Invocation — Halloween 2013


SKU: invocation3 Category: Tags: ,


I wanted to do something for Halloween that could be used at any
time of the year so no Jack-o-Lanterns or black cats here.

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77 reviews for Invocation — Halloween 2013

  1. Mike [lifer]

    I love anything that has magic, spells, etc. in it (like Pyre & Summoning) and I love all of the holiday themed work! But I especially love it when those two themes come together! These are awesome! Keep them coming!

    (And perhaps you could find it in your heart to do something along those lines for Yule, as well, sir?) 🙂

  2. Mangoman [lifer]

    Hey Rankin, lighten up a tad. I know Ryan welcomes comments, but please..well, never mind. I just think, to call this work a “piece” is insulting. A “piece”?? I believe it’s brilliant. I don’t care at all for the pentagrams, and other witchery & devilish stuff, but it is after all, Halloween. That face, and those totally spooky eyes staring at you from the trees — man, that’s a nerve grabber fer sher. The face alone is a hell of a lot more than just a “piece”- it’s an entire work by a great talent.

  3. Rankin

    The problem I have with this piece is the gazebo and the figure in it. They seem too layered on for either the color scheme or the lighting. If you look at it, it feels as if you took two different pieces and layered them on top of one another. The gazebo and the figure feel out of place when you look at it with the massive detailing of the outer forest. I don’t know, it just feels a little rushed when compared to your other work

  4. ZUL

    I love the way the trees form a face, with those evil looking eyes.

  5. Slackweed

    The central figure is so noisy, it’s like playing a video game with mipmapping turned off. Grainy and noisy. That’s my largest problem with recent renders.

  6. David

    Lovely use of colour / darkness. The central figure looks much less Disney in the final render.

  7. Puzzle

    After looking at the other new wallpapers, I’ve realized that, when I was a child “Smoke on the Water” would have been more frightening to me than Happy Halloween. Way more left up to the imagination, and my little-kid imagination would have made it really scary!

  8. Puzzle

    Great job! I do love the two moons, er, eyes…… I’m a little disappointed with some misguided comments that this is not appropriate, or somehow offensive. It in no way demeans any religion, faith, or even lack thereof. It’s great and beautiful art and fantastic imagination. Thanks, Dear!

  9. Tina

    Oh for the love of pete. I’m pagan and no this isn’t offensive. The pentacle is traditionally a protection symbol not a “holy symbol”.

  10. Ruth

    Ryan, you did a fantastic job with the latest render; I really love the ‘face!’ It has more of the usual Halloween feel to it for me. I have them all on my computer!

    I made a comment below as well, and I wish to add a little bit to it:

    Salidar, you have a valid point, and to that I will say that I have seen the cross of Christ used in ways that make me sad because I think they are irreverent according to my beliefs, but I have certainly never demanded that anyone do anything different with it. It is the way I feel about my faith that matters. I really try to BE a Christian rather than just slap that title on myself, and that means that I can disagree with someone without chewing them up or making hateful threats.

    Ryan, I think your art did what all art is supposed to do; invoke thoughtfulness and discussion, and that is a good thing! 🙂

  11. Kastie

    As an artist, I love this piece. However, I am dismayed by the comments either hating too much on the pentagram or hating on those expressing concern over the symbol. I have dabbled in witchcraft and am now a Christian. To believers in many religions, the pentagram is more than a mere symbol used in art. I am not a strict Christian by any means, but I will not download or use this with the pentagram in it. It would be different if there was one point facing upward instead of two, which would indicate something different than a pentagram with two points facing up. Ultimately, it’s up to the artist to decide what to do, but everyone is entitled to their opinions and their beliefs. I think it’s brilliant and I hope another version is offered for those of us who will not put a pentagram on our computer screens. Otherwise, it’s our loss. We’ve still paid for our subscriptions, so Ryan is getting his money for it whether we download it or not. But this doesn’t weaken my respect for Ryan or his talent. I’ve been a fan since 1998 and will remain a fan.

