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Truth lies just beneath the surface by Sarmati Truth lies just beneath the surface by Sarmati
Rusałka is a slavic female demon usually appearing around lakes, ponds or rivers. She deceives men and drowns them. 
I wanted to show her as a dead corpse that uses a charm, so that she looks like a pretty woman when out of the water. 

I've had some voices wondering about the swastikas on the rims of the guys shirt. So to make it clear. I have no connotations with any extreme right wing parties nor do I keep any nazi or racist oriented beliefs. Swastika has been used for hundreds of years in Poland, before Hitler stole it and spoilt it for everyone. The action of the image takes place in 9th or 10th century.
If you want to know more about swastikas just wiki it. There is a really broad and interesting article written about it.  
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pookiesaurus4 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll have you know they were once viewed as benevolent creatures
pookiesaurus4 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll have you know they were once viewed as benevolent creatures
mashka96 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
not sure if this came first or the poster for the russian movie rusalka:lake of death.. if yours came first then they totally ripped off your drawing
Sarmati Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Certainly I painted mine first, years ago, the movie is from 2018. Thanks for the notice : )
Feyre-Mist Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2018
They only do this to men, not women?  Lovely and scary image!~ :)
Sarmati Featured By Owner May 25, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Dunno, it's folklore, there are some female seducing demon counterparts too. 
LaMancinitheDarkOne Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2018
I've read about rusalkas before now. Some stories paint her as the ghost of a girl who had committed suicide by drowning or had been murdered. Her restless and unhappy spirit turns her into a vampiric creature that gains a kind of fake life for herself by absorbing life from everything around her. One of the so-called signs of a rusalka is that everything around the water where she died is dead. There are no living plants, trees, animals or even moss. This gives her enough life to leave her watery habitat in a limited radius. If she encounters a human being (usually male), she enchants him and slowly leeches away his life essence. At this point, she gets strong enough to travel miles away from the place where she died and seek out other victims instead of waiting for them to stumble upon her. Villagers who know this post signs warning travelers away from her spot and, without human sustenance, her life force wanes to the point where she is trapped in her watery grave. She never dies completely (because she's already dead) but she can be neutralized and rendered harmless to human life with the proper precautions. I really like your rendition here, one that succinctly captures the deceptive nature of this dangerous water demon.
imnothere24 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2017
This is just incredible! 
iSkyloft Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice artwork and great idea! 
katroposka Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2017  Hobbyist
Genialny pomysł Heart 
wombatv2 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
EverybodysCupOfTea Featured By Owner May 18, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
That Picture is so awesome! I love it! :heart:
Rosepuggle Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
I don't comment.... Ever.... But this..... I... I am in love.
Sarmati Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Oh, thank you. Appreciate : )
the-Scarlet-Queen Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Breathtaking concept!
SirenDrake Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2016
Great concept beautifully executed.
sweetheathenwoman Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
im in love with your work there are lots of heathen male figures in the art.... I cant wait to see what you would do with female heathen figures. The warrior pose seems to get very worn out as well, and the sheild maiden thing ( im not a fan) Its nice to see farmers and real people. A lady of the house carrying her keys etc... I hope you hear this bit of positive criticism because id really enjoy seeing more 
chernika Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2016
Awesome !
IamNx Featured By Owner Edited May 11, 2016  Student General Artist
I've always admired this piece, since I've seen it on Pinterest a few months back. Really haunting and I think an excellent portrayal.of the Rusalka.
Masterly made!
Ironmoor Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
godamnit Hel you tricky little bitch!!!!
right2fail Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2016
"Come on in, the water's fine!"
SydneyitsSydneyYo Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
This is my favorite piece you have done. 
Sarmati Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you :)
SydneyitsSydneyYo Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Welcome. :)
Orlig Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016
Удивительная работа! Очень понравилась
Professor-X Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016
beautiful art my friend!
Vykos86 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2015
This is one of the best works I ever seen. Wonderful composition and great style.
VicodinFlavoredMints Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is such a lovely peace of work, and such a neat legend too. :clap: Bravo! 
And to quote Gollum: "Don't follow the lights!"
Ngwenfuu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
The myth of the Rusalka was a favorite when I was a child, although always really spooky.  I like the way that you split the canvas above the middle of the canvas and divided the world in half at the water line.  This is fabulously well done, as well as haunting, and likely a good cautionary tale beside.  Excellent work.
Uranus-seventhsun Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2015
Magnificent. Man once again besotted by beauty, demons below cackling with glee...What lies beneath, indeed.
Gorgogorgo Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
Love it!!!
saperka99 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Student General Artist
Absolutely amazing, stunning concept!
steventhe23rd Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2015  Student General Artist
Love the concept! :D
ExposeTheBeauty Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Reminds me of temptation. 
Akemi-Rei Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015
Do you have this available as a print anywhere? I absolutely love it. 
theemperor555 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015
Something to think about.
Qwilion Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015
Of all your works this is my favorite. it caught me first with just the perspective and your skill, but then you went and used the Rusalka which I have loved since the Tigana novel by Guy Gavriel Kay. 
YamiPea Featured By Owner May 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Before Hitler stole it and spoilt it for everyone"

I spit coffee all over the table when I read this. :)
Sarmati Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
:D Haha yeah, I wanted to clear out some things that people might have problems with. 
YamiPea Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*shakes fist at Hitler*

Oh, by the way, lovely image. I'm sure you know already that you're very talented.

Keep it up.
Kordelia Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
[najbardziej podobała mi się z prac w 1138, gratulacje wystawy w temacie :) świetne prace]
Sarmati Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Dzięki : )
GuesssWho9 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, that is a beautiful fucking picture.

(Beware the Faerie Folk)
Chiththarthan Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
headshotgunny Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Looks great! Especially the way you combined evil with beauty and danger with this wonderful stream
ayoolaoke Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
Sarmanti this has left me speechless...

What do I have to do to get your permission (giving you full credits) to use the graphic of this art in my poetry book on heartbreak. Kindly respond

It speaks to one of my poems: 



Like a crocodile infested river

Her tantalising agenda loomed large

Scented heavily with hopeless aroma

Of promises that cannot be fulfilled


Contentious and wicked lies struggle

With shades of colours of shallow reason

Somersaulting on the gilt-edge of hope

Like the tail of an incestuous dream


I am doubly ensnared but not defiled

As I embrace the shadow not the essence

Of a night that gossips about sunshine

In the floating shadows of moonlight


I drank and savoured her sultry lies

But when the night bled into daybreak

And she treacherously tiptoed away

I remembered her like a bequeathed dream


9th April 2008; 10:17am

© Ayoola B. Oke

Kazudoom Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Your picture depicts the theme greatly - even before I read the description, the first thought that came to mind when I saw the picture was - Rusalka
scaryeric Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hey do you have this up on a site somewhere as a print? i would love to hang this up
Sarmati Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
No, sorry. I'll be setting one up some time soon.
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Submitted on
April 3, 2014
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