Paintings and pictures of European Mythology by Howard David Johnson - Contemporary Illustrations of Slavic and Finno-Urgic Mythology and Fairy Tales: Featuring paintings and pictures of Russian Fairy Tales, Slavonic Sagas and the Kalevala Legends.  An educational multi-media gallery of realistic full-color highly detailed Illustrations by  American Illustrator Howard David Johnson, whose illustrations of Mythology have been published all over the world by distinguished learning institutions and publishers including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.


Presents: Russian Fairy Tales and Mythology 

A Gallery of New Paintings, Drawings and Pictures from World Mythology in traditional oils, Contemporary acrylics and cutting edge digital mixed media in the style of the classic illustrators. 




Educational Multi-Media Mythic Art Galleries

Howard David Johnson has eight different galleries devoted to myths and legends of the Old World

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The MYTHOLOGY of the RUSSIANS and Slavonic Peoples

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   Howard David Johnson works in a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and last but not least: 2D & 3D Digital Artistry & any and all of these in Mixed Media *  Because of the use of photography in nearly everything he does, even Johnson's all-oil paintings can be termed mixed media.*


First of a new series on Slavic Mythology ~

 Belobog, [left] the White god who according to myth warred for mankind to have immortal souls and to live in the warmth and light. AKA Bilobog, Belbog, Bialbog, Byelobog, Bielobog, Belun or Bylun (all names meaning White God) is an ancient Slavic deity of light and Sun, the counterpart of dark and cursed Chernobog (Black God).

Chernobog, the Black God... [right] a companion piece for the Belobog. He was commonly depicted drinking blood from a skull. Chernobog wanted mankind to be created mortal from dirt and live in constant cold and darkness. After much conflict with the god of light, a compromise was stuck- day and night, the seasons and humankind having immortal souls living in mortal bodies.
Belobog, the White god MMXVI Mixed Media Chernobog, the Black god MMXVI Mixed Media

"Like dreams, myths are productions of the human imagination. Their images, consequently—though derived from the material world and its supposed history—are, like dreams, revelations of the deepest hopes, desires and fears, potentialities and conflicts, of the human will—which in turn is moved by the energies of the organs of the body operating variously against each other and in concert. Every myth, that is to say, whether or not by intention, is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read, therefore, not literally, but as metaphors."

~ Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space (courtesy of the Joseph Campbell Foundation

Veles, [left] Slavic lord of the Forest, the Underworld, and inland waters~ portrayed as both beloved and terrifying... he had many names and variations in his legends (Cyrillic: Велес; Polish: Weles; Czech, Slovak: Veles; Old Russian and Slavonic: Велесъ), also known as Volos (Russian: Волос), is one of the major Slavic mythic dieties of earth, The ancient Slavs believed that once a year, summoned by their master Veles, all of the forest creatures gather at the center of the forest. 

The image of Veles as a bear might have come from the Slav belief that the Bear is the king of the forest that protects and takes care of all other animals, plants and the forest itself. His attributes are wet, wooly, bearded and associated with commerce, cattle, the harvest, wealth, music, magic and trickery. 

 Veles, Slavic lord of the Forest MMXVI Mixed Media Rusalka, the Water Nymph, a Russian Mermaid-goddess
In Russia, Veles also had the image of a one-eyed giant so some theorize his name comes from the adjective velij which means big. Veles is the opponent of the Supreme thunder-god Perun, and the battle between two of them constitutes one of the most important myths of Slavic mythology which in similar form is also encountered in the Vedas. Also portrayed as a dragon, which in the belief of the pagan Slavs is a chimeric being, a serpent with a bear's head and drooping hairy ears.

Beloved Russian Fairy Tales




"Vassilissa La Belle" MMXIV "The Wooden Eagle" MMXIV  and "The Frog Princess" MMXIV





 "Baba Yaga" MMX and "Cinderella with her Fairy Godmother" [a bird in the original] MMIV








"The Snow Maiden" from Russia and two from "The Frozen Fairy Princess" MMXIV 




 "The 3-Headed Dragon of Kostshei the Undead" and "Skadi the Huntress of the Great North" and "The magic needle in the egg" MMXIV



"The Kalevala Epic"

of Finno-Ugric Mythology 



Bearing similarities to the most ancient and the most modern of gods and heroes, Väinämöinen and Lemminkäinen are two of the main characters from the Finnish Kalevala Saga which tells the story of a heroic quest to heal the land and restore the mystical Sampo, [a type of Holy Grail] said to bring peace and prosperity to the land of its holders. Like Jason and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece [another Holy Grail type]they travel and sail round the world fighting monsters and the like until they at last claim their prize.  Lemminkäinen and Odin's son Balder from Norse mythology share several commonalities in their respective myths such as being killed by a blind man at a feast of the gods, which has influenced many scholars to believe they evolved from the same origins.




 "Lemminkäinen" MMXII "Väinämöinen" MMXII

"Väinämöinen" MMXII from "The Kalevala" [above right] was originally a Finnish god, he was the pattern for wizards in fantasy literature, first and foremost among them Gandalf in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings as well as Sauromon the white, while "Lemminkäinen" [above left] the brash young hero eager to prove himself by joining the quest for the magical Sampo was to be the prototype of characters so common to today's fantasy and adventure stories.


A Familiar face the World Over






Ded Moroz [AKA Father Christmas] MMXIV Ded Moroz [close up] MMXIV

More to come soon...

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The Realistic and Fantastic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

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All these pieces of art and the text are legally copyrighted and were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many academic or non-commercial uses is freely and legally available by simply contacting the author via e-mail or visiting

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With a background in traditional media including oils, pastels & colored pencils, Howard David Johnson embraces leading edge digital media in the creation of his depictions of fantasy, folklore, mythology, legend, religion, and heroic history. He works in  a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * 2D &3D Digital Artistry & Mixed Media *  


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Who is American Illustrator Howard David Johnson?

In one of David's invitations to the Florence Biennale Contemporary Art Exhibition, (a partner in the United Nations' Dialog among Nations), UN Secretary General Kofi Anon wrote him: "Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness... Art opens new doors for learning, understanding, and peace among nations."

      Howard David Johnson is a contemporary realistic artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history.  David works in a wide variety of mixed media ranging from oil on canvas to digital media. David's realistic illustrations have made appearances in every major bookstore and game shop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world. 

   Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the University of Texas, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, The Australian Mint, The National Geographic Society, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Warner Brothers Home Video, ABC/Disney, CBS TV, PBS TV, The History Channel, Enslow Educational Publishers, Adobe Photoshop, Auto FX, Tree-Free Greeting, Verizon wireless, Apple IPOD, Penguin, Doubleday (Now Random House), Harlequin Top Historical Romances, and the History Book of the Month Club, as well as appearing in periodical publications like Popular Photography and the Wall Street Journal.   


A Traditional style portrait of the artist. [Photo by his son Erich.]

   After a lifetime of drawing and painting, David's Traditional Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 


    Working in a variety of media David offers his customers a variety of options and more than three decades of experience. As an illustrator he has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of software for Adobe Photoshop. Digital art, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, & also Oil Paintings can also be commissioned for select projects.Digital illustration projects start at $500.U.S. and group rates are available. David delivers custom made copyright free illustrations & old fashioned customer service when he does work-for-hire. To publish existing pieces of his realistic art, David sells licenses starting at only $99.USD.




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The Johnson Galleries prints these "in-house" with our new state of the art Epson 7890 oversize printer on Epson 200 year premium photo paper and canvas with Epson inks!