Singapore Freelance Designer
Pestilence, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Singapore Freelance Designer
War, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Singapore Freelance Designer
Famine, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Singapore Freelance Designer
Death, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Project: Four Horsemen illustrations

Mediums: Inks and Copic Markers on paper

Description: Perhaps one of my most seen pieces at every art fair, these guys tend to open up quite a bit of conversation. I was inspired to draw these after my visit to Italy and the Mediterranean. Maybe it was the Art?

I drew them in my own interpretations and deliberately tried to avoid the old tropes, i.e. making War a stereotypical grimacing warrior.

Pestilence: I drew it as a male figure not to denote gender, but the idea that Conquest – Pestilence’s former identity- was primarily a male trait in the olden days. Here, I gave him a Venetian mask, getting inspired by my trip to Venice seeing the shop which made the masks for Eyes Wide Shut. As backstory, we can infer that this was a younger horseman than the others, perhaps a form newly made.

War: This is my favourite Horseman and it was the first one I drew after my return from vacation. Here, I made the figure androgynous because I believe War was representative of a far more primal, unidentifiable part of our reptilian psyches.

Famine: I find Famine the most interesting Horseman due to the nature of his power. After researching, I realized the reason his symbol was the scales – the only horseman who doesn’t have a weapon as a symbol – was that his power came from injustice and imbalance, i.e. the gluttony of few leads to the famine of many. As I mentioned I wanted to depict them avoiding the old tropes, so I designed his scales as a pillory worn by a slave, as if to suggest he is bound to his duty. On the pillory, we can see the five moons i.e. the five seasons, and his power descending upon the lands, corrupting the crops.

Death: The most powerful Horseman, so I knew I had to draw this guy as regal and as imposing as possible. I made his neck disproportionately long to give him extra height and such that his gaze was above the viewer. The gaze itself was drawn to be as “a face that can’t be bargained with.” I also designed his helm to look like the setting sun over the horizon, with the “horizon” lining up with is eye level.

All images are property of ©Irfan Yang unless stated otherwise.

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