbook. For now I am not allowed to show the full artwork, that's why it's only a close up. 

The artbook itself is called 'Mythen und Legenden' (Myths & Legends) and is sold in Germany, Austria and Suisse. Aside from me, 30 other artists from the german speaking art community contributed each one piece for the book. It is divided in 4 parts: Norse mythology, greek mythology, roman mythology and mythical creatures. The artists could each choose what creature/ god/ goddess they wanted to draw.

I got Idun, the norse goddess of (eternal) youth and immortality. I chose her because I'm very familiar with norse mythology, due to one of my hobby being reenactment (I was for a long time in an active viking group, who were really serious about authenticity), and my own origins, slavs and scandinavians (among others). 

About Idun herself: You can read most about it on Wikipedia. There is not much mentioned about her in the Edda. But considering that it is her (or rather: her golden apples) that keep the Aesir Gods alive, and hints that there are no such apples without her, I'd say she is a hella important goddess :D
(For those who don't know: The norse have different lineages of gods. The Aesir, like Odin, Baldur, Thor, etc, are the youngest lineage. They are the 'new' gods of the vikings, strong, powerful and belligerent and the ones who reside in Asgard. Unlike other gods they are MORTAL. Only Iduns apples keep them from aging and dieing like every other mortal being. Idun herself is one of the Aesir too, though her father wasn't).
When we think about youth, we think about teenagers, the time of day the sun rises, spring and budding flowers (at least, I do). I wanted all that to be part of the picture, so that her function as a goddess more or less slaps you in the face.

So, it is said that Idun lives in a garden in the castle of her husband. Due to above stated reasons, I wanted to portray her in this garden, that is frozen in eternal spring. Fresh grass, green trees, spring flowers, and most imprtantly: Apple trees that always carry apple blossoms (Not in this close-up, sorry). I wanted it to be in early morning, just after the sun has risen. Only at that time the sky has a color of fresh, nearly transparent turquoise.  And I wanted Idun herself to be young, but an adult, maybe 18 or 19 (she's a married woman, after all). And I wanted to portray her picking those golden apples early in the morning, that she will give out to all the gods during the day. 
I wanted to portray how only under her touch those apple blossoms ripen to glowing golden fruits. To indicate that, I added some unripen apples around her hand picking the golden one.
As for herself, I gave her eyes the same color as the morning sky, and made her hair of red color. Though many people think that golden hair was considered the most beautiful in ancient times, for the norse it was actually red hair. It was rare, it was the color of fire, warmth and blood. It was the hair color that, according to many sources, Thor and Loki, 2 of the best looking gods, had. And I wanted the goddess of youth to be beautiful. Also, her clothes and accessoiries are a wild mix of different slavic and scandinavian folk clothes (artistic freedom). For example, the braided crown and the ribbons are obviously ukrainian, the pearl necklace north-west russian, her bangles are based on finds in Norway and the subtle pattern on blue belt and trim were found in norwegian and scandinavian graves (I used different patterns, though you can barely see).

As for the medium: I used ShinHans' Touch Twin Marker and Brushes, Polychromos, Acrylics, Boesner Multiliner and white ink on A4 Marker Paper. 
Image size
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ArlenFram's avatar
She is immensely beautiful! I thought your Loki is great but this is also VERY pretty :)