Mighty Hercules

“Mighty Hercules” is an illustration from a collection that I am currently working on called “Aerial Perspectives and Reflection”. A collected I started during the winter to hash out things I thought about, or images I wanted to illustrate which had a significant meaning to me. The project started as a means for me to cope with my husband being deployed for half the year, but even after he returned, I am still working on the collection.



For the illustration “Mighty Hercules”, I had imagined what it would look like to see a plane landing in snow dusted dirt runways. My spouse was in the high arctic and I tried to imagine what it may have looked like for him to see the planes come in. I started this illustration a few months ago and seemed to be at a stand-still with it. Once I switched the illustration from daylight to nighttime, it came together nicely. I added in northern lights because I associate the arctic with northern lights, and have always wanted to see them.


The project was created start to finish in Adobe Photoshop, digitally painted with a Wacom Intuos Pro.
The illustration starts off with finding the shapes, adding in the colours, textures and fine tuning to get the right highlights and shadows and effects.

People seem to enjoy the lighting effects of the illustration, the whimsical feel from the northern lights and how the engines twirl up the snow. The northern lights seem to evoke a bit of wander to the viewer, who wish to see the northern lights, while others respond to the aircraft and how it feels like it is in motion.

I will be continuing this series, which can be followed on my behance be.net/karlybarker

Karly Barker

An illustrator and graphic designer living on an island in the North Atlantic of Canada, surrounded by icebergs and puffins.
A Digital painter armed with a cintiq and photoshop, creating illustrations of aircraft, sea vessels and landscapes.