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Submitted on
October 9, 2009
Image Size
1.1 MB


449 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/400 second
Focal Length
6 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jun 26, 2006, 12:40:09 AM
Raven Gives Light to the World by ExiledChaos Raven Gives Light to the World by ExiledChaos
Mythos assignment from Advanced Illustration. We picked a myth of our choosing to illustrate, and I chose the Tlingit and Tsimshian Native American tale of how Raven stole light for the world. There are many different telling of the story, but this is the one I used.

In the beginning, the world lived in darkness. There was no sun, moon, not even any stars. Men had trouble hunting for game, and women couldn't gather berries and roots. Even babies had trouble nursing in the blackness. The sun, moon, and stars were captured and kept in 3 boxed in the house of a greedy chief and his family. Many tried to find this chief to free the lights, but all became lost in the dark. Finally Raven came, and in his godly power, he promised the chiefs of the blinded villages to return the lights to the world. So he flew off, searching for a long time. He eventually came upon the chief's hideaway and waited to formulate a plan to free the lights. Everyday, the chief's granddaughter would gather water at a steam by the house, and take a sip of water before filling her bucket. Raven got his idea then. One day, as she routinely went about her business going to fill her bucket, Raven await overhead. As she went to drink, Raven turned himself into a hemlock needle and fell into the water. She swallowed him, and 9 months later, little baby Raven was born x3. No one found this odd at all, even if the baby was somewhat deformed and looked like it had a beak. On the contrary, the family was overjoyed and spoiled Lil'Raven rotten. As time passed, Raven was able to bend anyone in the family to his will by crying and asking for anything he wanted. Raven cried one day and reached for the Box of Stars, and to appease him, the chief handed it over. Seeing he was happy, the family let him play and let him out of their sight. As soon as they weren't looking, Raven broke the box into a thousand pieces and all the stars floated up to the sky through the house's smoke hole. Again, Raven cried and pointed to the Moon Box, and to make him quiet, the chief gave it to him. Again, as soon as they left him, he broke the box, and the Moon drifted into the sky. Now he cried even louder and reached out to the Sun Box. The chief tried to give him anything else, but Raven's cries were so loud everyone in the house was panicking. He finally relented and took the sun from it's box and tossed it to young raven. Just as the sun reached him, Lil'Raven transformed back into his original form, caught the sun, and flew out through the smoke hole (also turning his originally white feathers black). The greedy family lamented and cursed, but Raven was long gone, and the sun was returned to the sky. </sub>

Anyway, this was really fun to do! I loved how it came out compared to my sketch and color study. I used a base layer of watercolor on cold press illustration board, then finished it off with prismacolor pencils, watercolor pencils, and a white pencil for details. Time taken.... eeehhh... about 4 or 5 days, I don't know how many hours total. Size 12 x 20.

Enjoy =)

Close ups

Production sketches

Art Copyright Me! Do not use without permission

(edit) Also, just in case, here's a book I used in my primary studies for bibliographic citation:

Schomp, Virginia. The Native Americans. New York:
Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008.

I do not claim ownership to this story, only the art I have done.

Add a Comment:
MutantandNinjaLover Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my gosh, I say you captured the story well! I grew up with this story, so I know what I'm talking about. :)
ExiledChaos Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Thank you so much =D I'm glad to hear it!
Yinepuhotep Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013
Given that this is one of my favorite stories, and my favorite version of the story, I just HAD to see how you interpreted it, and I have to say that your painting is amazing! It's an image I would LOVE to have on my wall.
Roses-and-Feathers Featured By Owner May 18, 2013  Hobbyist
Hey I remember this story! i read a book of it when I was a wee little girl :D

Nice to see some art of it :D
flyingfluff Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
This is such a beautiful piece!
EminaTeno Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012
Figure associated with Russian fairy tales.
ExiledChaos Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
really? Which tale? I love learning about different mythologies =)
babbletrish Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
TheCrimsonCrow Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
Wow, that is beautiful! I like the perspective!
Vissyscrafts Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Looks so wonderful !
The colors looks so lovely and I love the details in it especially the wings!
This is really a gorgeous capture!
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