Beowulf hangs up the arm of Grendel in Heorot

Digital paint (Corel Painter VIII)

This is yet another image I did for a school illustration assignment, and the first time I've used Corel Painter for anything more ambitious than idle doodling.

In the story of Beowulf, he fights the monster Grendel at Heorot, the great mead-hall of Hroþgar, the Danish king. Knowing that mortal-forged weapons will not bite on the troll-kind, he grapples with Grendel bare-handed and in the struggle tears his arm bodily from his shoulder. Then, to display his trophy for all to see, he hangs the severed limb from the roof-beams of the mead-hall, whereupon there is general rejoicing until Grendel's enraged mum comes to see to the bully who tore her little darling's arm off. Then there's more blood and gore, until Beowulf slaughters her in her turn.

And they say there is too much violence on TV — they've got nothing on the old stories.

The software (Corel Painter) is pretty easy to use, though I wouldn't recommend it for anyone without a decent graphics tablet since it relies heavily on pressure and tilt sensitivity to achieve its "natural media" effects. I've really only dipped my toe in its waters; there is a huge range of brush and media effects I don't have the first clue about controlling. However, it seems to me to be about the best software out there at the moment for 2d image creation (as opposed to image editing). This particular image is created almost exclusively with the "Oils" brush set.