  12. Jenanne

    Wow, E, genius! It never occurred to me that the sequence told an additional story. But IMHO the first two should be reversed:

    Darkarts0: Dais begins to glow blue; blade is blue & not glowing

    Darkarts1: Power intensifies; dais and runes glow orange; blade glows blue; sky darkens

    Invocation1: Power channeled to blade – blade glows orange; dais & runes return to blue; sky lightens; summoning has begun

    Invocation2: The Dark One starts to appear

    Invocation3: The Dark One is clearly seen

    Invocationforest: The Dark One responds to the summons

    Ryan, I love the Picklejar render of the face. The vines resembling hair are a wonderful touch.

    Barproducts: DB coasters! That’s something I would actually buy.

  13. Rob

    This scene reminds me a lot of a series of books I’ve read “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher. Personally I love the orange version, and I like the blurred effect, it makes it appear as if you’re looking through someone’s eyes, with one main focal point and the peripheral is out of focus.

    Is it possible to make the orange version a dual screen too? Please?

  14. E

    Ryan, Like Len on DTWS I wish I had an 11 paddle. LOL. For my part I’ve sequenced them thus;

    Darkarts1 – The temple begins to glow

    Darkarts0 – The power of the temple is intensifying

    Invocation1 – The power is channeled into the blade

    Invocation2 – The Dark One starts to appear

    Invocation3 – The Dark One is clearly seen

    Can’t wait to set up my single screen (home) system to render this for the coming week.

    PS. Ryan, Please, please, Any chance at getting all the Pickle Jar versions in dual screen? My work system.

    PPS. To all the H8ers below, I say shame on you. You know DB/Ryan is an artist. Not plain, and not simple, BUT extremely talented. It’s all his choice, so settle down or do it yourself. And yes. like a TRUE artist he can invoke many different emotions in each individual. So bravo Ryan, YOU’RE A SUCCESS! As if there was ever any question on that point. 🙂

    CHEERS! 😀

  15. D

    Perfection achieved, face in the sky makes this one go to 11.

  16. Jenanne

    I bet the Picklejar Axiomatic Orange 2k131 would look awesome on those bottle openers. Definitely matching beer mugs or glasses for the six you’ve licensed.

    Ryan, I was joking about the “Happy Halloween” thing. I sure hope you didn’t change it because of my dumbass comment. 🙂

  17. Gumboot

    Simply awesome!

    And to answer the other question: The Boston Shakers, and the custom printed matching glassware.

  18. Jenanne

    Gee, Ryan, I noticed that in the title above you’ve replaced “Happy Halloween” with “Halloween.” Is this Halloween no longer happy? Because of that I’m giving this render a one instead of a 10, even though I really like it.

    Seriously, I’m really sorry that this train wreck of a discussion happened on this site. Some of the most vicious, hurtful, and divisive conversations I’ve read on the internet have involved religion, and I’m disappointed to see even a little of that here. I don’t think you deserve the blame for this, Ryan, but I certainly understand if this has left a bad taste in your mouth. Sorry. Since I opened my big mouth too I have to accept responsibility for prolonging this unholy mess.

    Come on, folks, you know Ryan meant no offense. He changed the title in an attempt to defuse the situation. Can’t we accept this render in the spirit in which it was offered?

    I rated this 10. I like the darker sky and the sharper focus, and the suggestion of the face in the sky is a wonderful touch. Terrific piece.

  19. betsey

    ran a slideshow of all five….would it be possible to do a “darkarts1” all blue??? would love to see it!!!!

  20. anguish

    I completely dig this one.. Preferred the orange to go with Halloween, but at the end of the day, agree 100% with Martin as well.

  21. Kaaletram

    I agree with Martin on every point. Chill its not worth the over the top rage-gasm.

  22. Martin

    Another great piece, Ryan. Although orange is more “Halloween-ish,” my tired old eyes prefer the blue. 🙂 I’m also dismayed at the knee-jerk hating and overreactions to this piece. I mean, you obviously aren’t going to please everyone, but seriously… getting your panties in a twist because he used a symbol that just happens to be used in your particular belief system? (Does this mean that the cross and the Star of David should be excluded from any and all artwork now, too?) Or giving a piece you actually like a dismal score just because he changed the damn name?! For crying out loud, people, it’s a piece of art, not a religious statement. Grow up and chill out!

