Dejah Thoris will debut in Paris this October 17th, at Galerie Daniel Maghen. The show will exhibit my adventure paintings from literature, science fiction, fantasy, and historical subjects, as well as new narratives.
I wanted to make a classic portrait of Dejah as beautiful warrior, but with a hint that you might not be able to trust her. She’s a princess, but with a rebel attitude. She would do what it takes to protect her people.
I did a few thumbnail sketches to get the feeling and explore the pose, then I asked a favorite model to act the part. I did final sketches from there, and added the background once I felt her character was down.
There’s always some question about her being naked in the book, especially in the US, where no publisher would get away with showing what we consider today as being naked, i.e. not a stitch of clothing. I wasn’t worried about portraying her so very nude in the painting as it will show in France after all, where they don’t have problems with nudity in advertising…or anywhere else, frankly.
But I didn’t want her completely naked as a literal reading of the book might suggest. She’s part of a culture, whether written in obvious terms or not, and there would be some identifying characteristics on her person, such as a ‘frog’ to holster her sword, footwear, jewelry, etc. I didn’t overdo the accoutrements, but instead, gave her just enough to allow her to be Barsoomian.
I like the idea that she comes off a little ‘native’…and brazen.