Sunday, 18 February 2007

Queen of the Black Coast

Ever have a relationship with someone who was wilder and more sensual than anyone else, pushed you further into dangerous places you may have wanted to go, but not so recklessly?

Robert E. Howard gave Conan that kinda girlfriend; Belit, Queen of the Black Coast.

This girl was something else; she was a Shemitish (read historical Hebrew in Howard's Hyborian analog) captain a pirate vessel manned entirely by blacks native to the jungles of the Southwestern coast near evil, snake worshipping Stygia. Her raid upon a merchant ship ended up with everyone but Conan (an accidental passenger) from the merchant ship dead, many of Belit's crew dead by Conan's hand, and the the Pirate-queen throwing herself at Conan in a bizarre post-battle heat.

Of course, Conan decided this was the woman of his dreams.

It's ends badly, of course, as all literary crazy people relationships usually do, but it was a hell of a ride!
Artwise, this was fun -- as with any essentially unplanned sketching, I dropped some elements in the composition that I would change -- primarily the placement of the rigging and the horizon, but it's just a sketch, so it's something I would address if I were going to make a finished piece of it. Probably find a way to include some of her crew. I'd also do something with the sky -- some white big clouds rising out of the seascape.
Health-update: finishing another course of antibiotics for my bronchitis, and I've started rehabbing the right knee. Yogi, my physical therapist, tells me the patella has moved horizontally across the knee and is now grinding away everytime I bend it. Yay!
Hip deep in other work; freelance work as always, finishing the write-up for my Design and Composition class at Max the Matt in advance of our field trip to see Pan's Labyrinth, and finishing my notes for the first few classes of my Beasts, Hulks and Things: Drawing Monsters of all Shapes and Sizes course starting on the 28th. I might start dropping some of that material here and blogging about that course for a bit, but I do want to do a few more Howard characters (including a certain Cimmerian) soon.

Take care,

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