  23. Eric

    Brilliant! Subtle, and simply BRILLIANT!


  24. Irim

    Absolutely stunning – from the colours to the breathtaking artistry to the atmosphere, the sense of being in a woodland temple. The sky is darker here, so I prefer it to the last render.

    And just a note: you judge this on its artistic merit, not because blue reminds *you* of Chanukkah and you have a limited idea of what colours ‘belong’ to Halloween or because:

    You changed the name. Sorry, my friend. Ordinarily I’d rate this around a 8.5 to 8.8, but I must protest the name change.

    I wouldn’t mark a student’s essay down because they changed the title – it’s graded on merit.

  25. jschrader

    WTH???…since when is Halloween a Jewish holiday? Don’t get me wrong that I have anything against those holidays, but since I was a child I associated red, yellow and orange with Halloween and not blue like for Hanukkah.

  26. kellzilla

    I am very sad you renamed this due to one kneejerk overreaction. 🙁

  27. teddeler

    A good, atmospheric picture for Halloween, I think. I do like invocation2 better than the previous three. The red felt a bit too confrontational and aggressive. The blue feels calmer, the glyphs are a nice touch, and the ‘eyes’ in the sky raises the creepiness level by an order of 10.

    As for the use of the pentagram – it’s interesting how the meaning of a picture can change depending on what the viewer brings to it. The name ‘Darkarts’ kind of imposes the fictional demon-summoning interpretation on it but changing the name to ‘Invocation’ got me thinking about the historical Christian symbolism of the pentagram. Yes, the picture could be a sorcerer summoning powers that shouldn’t be messed with but it could also be a Crusader praying for strength and protection. The ‘eyes’ in the sky could be symbolic of the evils he will face or of his impression of God as a formless, omnipresent being.

    So what could have been just a cool Halloween picture has become a source of contemplation. Well done. 🙂

  28. Chris B

    Awesome job Ryan! You are a master of the subtle!

  29. Michael K

    Ryan, don’t get the nay sayer ruin an otherwise brilliant piece of artistic liberty. I think the use of the Pentacle is an excellent choice. Being a Pagan since I accepted my new beliefs, it is a shame that some people chose to ‘freak out’and feel challenged of their faith which could be fragile at best. People need to be open to new ways and new areas that make them think. Yes, for many the Pentacle whether it is point up or point down is for them a religious symbol. I for one would love to have the money to be able to create this on a piece of property with tons of woods, streams and rock formations. Your use of the Pentacle with the point up in the shape of a star is appropriate. The only change I would suggest would be to change it from ‘ The Dark Arts’ to ‘The Arts’. Brilliant, inspiring and moving. Thank you from this Pagan to the spirit of the Artist in you!

  30. Hoverwolf1

    You changed the name. Sorry, my friend. Ordinarily I’d rate this around a 8.5 to 8.8, but I must protest the name change. (On a technical level, I would expect there to at least be a path through the vegatation to the dais, rather than a nearly complete overgrowth of the stairs, based on the assumption that it would be used a little more than once a year.)

  31. Phil S.

    While I do like this version a lot, there are bits and pieces from the others that I like more.

    I like the contrast between the background and the vines/roots dangling from the upper structure in version 1, as they are harder to make out in this version.

    I prefer the sharper background from version 0.

    I also like version 0’s simple stairs and less vegetation to the dais.

    The things I like about this version:

    The sharper pentagram image.

    The added runes both upper and lower structure. But these added runes are the reason I like the simpler stairs.

    Overall, great job!

  32. Stargazer

    I like the orange pentagram with the blue sky the best. On your third version, if the sky were more orange I would like it best. All three are great.

  33. Stargazer

    I like the orange pentagram with the blue sky the best. On your third version, if the sky were more orange I would like it best. All three are great.

  34. D

    Very nice update, nearly perfect. Reduce the DoF and sky lighting a bit and you’ve got a 10 IMO.

  35. Salidar

    Great image. I for one really like the orange lighting the best but all three look great.

