The theme of this image is related to ecology. The dark water is intended to remind the viewers of oil. The solar eclipse at sunset is meant to suggest the end of time, the end of humanity, that we inflict ourselves through ecologic disasters. The solar eclipse is like a catalyst, it dramatizes the sunset. And, because of how I illustrated this very rare solar event, the element might remind to some viewers how the atomic bomb looks like. On the left side of the composition, we see clouds are gathering and, in the center, birds are flying away. These further support the central message of the image.
For this image the creative process was more elaborate. After reading on art history on Wikipedia, it has come to my understanding that people started, for a long time already, to experiment by combining multiple artistic mediums to express themselves. As such, it came to me the idea to combine a sketch with a photo-realistic render. Because I always work digitally, the 2D sketch is actually a cartoon render. I used Sketch and Toon from Cinema 4D for the sketch. Then, I post-processed it in Photoshop using various light setups rendered within Cinema 4D and even Vray. Afterwards, I used the post-processed sketch as a texture map on a plane in a new 3D virtual scene. This plane is intended to be like a paper with a sketch on it, so I defined a material that has multiple paper-like shading properties. I made a dark, muddy water, and I also placed a neon light behind the paper plane that fits with the sun in the sketch. Because the plane is like a paper, the light scatters through it. I chose a camera angle that faces the paper directly. In the end, the photo-realistic render was post-processed further more in Photoshop.
To better understand what I discussed about, you should see the image in the corner. The following image also presents several work in progress stages for this project: