Desert Rider (2022)
“Dromas were by nature placid and docile creatures and had been used for millennia by the Sadusi as pack animals and food, in extreme circumstances.
However when aroused or threatened, dromas could transform into dangerous and quick-moving chargers, and the Sadusi knew by instinct how to exploit this hormone-driven frenzy to their advantage, when raiding rival Sadusi settlements, and hunting the notorious sand salamanders in the open.
From an early age when she was barely able to walk, the Sadusi elders noticed Malena’s natural affinity with the dromas, and how they sought her attention. She seemed to know instinctively how to ride them, using subtle prods of the feet and touches of the reins to guide them and goad them into a quick sprint, or the long-legged lope that would allow the Sadusi war parties to cover vast distances in a short time.
Malena loved the feel of the dry desert wind on her skin, and would often ride without her customary hood and mask, risking the ire of the tribal elders for the wasting of precious moisture lost by sweat and breathing.
But she ignored their disapproving stares and mutterings, and sometimes drove her droma mount across the dune sea at great speed, reveling in the freedom of the moment…”
Technical aspects: This image is a bonus image from the series of “The Annals of Malena – 20 years later”. I had an image of a dinosaur running at high speed across a desert, from a recent series I had seen on Television called “Prehistoric Planet”, and wanted to adapt that image to the mythology of “the Annals of Malena”, but I already had completed the 13 images for the revisited series.
I use the opportunity to ease the logjam of ideas that I had for this series and spent months battling 3D-Coat to get the sort of “droma” that I wanted. The creature went through several iterations, and my own obsessive nature with getting the image “just right” slowed down the final rendering.
I still am in the process of moving over to Blender as my 3D creation program, and that will take time,
I found some interesting cloud patterns for the sky online on unSplash and created a dune with 3D-Coat, and pulled them into DAZ Studio to create the basic composition, I used Affinity Paint to combine them into the final image which was then worked on to create a painterly effect with a Wacom Intuos tablet.
There might be other “Annals of Malena” images hiding out in the dusty corners of my imagination, but that will have to wait for another time.