I painted this a little differently from how I usually work. I painted an initial bright underpainting in oranges, reds and deep browns, kept it loose, and then worked the sky into that. Then I painted the figures in over the top, leaving the oranges showing through in many places. I actually had a broken hand when I painted this...I'd take the brace off and very carefully place my hand on the board and slowly paint as carefully as I could.
There've been some magnificent Thor artists over the years. But I think the thing for me is whether an artist can capture the scope of Asgard, the massive tapestry of the world Thor exists in. Very few can. Kirby, obviously, his Thor was some of his top work. Next would be John Buscema, such an underrated artist, his Thor had the gravitas that Kirby's did. It was his ability to show both the small incidents within the enormous mythical setting and the incredible, earth shaking battles and conflicts that set him apart from most of the artists who followed Jack Kirby.
The next artist to attain that level was Walt Simonson...man, he fit so much into that title, Beta Ray Bill, some of the covers are incredible.
And I think the last artist to get the grand scale right was Olivier Coipel. From the slow town cafe characters to the monumental buildings of Asgard...he got it right. And Thor had the right size and bulk too...not just an overmuscled hippy like too many draw him. He looked Norse too, European at least.
I may add Alan Davis into the mix too. I saw an issue of prelims that he'd done for an issue of Thor that blew me away. It felt like Kirby...it's exciting to think there's an issue out there that could be that good that I've not seen yet...