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Suns of Icarus by absolutehalo Suns of Icarus by absolutehalo
Originally done in March of 2004.

Well. This piece has about 32 hours of my life in it. Totalling about 325 layers and the .PSD file at around 1 gig in size. The full resolution was around 1200 x 2500, my biggest work at that time.

With this piece I started at the bottom. I defined a concept, a story, a thumbnail sketch of the idea, and then into it's production. For the record this piece was around about 4 or 5 months before Alyn released Icarus' Wish so for those just seeing it no flamin'. ;)

The work flow of this piece was heavily influenced by the music of Edgen. Back in the day when it was easily accessible (He's a bit more famous now lol.) I had just about every track he had done. I treasure his talent and his music as a great part of my inspiration from Suns of Icarus forward. I cherish his work and will use it for years to come to aid my creative spark.

The story of this piece is a somber, tragic one.

Icarus was a lone planet surrounded by several tretcherous suns. Icarus had no real orbit as it's gravity was always tested by the Suns that surrounded it. Because of the perils that it was always subject to, Icarus became the home of a band of rebels fighting against a great enemy. Over the centuries the war was forgotten and this planet thrived with life. The people lived in great peace and prosperity and they never wanted for anything.

Soon though, the planet became trapped between the suns and the result was a coming destruction. The people decided it best to leave, but one old traveler decided to take his last remaining moments of life and wait to see what would become of Icarus. The planet eventually emptied of people except for this one old man. He wept over the land he had lived his whole life then departed his home with the quick burst of the rockets on his ship. As he cleared the atmosphere he watched as the suns heat began to burn the planets surface. He flew into the void of space on his final journey of life never to return again.

On a softer note, Icarus would remain. It would be taxed heavily with fire and heat but it would remain as a testament to a richer time when peace and prosperity held at bay the wills of the Suns of Icarus.

This piece had much of my time and attention. While looking back on it now I see so much that agrivates me and I've often come back to the PSD to tinker. In the end though I feel this piece is at it's highest peak in this form. There is a file on my HDD entitled Return to Icarus which would take place several centuries later as a young traveler made his way to his ancestors homeworld. It never met completion.

This piece would go on to become my most recognized work. It was featured in Greg's Capturing Heaven article and appeared on the front of as the image selected to advertise Greg's article. For these feats I'm most grateful as it has proved to me that time and attention to a piece does pay off.


-absolute halo-
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Vermatalion Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2008
Your good at this sad stuff, aren't you?
devarkunattra Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008
this is powerful and very moving. thank you for sharing.
mikeyjoe Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2007
holy CRAP thats amazing !!!!! I cried when I saw that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that would be kinda kool and sucky
if halo really ended like that.........but dats COOL!!!
well if you don't mind I'd like to use this as my zune background!!!!!!
XGC-Ronin Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2007
This is quite possibly the coolest thing i have ever seen. Kind of ironic that im leaving a comment now even tho this was my first fav, lol.
Lotay Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
XGC-Ronin Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2006
This is quite possibly the coolest thing i have ever seen! Great job!
Vasiousmedia Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2006
KariVader Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer

This is ASTONISHING!!!!!

I read the description listening to sigur ross and I found it very sad.

But It's really gorgeous.

VTPPGLVR Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006
I dunno what you believe, but this could also be viewed as a spiritual picture.
absolutehalo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2006
Hmm... very observant. Some would call me a devout christian... others would call me a spiritual thinker... but I prefer to call myself saved to the uttermost.

In light of that, I do see the spiritual link in the image and I commend you for making the subtle connnection. Though I'm inclined to say I had no real intention of displaying some deep spiritual ideal in the image. It was only after the work was complete that I noticed. ;)

-absolute halo-
VTPPGLVR Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2006
I just mentioned so because it reminded me of all the old-timey big bibles which had clouds descending from heaven. But in your case, it was probably more like nebulas or something descending upon the planet. ;) I take Astronomy.
lordnemos Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
this is incredible, quite inspiring.
ThePpeGFX Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Professional Traditional Artist
Fantastic little story, lovingly made. All round great piece :D
Chimpantalones Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006   Interface Designer
This is beautiful. I love the whole sense of flow it has. :+fav:
khaamar Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Wow... this work stole my heart totally -- once I saw your gallery, this particular one seriously catched my eyes. And when I clicked to full view, I got completly hooked and jawdropped. First the planets are very detailed and realistic and then those light contrasts with the darkness of the universe, makes me want to stare it forever, specially that ray of light coming out from the planet. Good God, with 1GB file sized my computer would have died already, I'm glad your didn't because you were able to produce one of the most beautiful space images I've ever seen :D Definitly a well deserved favourite for you! Keep up the great work :nod:
tonare Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2006  Professional Digital Artist
Long time bro, this was always one of my fav space scenes along with :devalyns:. Great to see you around.:D
dmschenk Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2006   Digital Artist
This is a very nice piece! I really like the ethreal glow in the nebula! Good work!!
SamODJ Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe critique discouraged eh? Ha!

Only thing that intrigued me with this release is that it's not as impactful at the lower res. I really liked the large version, because i always spent ages trying to get a large patch of the scene in my screen, but never could! Sense of scale was greater with teh old release.
absolutehalo Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
Enjoy. ;)
SamODJ Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Much better, now its a combination of the two sizes i've seen, small and large!

I was never sure about the bottom half, but that top half. It's so......bright. I love that about it, hardly ever seen in the genre. Just gotta wait for you to release Luminance now..;)
absolutehalo Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
Hmm... so what you subtly suggesting is I update with a bigger version?

Hmm... let me see what I can do. ;)
netarco Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
Ahh, I remember this one, truly this was my favorite one that you've done, it looks amazing!
shards-ofthe-soul Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
I love the color tones :XD: I demand a wallpaper edition!! j/k
jagged-r0cks Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
I think its pointless to critisize because it was completed in 2004, but i think a much greater effect would have been seen if the bright part was cut off earlier... hiding what was beyond, just so that the viewer gets a hint of whats there

but hey, thats me, very nice job.
DVeditor Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Saw this one a while back in at least one or two articles and have always loved it. Your work is a great inspiration - keep it up!
MachoNacho852 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006  Professional Interface Designer
My GOd. I need to go change my pants +Fav
acidround Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There it is. ;)

Thanks, man. I needed that and congrats on the features. I knew about Greg's feature but I knew nothing about the feature in Very much deserved.
Typhuse Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2006
MAn you can do some pretty amazing stuff.. :+fav:
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Submitted on
March 14, 2006
Image Size
1.9 MB


150 (who?)