The Black Angel -- Happy Halloween 2014

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8.74/10 rating
(155 Members Voted)

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The "Black Angel of Oakland Cemetary in Iowa City always freaked me out as a college student back in the 90s. As you can see from the photo above, I couldn't even look at it.

While the statue in Iowa was my main inspiration, I'm sure some of you will also think of Doctor Who when you see this render.

Either way I hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!!

PS: Jessie took issue with my claiming the inspiration for this piece was the Black Angel in Iowa City. She correctly noted that our son Ian has been putting together a black angel costume for Halloween for the past month so he should get the credit. Thanks for the inspiration Ian!

Member Comments

Johan
"Awesome"
The black and white one is a perfect winter wallpaper.

Sun August 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Tracy
"Next Level"
Incredible render! All your images are gorgeous, but I swear I could reach out and touch this one! Such an amazing job! Thank you!!

Thu November 27, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Tim
"Must Have!!! "
This is one of the best Bg's I have ever seen!!



The triple screen split files link is down thougn and well... I need my fix! .../smackarm

Fri November 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Chebe
"Love it !"
Do you plan on adding ultrawide screen 3440 x 1440 ?

Mon November 3, 2014 at 0:20 am

Amy Barker
"Very spooky & dark"
I really like this. I also think it's cool you went to college in Iowa City. I'm in Iowa City actually, grew up around here and live in the city now. I've never been to see the black angel. I would hear the kids talk about it when I was in High School. Nice job on this one!

Sun November 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Clark L
"very nice"
I love the black and white version, though the colored version does look a bit spookier

Fri October 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Steve
"amazing!"
This is just quite simply a stunning panorama! Love the blood-red and the gothic touch! So appropriate for All Hallow's Eve!

Fri October 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Steve
"amazing!"
This is just quite simply a stunning panorama! Love the blood-red and the gothic touch! So appropriate for All Hallow's Eve!

Fri October 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

SGlasgow
"tri-screen split files missing"
tri-screen split files missing.



Please re-upload the 3 screen split files for us Mac folks. Right now it is "missing".

Thu October 30, 2014 at 5:00 am

Kelton
"BWBlackangel1"
love the black and white image. would love it for the S5 and 3360X1050 :)

Wed October 29, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Ryan
"@JM"
Thanks for the note! Use the 2048 x 2048 images for the Retina iPad (it has to be a square image to account for rotating the device).

Tue October 28, 2014 at 6:45 pm

JM
"<3 it"
I know the devices haven't been out for terribly long, but can we get this in the resolution for the new iPad Air 2s? (2048x1536, according to Apple's site.) ^_^

Tue October 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Jenanne
"@Suribachi & etc."
My, a poet amongst us! Lovely. Which reminds me -- Ryan, your haiku contest held some time back was really fun; perhaps you could hold something similar in the near future? WHEN you have the time. :) Happy Halloween, all!

Tue October 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

Suribachi
"An Eternal Vigil"
She keeps watch over the dead, her name long forgotten to the winds of time. She is cloaked in silent beauty that only is seen and admired as the leaves fall.

Happy Halloween and good job, I look forward to more of the same.

Tue October 28, 2014 at 0:11 am

Ben
"Amazing"
This is one of my favorite images that you've ever done. The ambience, style and tone of it are gorgeous, and however you've pulled the render itself off is amazing. It's a whole new level of beautiful.

Mon October 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Ted S
"I usally don't like Halloween..."
But this is wonderful! And twice as awesome for not being a grainy mess like so many renders of the last few years :)

Sun October 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

cpw
"Excellent"
I really like the black and white version - it almost has a more sinister feeling to it. Have you done a dual screen render in B&W?

Sun October 26, 2014 at 7:21 am

KR
"LOVE IT"
It's awesome, but why are the bottom sections blurry on this and pickle jar versions.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

MSwinson
"Love it"
Could you do the most recent version without the vines going up the statue? They seem a bit busy.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Russell
"Wow"
This one is creepy.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Russell
"Wow"
This one is creepy.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Brian
"Creepy"
I liked ver 1.0, and see you point about high marks out of the gate. But in my opinion all the changes to ver 2.0 are for the better. Nice additions/changes. Looking forward to the multi-screen.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Brian
"Fantastic!"
It's eerie, but freakin' awesome! I hope you make a multiple monitor version.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

Brian
"Fantastic!"
It's eerie, but freakin' awesome! I hope you make a multiple monitor version.

Fri October 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

Eric
"Chilly!"
@Ryan ... "Nice Hair!"



@Chris ... But that's how us zombies see it as we rise from our beds. hehe! :D



Happy Halloween Ya'll!

PS. @Ryan - Multi-screen please!!!

Fri October 24, 2014 at 7:14 am

Chris
"Fantastic, but"
i really wish you would have defined the blur a bit more, or pulled it mostly off-screen. it almost takes away from the rest of the picture (unless that's where your mac toolbar is)

Fri October 24, 2014 at 6:21 am

Holt
"awesome"
can't wait for multi-display versions.