    Nightwynd, there is nothing harmful in this depiction. In fact, the symbolism of it is very accurate. Follow the rede in this case.

    Ruth, you being Christian and not being upset about the pentagram is not the same thing. Instead, imagine it was a cross and being used in a way that you might disagree with. That is the sentiment of a few in this comment list. I tend to disagree but at least that will hopefully clarify the perspective.

    Ryan, again, I think it’s a wonderful image and I have no fault with the title or what is depicted. Art should always strive to make us think. Challenging notions is a good thing to me. Very happy with it.

  36. Zach

    I think this version is great (to me, far better than the orange render), but I think the DoF is a bit too shallow. I really enjoyed the crisp background of the initial pickle jar version. Can’t wait to see what it will look like in the multiscreen renders!

  37. Jenanne

    Love it! I’ve got it up in rotation and it looks awesome with Dark Wings, New Playmate, Sleepwalkers, Haunted Nebula, and All Hallows Eve (love that one, too, Chris B, but Dark Wings is my all time fav). I love the blue symbols at top and bottom, and the background is much improved. It’s still a bit blurry, but that does focus attention on the foreground scene. Great!

  38. Molly

    Love the added colors, and both versions are amazing as always, but liked the crispness of the orange sky in the first blue version a little better.

  39. Ben

    I will have to agree with the focus thing mentioned by Camus27. Also while I like the added vegetation around the dais I think the runes on the steps are too obscured by it. other than that it is very well done

  40. Camus27

    I do like this one better, though I think the way the glyphs were more prominent in the other one was nice too. As others have said, I also think there is something a little off. I think its maybe the sharp focus on the figure and the out-of-focus look to the distant trees. That’s just my eyes though, what do I know.

  41. SpeedyJ


  42. Chris B

    The last 2 were great. I kinda like the orange better than the blue… more sinister but perhaps a tad bright. Definitely not doing anything secret with that beacon! lol I do like the orange glowing blade. I like the open foreground of the orange one better, show of those glyphs! I like the slight blurriness of the background.

    I also agree with Chris H on his views. Plus, the pentagram gets a bad rap in general. It’s a protective symbol, but it gets wrapped up in stories of evil things so it gets that evil/dark tinge to it. Kinda Like how the Swastika is a symbol of good luck but now it’s all tied up with the Nazis, white power, and the KKK.

    A symbol is just a symbol until you give it power over you >=] Now something being summoned would be an awesome Halloween addition, besides at least he will be safe ;).

    As of now All Hallows Eve is still your #1 Halloween Image of all time, at least IMO 🙂

  43. Chris

    Very much like the second rendition better. I thought the orange from the first one looked kinda overdone. Interesting idea once you get into the feel behind the wallpaper.

  44. Deanna

    Invocation — Halloween 2013: Perfect! You nailed it. It’s my favorite of the three and went immediately to my wall.

  45. Ben

    I love both versions of this. I would love some multi-screen love for both 😀

  46. Turiya

    I like the additional detail of the glyphs on the steps, that would be nice to see in the pickle jar version, as well. I like the orange but think it you might want dial it back to more of a burnt orange or deep orange-red so it’s not quite so harsh.

    Looking forward to multi-screen versions either way.

  47. Phil

    Yeah i prefer the blue glow as well. The red glow is a bit too harsh for me but still good work!

  48. Xetal

    Both have echoes of the ‘summoning’ series. This one could do with a seriously spooky variant (or several) showing what’s been summoned, just for Halloween.

  49. Ninhalem

    I think it is a lovely piece Ryan. Keep up the good work.

    I’m in agreement with Rum on this one. If you’re a pagan and think this is offensive, you need to take a step back and reevaluate freedom of speech.

  50. Chris H

    As always I enjoy your personal take on the various holidays. I gave it a 9 only because there is something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on that seems… off to me.

    As for the hoopla over the title and imagery I think people are over thinking it. As with all art it is the artists eye and interpretation of any given subject matter that they are expressing. There is no way to please everyone so in the end the artist has to stay true to their vision.

    There are a few heated reactions in both directions on this particular piece. You are welcome to your opinion of course as is the point of this comments section. However making demands on the subject or title is a bit ludicrous.

