Horns of a dilemma

Always wanted to do this as a finished piece.


The Gate (incomplete)

Streaks of wispy white clouds smear across the early morning sky. Gold, rose, and violet hued auras dance along the eastern horizon as the fiery dawn-beast emerges from a dark and silvery sea. The crisp smell of mountain pines and rocky scrub comes alive in the thin air as calls of morning birds filter up through the sparse conifers of the rocky spine from the lush oak and maple choked saddles below.
Two dark, cloaked and hooded figures stand still in this grandeur, seemingly afraid to break the spell of the moment. The first stands tall and strait, arms akimbo and legs planted shoulder width and solid, facing the rising sun and basking in the refreshing warmth of newborn day. The other, hunched and leaning heavily on a gnarled, capped staff faces northward, catching only sidelong rays from the sun. A trap of logic, an equation of power, draws his attention away from the splendor of dawn.

Following the gaze of the wizened figure northward, a menacing black edifice is seen to loom some 40 yards distant. All signs of life dissipate near the linteled arch. It is clearly an anathema to things living and natural. Not even the mottled lichens that cover the stony ground grow near it. Yet there are black and twisted remains of chaparral that dared grow to close in times past. But did these ill fated plants grow there by the whims of the whispering breezes that play across this bleak peak, or did they court the danger… for there is an attraction in this thing, as much as it repels.
The monument stands as high as three men, with harsh, irregular angles and sharp, precise edges. It is comprised of two inclined columns and a heavy horizontal beam, cantilevered one against another. As immovable and solid as it seems, there is a sense of frailness in its construction that suggests it could topple at any moment. Numerous glyphs and sigils that reflect the dawn's light break the polish of the arch's dark marbled surface. A feeling escapes from it that hints of a power that should not be contained, a dark and viscous aura that is a poison to innocence.


While I am at it:

I used to be a forum moderator, and made signature panels for myself, and some of my colleagues and friends, for use on the old Stratics forums Almost all of these are just stolen graphics that have been collaged or sampled to fit the format, but I am none-the-less proud of the effort.

Signature panels I used:
The first three were stolen graphics with my text and some fancy edging.
This one was a single image with recomposited components for the desired effect. The text was carefully skewed to give it a carved look.The 'blood' pouring out of the skull and coating the knife were recolored green to give it a 'poison' look. Text applied and some fade on the edges... the trick here was to find a typeface that would compliment the curves and lines already present in the original artwork.This one was a challenge. The original image had an elaborate skull motif on the helm, and other dramatic embellishments on the armor.
Signature panels for friends:
I spent a great deal of time selecting and collaging the various images together, selecting a typeface, and tweaking the text for the desired effect. Also, the man on the right began as a color photo, and was tweaked into a 'woodcut' image.The next three were never used, despite the effort of compositing background elements and giving the text a rich depth.These two were cropped, bordered, and text applied. Slam Dunk.These were for the same person. Subtle differences in the filtering on the image, and text, but basically a two-fer for me.Another one never used... the background was heavily tweaked to get a desirable effect. This was for an obnoxious girl who tried to get a bunch of 'free' signaturesby having a contest. I submitted one done in MS paint that looked horrible... it won. Shame drove me to make a decent signature panel for her.Unused Starters:
These were formatted with the intent of applying text as willing victims were found. Most have had their dimensions stretched or image components repeated to fill the width of the panel. A couple were just cropped. Arranged in order of most-to-least work.