Monday 21 September 2020

Shooting Horrors from the Beyond with Eliza Sica, Part 3

Jaguar Queen. Digital Paint version. Model: Eliza Sica

I am still working on pictures from my photo session with actress and model Eliza Sica. I have long wanted to do a Woman with Large Cat picture. 

This is a perennial favorite among artists. Frank Frazetta's magical Cat Girl is probably the most well known. Frazetta painted several different versions of Cat Girl, and the final one is pure magic. The different versions are in a new Frazetta art book published by Vanguard. I highly recommend it. It was sold out at the publisher, but I managed to buy a copy from Amazon in Germany. A second printing is in the works.

I did a bit of research, and one painting that left me thunderstruck was Julie Bell's Sanctuary. If you click the link, you'll see that it looks good even on Instagram. Quite a feat.

Another important source of inspiration was an oil painting by Régis Moulun.

Jaguar Queen. Photorealistic version. Model: Eliza Sica

I am quite happy with how Jaguar Queen turned out. Eliza did a great job, and the jaguar didn't eat anyone.

Glory Road. Photorealistic version. Model: Eliza Sica

The first edition of Robert Heinlein's Glory Road was published in 1963. In 1974, Delta Science-Fiction published a Swedish translation. I was twelve years old at the time, and a voracious reader. I hesitated a bit before borrowing the book at the library, because on the cover it had a painting of a scantily clad woman who had apparently slayed a dinosaur-like creature with a bow and arrow.

I did not know it at the time, but the artist who had painted the cover was Bruce Pennington. Pennington's image stayed with me through the years. I do not want to be derivative, but now and then, I recreate something another artist has made, to learn, or to get it out of my system.

When Eliza and I decided to do the photo session, I took the opportunity to make a version of the same scene in the book, heavily influenced by Pennington's painting.

I made some changes. The woman in Pennington's painting, Star, is blonde, and the man walking behind her, Rufo, is white-haired. Eliza is a redhead, so my version of Star would get red hair too.

Rufo, despite looking a lot older than Star, is Star's son, so I gave him somewhat faded red hair too.

The picture was fun to make, and I really needed to get Pennington's picture out of my system. If I do another Glory Road inspired picture, I think I can free myself from Pennington's book cover painting, and do something more original.

Train to Hell. Model: Eliza Sica

Train to Hell is a Lovecraftian horror picture. A detective is investigating a series of disappearances from underground train stations, and suddenly finds herself face to tentacles with an ancient horror.

We shot three different pictures with Eliza as the same detective, so there are more pictures in the same series on the way.

Crash Site Battle. Photorealistic version. Model: Eliza Sica

The somewhat unimaginatively named Crash Site Battle belongs to the same series of pictures as Castaway, a picture I wrote about in the second part of this article series.

The idea is that it is a couple of years after the crash landing in Castaway. Our protagonist has made a place for herself in a tribe of humans. If you wonder what a tribe of humans are doing on another planet, I suggest you read Jack Vance's books about Adam Reith and his adventures on Tschai.

You might notice that there is a lot of stuff going on in this picture. As the battle on the beach unfolds, a starship is coming to the rescue. Whether they will have time to land before the battle is over, that is a different question.

If you look at the crashed, and rusted, starship in the background to the right, there is a second battle in progress. A tentacled sea creature has attacked a woman and her, remarkably pterosaur-like, flying steed, just after they landed on the wreckage. In the sky above, her friends are moving in to help.

Even though I knew you'd barely be able to see it, I set the background battle up carefully. In a future photo session, I might make that battle the focus of a photo series.

For now, the only thing I have is a quick sketch of one of the riders.

Quick storyboard of one of the flying combatants in the background battle.

That is it, for now. I hope you enjoyed looking at the pictures, and wasn't too bored with my scribblings.

My plans right now, is to start planning a new photo session, and finish one or two more pictures from the photo session with Eliza Sica. I have also begun a rewrite, and translation into English, of one of my books. That will take quite some time to finish...and then, of course, there is my day job.

If you haven't seen part 2 of this blog series, click on this link!

Be seeing you!