Thu October 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Mike
"Liked it before"
I thought first one worked really good. The blurry rock or whatever it is in the foreground is very distracting. I would say bring back the taller grass from the first one.

Thu October 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Michael
"Version 1 Spookier"
Overall I think Version 1 was more spooky. I do like the added details of the grave to the right, vines on the trees, and blowing leaves in version 2. The added light and reduction of the grass gives the image a feeling being maintained and closer to civilization.



Version 1 gives off a sense of being out of the middle of nowhere and a more eerie vibe. I'm hoping for a version 3 that mashes the best of both.

Thu October 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Jeremy
"AWESOME"
Love it, just such great work. Happily been a member for several years and just renewed for another 2, thanks so much Ryan!

Thu October 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Thom
":("
My eyes can't stop being attracted to the blur at the bottom of the image. :(

Thu October 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Jenanne
"Just when I thought it couldn't get any better..."
It's even better. GREAT!

Thu October 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Ryan
"@Zach"
You might be right. Reload the page...

Thu October 23, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Zach
"v2"
To me, there is WAY too much light in v2--so much so, that it takes away the haunting feel of the image. I greatly prefer the one in the picklejar, and hope that there will be multiscreen renders of both.

Thu October 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Nick
"Haunting..."
This is the best Halloween background I've ever seen.

Thu October 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Mike
"I like v2, when should we expect other resolutions"
I know it takes additional time to do the multi-monitor renders, but was disappointed that there wasn't a V2 sized for Facebook

Thu October 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

JMK in CT
"I really like it but..."
Im having a hard time judging how tall the statue is. Comparing it to objects in the foreground and background I get the feeling its only a few feet tall. Any way to make it seem bigger?

Thu October 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Ryan
"v.2"
It's always tough when one of my first drafts takes off and gets high-ratings, because there will always be folks who won't like my changes. Still, I knew when I posted the first version of "The Black Angel" that I wasn't completely finished with it.

I've reworked the foreground (the grass was too tall and just a blur before), added some more vines to the trees and the statue, added some blowing leaves, and finally brightened the scene a bit so you can see more details in the foreground.

I hope you like the changes. The first version will remain available in Pickle Jar!

Thu October 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

mjtom
"WOW"
I love the reddish/pink hues of the sky. I like the angel statue; it's symbolic, looming and creates unrestful feeling. Thanks!

Wed October 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

Ryan
"@KG"
Can you use my 3840 x 1080 renders?

Wed October 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

KG
"10/10"
Render in 3820x1080 please.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Jenanne
"Bewitching"
Fantastic! This is going right into my Halloween mix with the rest of your spooky renders. Thanks!

Tue October 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Littlemom
"9"
This is a very awesome render. I love it. and it's perfect for Halloween. You and your family have a happy Halloween too.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 3:54 pm

MattTCG
"Great!!"
I love this render but I need 2560x1080...please.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

MattTCG
"Great!!"
I love this render but I need 2560x1080...please.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Hunter
"10"
I have been lacking in comments lately, because... Well, I can't comment on every render. But this is really amazing. Good job!

Tue October 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Deanna
"10/10"
Serious love for this image!! I agree with Zach. This is your best Halloween render yet!

Tue October 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Randall
"Don't blink..."
Don't blink...Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Rob C
"Great render"
Love the picture from '92 as well.

Always fascinated by what inspires artists - thanks for sharing.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Zach
"Best Halloween render yet"
This one is spectacular, Ryan! I can't wait for the multis, and I think that it would also look spooky with a deep blue sky. Wow, perfect right from the get-go.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

Todd
"10+"
Absolute best Halloween render ever!!! If I could rate higher I would.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

Topher
"magnificent"
That could be the best halloween one ever.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 7:57 am

Ryan
"@Andrew"
Oh I've seen it alright (only the first two episodes with them though). As I mentioned in my post, the original inspiration was a famous old grave marker in my old college town.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 7:46 am

Andrew
"Creeped Out"
Wow, no reference to the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who yet? That statue and the new wallpaper look an awful lot like them. Hopefully the one in your art doesn't move the second I look away from it!

Ryan, if you haven't seen the episode with the angels, I highly recommend it.

Tue October 21, 2014 at 7:37 am

Foz
"The horror!"
You're going to diiiiiieeee....

Tue October 21, 2014 at 6:29 am

Tony Robso
"Instantly loved it"
This is just brilliant, easily my favourite Halloween render, just so atmospheric!

Tue October 21, 2014 at 4:47 am

ChrisW
"Eerie, creepy...UNEARTHLY"
Very nice. Like the Weeping Angels from DR. WHO, I'm a little afraid to take my eyes off it...

Tue October 21, 2014 at 1:15 am

Tyler
"Whoa"
Beautiful and quite scary. This is one of the times where Ryan nails it and goes straight to multi. Would have to rank this a top Halloween render of all time.

Mon October 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm

JoeC
"Awesome"
Great subject! Can't wait for the dual screen.

Mon October 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm

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