Illustration Friday: Backwards


Phaethon traveled backwards in time to his father's house of the Sun to request to mount his father’s chariot. Phaethon, whose rashness in diving the chariot of the Sun, caused the parching of the earth. For when he was carried too near the earth, everything burned in the fire that came near. For that, Zeus smote Phaethon with a thunderbolt and brought back the sun to its accustomed course. The Heliades were seven nymph daughters of the sun-god Helios. When their brother Phaethon was struck from the chariot by Zeus, they gathered around his smoky grave on the banks of the River Eridanos and in their unrelenting grief were transformed into poplar trees and their tears into golden amber. The women, not yet completely transformed into trees, had roots at the extremities of their toes and branches had supplanted the arms. Their hair had become nothing but poplar leaves and the welling tide of tears in their eyes gleamed and seemed to attract rays of light. These poplars, at the same season each year, drip tears (or sap) which in brilliance excels all else of the same nature and is commonly used in connection with the mourning attending the death of young.

I just finished reading Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes. The original sketch was done in a ruled Moleskine sketchbook and enhanced in Photoshop. Sarah, one of the copywriters I work with, convinced me to illustrate some of the stories to inspire us for a new story she is writing.