I thought I’d revisit the concept of the birch gate. The first one is my original traditional sketch done in 2012 with pencils and acrylics:
And here my digital black&white version:
The concept is pretty similiar to the fairy ring which can be found in the woods if you are really really lucky. The difference is I regard my version with the five birches a portal created by some entities as a magical gate hidden in plain sight.
I was using some of Grzegorz Rutkowski’s brushes here. He is a great artist and really pushing the painterly look to the next level.
Some more about the birch: “Traditionally, birch is said to be full of the light of the warrior-god Lugh, and the old belief in its power to drive out evil is strong and persistent: even in Victorian times, naughty schoolchildren would find themselves on the wrong end of a birch switch; and ceremonies of ‘beating the bounds’, many of which have survived into the present day, involved the ritual tapping of local boundaries with staffs of birch or willow. Cradles made from birch were believed to protect new-born babies from malicious spirits, and in the folklore of the Highlands, it was said that a pregnant cow herded with a birch stick would bear a healthy calf; and if the animal was barren, she would become fertile.” (Source)