I'm headed to the IMC again this year. (YES!!) One of the illustration assignments is an action sequence involving vikings or Norse mythology. I don't usually paint muscley men in combat, so I want to give it a shot. I've also been on a Norse mythology kick recently, triggered by the recently released trailer for Thor 2. (Loki's HAIR.) In the Norse tales, Loki and Thor were not brothers, though they behaved a lot like brothers. One was always dragging the other along on some wild quest, and someone (usually Loki) had to get them out of whatever mess Thor's impetuosity caused.
At some point the two became enemies, or rather, Loki became everyone's enemy. Either way. At the end of the world, at Ragnarok, Loki will fight on the side of the monsters and the dead, and Thor on the side of men and the gods.
I did a lot of quick sketches from combat videos on Youtube. On the right, Loki with his dagger. On the left, Thor with Mjölnir. I'm debating about whether a one-handed or two-handed hammer is cooler.
But I don't want to go completely action-scene-muscley-men-fighting. The real tension in this battle is bitter, venomous hatred-- and any lingering love. After all, one of Thor's kennings in mythology is "he who has compassion for Loki," and one of Loki's is "friend of Thor."
Another sketch for Loki, casting fire.