Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour
  • Art Print
  • Canvas
  • Photo
  • Art Gifts


Submitted on
October 12, 2011
Image Size
2.2 MB
Submitted with


11,412 (2 today)
758 (who?)
Kerberos by Vyrilien Kerberos by Vyrilien

Cerberus, or Kerberos, (Greek form: Κέρβερος) in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed hound (usually three-headed, but he has been known to have between one and fifty heads) which guards the gates of the Underworld, to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping.

Cerberus was the offspring of Echidna, a hybrid half-woman and half-serpent, and Typhon, a fire-breathing giant whom even the Olympian gods feared. Its brother is Orthrus, always depicted as a two-headed hellhound. The common depiction of Cerberus in Greek mythology and art is as having three heads, a mane of live serpents (similar to Medusa's hair) and a snake's tail. In most works the three-heads each respectively see and represent the past, the present, and the future, while other sources suggest the heads represent birth, youth, and old age. Each of Cerberus' heads is said to have an appetite only for live meat and thus allow the spirits of the dead to freely enter the underworld, but allow none to leave. Cerberus was always employed as Hades' loyal watchdog, and guarded the gates that granted access and exit to the underworld (also called Hades).

As some of you may know, I already did a Cerberus back in 2008. Cerberus is such an interesting mythical creature I felt I hadn't done him much justice with my quick doodle (as much as I liked it back then). So I decided I would have another go. Fun times, right? This time I stayed a little more faithful to the way he's been described to appear in myth and gave him his snake-manes. I was unhappy to discover I wasn't very good at painting snakes, so lots of practice happened and one of the practice doodles turned into my painting of the Midgard Serpent.

About painting the actual painting I have this to say:


I forced myself to paint a background. They weren't happy times. Also, different heads, yes. Left one is past, middle one is present, right one is future. Why? Because I say so, that's why. This is totally not a justification for not having consistently painted the same head in three different angles. No. Why would you even imply such a thing? On one hand I think I could have done better. Ond the other should have seen the earlier stages of this thing.

I'm done ranting! I'm aware some of the stuff looks wonky. Any suggestions are welcome!


Time Taken: repainted it from scratch once, so 60 hours? YES 60. I'm very terribad. No need to tell me.
Tools Used: Wacom Intuos 2, Photoshop CS2, Corel Painter Essentials 3

P.S. is amazing; this took me less than half the normal time to upload and it's basically a sort of Photobucket. For all those non-premium members, it will be available for regular members soon. Rejoice!

P.P.S. Let me know if this appears much too dark on your screen.
Add a Comment:
dhxjcrd Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
One of the only Kerberos artworks I like :D
Vyrilien Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yay! Big compliment! Thanks :D
Indeed... That servant of my servant is awesome... ^^
Vyrilien Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Servant of your servant?
Overlord: Tasorius.
Underlord: Hades.
Guardian: Kerberos.
Vyrilien Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your own universe/story/character? :)
Used your art here ! -> [link]
Add a Comment: