Fleeing the sand fury (2020)

[Original manuscript]

“There were no oceans on Wesdraken IV – no open water either. Nothing to cool or moderate the wind as it swept across the planet’s surface. In a matter of hours, light breezes – aided by the Coriolis force of the rotating planet – would grow to the terrifying sandstorms called the “b’Hak Shayti” – The Devourer – by the local inhabitants. The winds in these storms were so furious that the driven sand would eat the flesh right off the bones of those lifeforms unlucky enough to be caught in its path.

Malena knew this all to well, but had remained in the open until the last possible moment, intent on her task. The storm front rolled toward her with astonishing speed. The air around her crackled with static electricity, generated by the path of the wind-driven sand, as she sprinted the short distance towards the outcrops of blackened basalt that would grant her shelter and safety.”


Technical aspects: The original “Fleeing the sand fury” image – created 2 decades ago – had an ideal composition and pose. I felt I could not improve it in any way, apart from changing the format from landscape to portrait.

The original figure of Malena had been posed using a frame grabbed from a movie called “Legend”, (directed by Ridley Scott) so I simply copied the pose from the original image, and applied it to my Malena 2.0 character in DAZ Studio – end of story…

The base for Malena’s backpack holder for her power rifle was created with 3D-Coat and saved as an .OBJ file which was then imported into Marvelous Designer as an avatar and “wrapped” with strips of cloth to add some character.

I have collected a large number of photographs of real sand storms over the years, and used these as reference to paint the “Devourer” cloud in the background. Finally Filter Forge 9 and a number of imported Adobe Photoshop brushes provided the blown sand effect, and the Wacom Intuos tablet was used to create the final “oil-painting” look in Affinity Photo.

This time I added some lightning in the base of the sand storm clouds and gave the lightning bolts a green colour. I experienced a lightning storm in the Kalahari desert, many years ago and remember seeing green and turquoise  lightning bolts.

Worlds in the Making