    People say art and expression is dying. This is the root cause of it. Allow artists you like and respect to express themselves and accept that occasionally you may not agree with their choice. Provide feedback if its sought. Flying off the handle serves no purpose.

    If you don’t like the piece do not obtain it but please have the courtesy to respect the artist and his vision. You have up till now. Was this situation so grievous to warrant such hatred?

  51. Arch

    In agreement on the colouration – more fond of the subdued hues in the pickle jar version, though the better relative focus on the central figure is definitely nice in the gallery. Sounds like the consensus is trending towards toning down the orange, maybe varying the rune colours? Keep up the brilliant work, mate.

  52. jmpond

    One word needed: NICE!

  53. jbhodges7

    I prefer the pickle-jar version (blue glow, trees in focus, sky twilight-orange). In the gallery version, the pentagram is too bright and sharp-edged, the (dagger?) is also too bright… looks like electric light, out of place for someone doing magic in a forest.

  54. Ruth

    I really like both renders; the difference in colors is terrific. I would like a little less blurriness, too, but it also lends that much more attention to the main focus of the work. I agree with Nick; a red render would be awesome! Please, Ryan, don’t change a thing with these first two!

    And really…are people so easily offended because something isn’t exactly the way that suits them? If you don’t like it, don’t download it; a very simple solution. It certainly doesn’t merit blasting Ryan the way you did, Nightwynd. I’m a Christian, but you don’t see me bustin’ his chops for using a pentagram, and this, like all Ryan’s work, is downloaded to my computer.

  55. A Pagan

    As a Pagan, there is nothing offensive about this image. If I were to have an dais this large, I would place a pentacle on it in much this fashion. And the practitioner in the center is also correct. Seems accurate to me, I can’t find anything wrong with this.

  56. kellzilla

    Maybe change some of the step-edge runes into the same “sharp blue” color to offset some of the orange?

  57. kellzilla

    I think the composition (and title) are fine as-is. I might tweak the coloring one more time so that it’s not basically a white-wash (with orange instead of white…an orange-wash?) feel over the entire image. Love the sharp little spot of blue from the sorcerer’s dagger.

  58. Rum

    You people claiming offense need to relax. If someone else using a pentagram in a way you don’t like seriously causes you to act like such a child then maybe you need to examine your mental health. So sad how everybody gets offended so easily and complains now days.

    I seriously hope Ryan doesn’t change the title just because these people want to feel important. You see me throwing a stink every time somebody makes a joke about Catholics or rips on Christians? Nope.

  59. Ryan

    Wowsers! Didn’t mean to open up a can of worms. I was inspired to create this piece after reading about Samhain and the traditions associated with it. I wasn’t looking to slam Wiccans or Pagans but only to highlight the pagan roots of the holiday. Perhaps the title could be reworked to make things a bit more neutral though. Yesterday’s version was a bit less “sinister” and I tried to make it a little creepier last night to tie it to the holiday better. Didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes!

  60. RobSpook

    The first wallpaper you ever made that I’m not saving onto my images folder. I just don’t want this imagery showing up on my AppleTV screensaver or my rotating desktop paper while my kids are around.

    This would have been a nice wallpaper (for everybody) if you just would’ve used another symbol instead of a pentagram… surely you could come up with another shape that would look cool.

  61. degel3030


  62. Amaryllis

    Two quite different strong moods evoked simply through the use of colour. Excellent. Good for any time but I’m particularly pleased with it as a Halloween piece – ritual and nature-worship. Thanks once again… and thanks to BeccaM for her balanced point of view about use of symbols.

  63. D

    I like both versions but prefer the pickle jar mainly due to the color of the sky lighting.

  64. BeccaM

    Offering an alternative Wiccan view, as one who has been practicing for over 30 years, I don’t have an objection to this use of the Pentagram. I think it’s tastefully done and no more out of place than when we see Christian or Jewish symbology in artwork.

    I mean, it’s not like the figure involved here is sacrificing puppies. He or she is in a position of contemplation, nothing more.

