When I cut pieces of Strathmore illustration board to make larger paintings, I was left with card-sized pieces which were too good to throw out, so I painted miniatures on them. Usually these were character portraits. This one here is one of my more successful. As you know, I always struggle with human figures so if I do one that is half decent I am ahead of the game. Even more if it's a sexy female. Sexy females (and males) are essential to fantasy art and I have tried many many times to create them with not much success. Artistic types tell me, just keep drawing from life, do more life drawing, and more life drawing. But I will tell you an artistic secret, at least from my own experience: there is nothing less sexy than a bored art model sacked out on a couch while 14 artists in a circle around her scribble away trying to get her butt or neck drawn right. Fantasy women are, uh, fantasy. And it's not the drawing I have trouble with, it's the fantasy exaggerations and fabulous posing which makes the female (or male) character sexy. Like, this picture isn't too bad, if it's a picture of a model standing there showing off her costume. Costume study is fine, but could we have more action, more "engagement" of the viewer, more movement? I'll never give up trying to create better fantasy character images. Otherwise I might as well paint the flowers and teapots which are the usual fare of a lady artist of my age.
This character is from Leigh Brackett's "The Ginger Star," a 1970s-era Burroughs pastiche on a freezing planet (hence the fur trim on her plunging neckline).
"Princess of the Ginger Star" is acrylic on illustration board, 5" x 9", July 1987. Click on the pic if you must.