The Realm Ethereal fantasy art

The Realm Ethereal is a creation of fantasy themed art and stories. It is an ongoing project that explores the creation of new, fantastic characters set among fantastic worlds and realms. A blend of imaginative realistic art and storytelling are the hallmarks of this project. The characters and worlds in The Realm Ethereal exist as the storytelling vehicle for me to share the art and stories that emerge from this blend.

I’m a creator who enjoys figure drawing and comic book art. While both of those areas heavily influence my art, I believe the process by which I synthesize all that information to create what I draw comes from some place ethereal. Mashing all this together provides me with the perfect narrative for continual and virtually limitless exploration into that ethereal realm.

-Rene Arreola




I love drawing in ink. Ink is a lot more direct than pencil. It’s also less forgiving which is what I really like about it. I start with small ink sketches, mostly using some kind of ink brush. I have my favorite natural hair brush, the Winsor-Newton Series 7. I’ll use that for when I do my tighter ink drawings. But for  preliminary sketches, I’ll work with cheaper pen brushes.

Once I have the character design down, I’ll work out thumbnail sketches, often on the same page of the character design. I may add some gray marker tones to help with values, but I pretty much work to final drawing on one sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper from my sketchbook. After this, it’s time to capture the drawing digitally for preparing to paint.

From time to time, I will draw in pencil. For pencil preliminary drawings, I scan them in using an 11″ x 17″ scanner. Or, if it’s a smaller pen sketch, I’ll take a picture with my iPhone and save it for the next stage in my process. I find I don’t have to scan inks since they are darker than pencil drawings.

I “paint” digitally working on a 12.9″ iPad Pro using the Apple Pencil. The application I use is Procreate. Early on, I learned to paint using traditional mediums: watercolors, gouache, acrylics, oils, etc. Since February of 2018, I have been creating full color illustrations on the iPad (with some final editing and tweaks using the venerable Adobe Photoshop.) I’ve gone digital and haven’t looked back since.

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