Mythology Exhibition

I was thrilled to be invited by The Little Labs in Burbank, California to take part in their first gallery show Mythology. For my submission, I chose to depict a scene in which a wandering ship at sea happens upon an almighty hydra from Greek mythology. I took this opportunity to experiment with a new, angular style.

This was a one-off print so to whoever now has it on their wall—thank you :)


To me, the work that led up to final piece is as interesting as what I ended up with. It’s for those of you who feel the same way that I get a little in-depth here.

The first step I took after creating the drawing was to explore different colour combinations. While I chose the blue/green option, later on I opted for a warmer palette for the hydra. At this point in the development of the piece I wanted three different coloured heads. This too gets changed as I decide that making all three heads the same colour would make it more clear that it’s an individual creature as opposed to three separate ones.

Because of the geometric look that I was going for I used an isometric grid for both the drawing and final artwork. By doing this I was able to ensure that all of my spacing and angles were consistent throughout the piece. It also came in handy once I got into Adobe Illustrator as I could set my artwork to snap to the grid I had created.

Once I had the drawing and rough colour scheme I began the vector process by creating the basic masses for my hydra heads and ship bow.

After some slight adjustments to the colours I began to build out the details of one of the hydra heads.

After echoing the treatment of one hydra head to the rest I began to explore background patterns. This first pattern was designed to mimic the hydra scales but was eventually abandoned.

Now we introduce the boat and in doing so find a nice pattern in the floorboards that can be used in the background.

You might notice a change in size at this point. That’s because I found out the dimensions I was planning to print at were going to make finding an appropriate frame troublesome. So the illustration had to be cropped.

With the illustration mostly finished I decided to explore some different colour options. While I liked the feeling of the blue tones leading up to now there was something really catching about how bright and saturated this version is.

For the final piece I toned down the previous colour palette and reintroduced some of the teal that I liked. Ready to be printed and framed!