I think she is too. What could be hotter than a red-skinned chick with tattoos adorning every inch of her body, minimal clothes and two curvalicious tentacles swinging from the back of her head... o.k. well, somehow she still looks good.
So this is the third packaging illustration for the brand new Star Wars Miniatures: Legacy of the Force line. Illustrating bad-ass, sexy, strong women really works for me, so I liked this assignment. I wasn't very familiar with Darth Talon other than the piece that Jan Duursema did of her for Star Wars Celebration IV. Paul (the art director) did provide me with reference as well as some background info on her from Wookiepedia.
This is the art description Paul gave me:
ART DESCRIPTION: Darth Talon
This lady has a killer body with a killers focus. A stare without emotion. Lightsaber in hand. Beautifully evil. Pose? Not sure, lets talk about your thoughts on her.
I shot some photos for reference (sorry, I'm not brave enough to share this round of pics) and worked up the sketch. The sketch was approved as is, and I went from there directly to the final painting.
I scanned in the sketch printed it out on archival Epson Velvet paper, wet stretched it, taped off the edges, and started slinging paint. I do enjoy this phase of a painting. It's the time to obliterate the whiteness of the board and establish the general color scheme in a loose quick way.
Using acrylic washes I can create interesting textures by splattering paint with a variety of colors using dribbly, messy brushes and it's 'all good' at this stage... kind of hard to mess it up right here. Sometimes at this beginning stage I light candles, draw a pentagram on the floor, and channel Jackson Pollock.
After the initial washes are done, it's just a matter of building up the dark and light areas with acrylic and oil. I usually shift to oil when I want a smooth blended area and don't want to fight with how fast the acrylics are drying, but there are no hard and fast rules here. I just kind of layer it up as I go.
If I feel like I'm mostly done with acrylics, then often I'll cover the whole piece with gloss medium and then slide around with oils on top of it after it's dried. This allows the oil to move around on the glossy surface much easier than if I'm just painting on top of the untreated paper. Obviously, paper "sucks" the oil right out of the brush and one needs a lot more medium to move oil around on raw paper. So that's how oil on top of acrylic works.
In case you are wondering how acrylic sits on top of oil, and you should, keep reading. If, for some reason, I want to shift back to acrylic after I've used oil (thin oil, not big gobs of it) I usually heat the oil on my painting with a hair dryer for a bit (baking it some) and then seal it with a couple generous layers of Crystal Clear.
After that, you can paint acrylic on top. If you find you're having trouble with the acrylic "beading up" on top of the Crystal Clear layer, then that's because you did it all wrong. LOL *joking* (sorry I'm in a feisty mood today)
All you need to do is mix a wee bit of soap (any kind) in your brush and voilå, it sticks with no beading up or repelling the paint. Is anyone confused yet? I promise my paintings hold together just long enough to tiptoe across the room and lay them gently on my scanner.
Seriously, in case any collectors are reading this, I've yet to see any of my paintings fall apart. : )