    Personally, I have far more objection to the far more common stereotyped portrayal of Witches in Halloween ‘art.’ Pointy noses, black cats, and warts and all that nonsense.

    But on the whole, I simply refuse to take things too seriously or get all bent out of shape over an artistic interpretation. What’s next? Outlaw all Christian-themed artwork if it includes anything like a crucifix in it? C’mon.

    As for the composition, I rather like the blurred focus in the periphery, and the blowing yellow-orange of the Pentagram and the rune-like figures.

  65. Jenanne

    Lots to like here. I love the overall composition, even though I was really hoping for some black cats. Doesn’t your sorcerer need a familiar? 🙂 I like the in-focus background and the blue coloration of the picklejar version. Not fond of the orange color and the blurry background of the gallery version. The orange is too bright and gives the surrounding pillars and foliage an unappealing hue. I like the mystic symbols on the steps (can’t tell what they are, which is probably a good thing), but again they’re too bright. I like the full moon idea others have mentioned. And in respect to our Wicca and pagan members, it might be best to lose the pentagram.

  66. Nightwynd

    NO NO NO!!! Do NOT desecrate a pentacle!! That is a very holy symbol to pagans, and a good one. If you go ahead with this REAL blasphemy, I will never download another one of your future images. I have a lifetime membership, but I will never attend you ever again, if you buy into Hollywood stupidity and publish this. It’s a religious symbol, and a very holy one to pagans. It’s bad enough Hollywood makes pagans and wiccans seem like devil worshipers, and that’s what he is doing here, it’s mocking a solemn pagan religious rite.

  67. Tina

    I love it except for the person. Can we get a pickle jar versions without the person?

  68. Zach

    I greatly prefer the pickle jar version, and would give that one an 8/10. The DoF seems much nicer on that one, and I like the cooler colours.

  69. cmmnoble

    I prefer the pickle-jar version slightly over the gallery version, mostly because of the sky, and the fact that the background is crisp instead of blurry. But I also like the foreground in the gallery version. Any chance of frankensteining the pickle-jar sky together with the gallery foreground for a second pickle-jar render? Would that just look too weird? Or maybe another shot at the gallery version without so much blur in the background?

  70. Jen

    My comment seems to mirror some of the others – the fellow in the center of the image looks cartoony compared to the rest of the scene.

  71. Nick

    I love the scene and the idea of having a bit darker wallpaper for year round usage. My only complaint is that the figure in the center looks like a plastic doll. I’m not sure if it’s the texture of his clothes or the fact that his arm looks very segmented (like plastic pieces snapped together).

    I’d love to see a red render in addition to the blue and orange.

  72. JMK in CT

    Too much orange. Maybe leave the orange on the platform but get rid of all the small fires. Maybe a few tiki lamps placed around the perimeter? Still like the idea of a full moon in the distance. Should mystical ceremonies take place on the full moon?

  73. Justin B

    I like the foreground of the gallery version, and the background of the pickle jar version. Definitely like the fact you went with the “Halloween yet universal” approach.

  74. dujeon

    The pickle jar version is my favourite I would give that an 8 or 9 out of 10, I love the trees and sky in it, they seem hauntingly beautiful. Thanks Ryan

  75. Hoverwolf1

    First thing that came to my mind was Doom 3. Well done on linking the symbol to creepy/scary.

    Then, I read some of the comments. Seriously? There is nothing offensive about this to either Christians or Pagans… Unless you’ve get sand in there pretty easily, in which case, stay off the internet entirely and see a doctor.

  76. Saranna

    A lovely piece for Samhain/Halloween.

    The comments that slam the use of the pentagram are a tad unstable. There is nothing “Hollywood” about this. And if you are so uptight in your Christian beliefs that you can’t respect history and the right that other religions, then perhaps you would benefit from some introspective thinking…

    Lovely work Ryan. As someone who has been blessed to have information on many religions, it is nice to see some history. Christians fail to recognize the pagan history behind many of their special days. (Christmas anyone?)

  77. James

    The final versions is great. I think it would better if the pentagram and inscriptions were orange, red or dark red. The orange in the pickle jar would need to be toned down for an orange version though.

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