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Audacity by MelissaFindley Audacity by MelissaFindley
A month or so ago, my work was reviewed over at Blue Moon Rising. It was a great review, and something that the writer said really, really touched me. It got me to thinking about my characters, and about some of the things I try to say with my artwork, and in particular, about the word "Audacity."

It's a great word. And it really summed up for me a lot of what I want to say with my art. So I set out to paint something that to me represented true audaciousness. In character with most of my work, though, it had to be a challenging painting, challenging subject, and had to push the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of.

I'm a big believer in that.

It needed Action! and Armor! and Atmosphere! And to fit with another of my goals, it needed to be set in a pre-exisiting world that wasn't specifically of my own making.

The character in this painting is Raethe, my Halfling Rogue D&D character. The scene isn't from any particular adventure, but it's a story I keep for her in my head. She's tiny, yes, but gutsy, more assassin than thief--but she keeps her options open, and she loves shiny stuff.

I did a lot of looking at D&D white dragons for this painting... they look about as flight worthy as a semi-truck, but I think I got it. It was a weird angle to try to pull off, too, but hopefully it works.

I really want to thank =kyrn for posing for me so I could get Raethe's body position correct, ~faerywitch for doing research for me on dragon toes, and *phuriedae *quickreaver and *PatrickMcEvoy for critiques and support.

Also, Raethe has her own Twitter account... if you want to hear her bitch about fighting undead, pwning sorcerers, and the trials and tribulations of traveling with a human monk, you can follow her here: [link]
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:icona-quest-of-scales:
A-Quest-Of-Scales Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012
That dragon looks like it's going to hold a grudge. I'm not usually a fan of D&D dragons (for dragons my favourites will always be Andrew Bill's Enchantica) but I like this one. This piece really draws you in to the story and the detail on the armour is fantastic. I'm amazed.
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:iconironsides11:
ironsides11 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
ultraCOOL!
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:iconbobartles:
Bobartles Featured By Owner May 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome work. You've done a great job of making a picture tell a story. :)
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:iconhydratamer:
HydraTamer Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
lol I'm a half-elf rogue. And this picture reminded me of the time when I was hiding from a black dragon... then got incinerated. lol

Great picture!
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:icontonnocal:
tonnocal Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011
requesting as photo print....please?
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:iconwertmanwilliam:
wertmanwilliam Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well drawn, with amazing details.
Your choice in color really enhances the mood, putting this warm living halfling, in a cold harsh world, with a powerfull and deadly Dragon.

Well Done.
Reply
:iconwertmanwilliam:
wertmanwilliam Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well drawn, with amazing details.
Your choice in color really enhances the mood, putting this warm living halfling, in a cold harsh world, with a powerfull and deadly Dragon.

Well Done.
Reply
:icondavidwfisher:
DavidWFisher Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like the crest on the white dragon's head - that's how I imagine they should look. Looking at his toes and girth, he's a bit of a beefcake dragon. Goodwork.
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:iconsetzuo:
Setzuo Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
siiiiiick.....
nice work!
Reply
:icondm-mike:
DM-Mike Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Very nice. I can just picture her jumping on top of the dragon as it flies by, or tumble around the rock to avoid being spotted by the dragon.
Reply
:iconaupheling:
Aupheling Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
There's a cold spell coming.
Reply
:iconmunkymp3:
munkymp3 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
Absolutely gorgeous!
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:iconbaltean:
Baltean Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2010
Absolutely awesome. Brave little one, isn't she? :D
I just hope for her sake, the dragon doesn't find her! ^^;
Not that it has much chance of finding her, halflings are pretty good at not being found. :D
Reply
:iconmontalve:
Montalve Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
this is an awesome image and i think you convey your message well... I do absolutely love what you did with it, and i like the text below. I will be submitting this image to :icondungeonsanddeviants:, hope you don't mind
Reply
:icondubugomdori:
DubuGomdori Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010
This is what I believe makes art enjoyable and raised to the next level. It's fascinating to do a piece and it speaks for itself, a picture has a 1000 words, yes, yes, yes. But, when the artist adds the story, the event, the character... it brings it to the next level. A more complete package if you will. Love it.
Reply
:icondubugomdori:
DubuGomdori Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2010
This is what I believe makes art enjoyable and raised to the next level. It's fascinating to do a piece and it speaks for itself, a picture has a 1000 words, yes, yes, yes. But, when the artist adds the story, the event, the character... it brings it to the next level. A more complete package if you will. Love it.
Reply
:iconjuuli:
juuli Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2009
I'm amazed! Gorgeous dragon!
Reply
:iconcarles:
Carles Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2009  Professional General Artist
How did I ever manage to miss this one ?! :stupidme:
Straight to the favorite gallery.

How have you been anyway ? Well I hope ?
Be well,
Reply
:icondrak839:
drak839 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2009
wow really good
Reply
:iconleetah45:
Leetah45 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
This is lovely. But you know what the really great thing is? That it is a fantasy picture with a girl in it in which the girl is not wearing a chain mail bikini. :P I think this is the first one of those that I've ever seen. But in all seriousness, really fantastic work, love.
Reply
:iconphoenixchi:
Phoenixchi Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
You're just so crazy good.

The lightning on the elf is so warm and yet sudden, the dragon seems as if he's coming right at the viewer through their screen.
Reply
:iconmenacingsky:
MenacingSky Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009   Writer
The aspect of your art that I really love is that every piece has such a story to it. It really gets you thinking about the character, and it keeps you intrigued and wanting to know their story.
You do such wonderful work with facial expressions, and it gives the character and work depth and makes it really powerful. Your work really pulls me into it. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us! =D
Reply
:iconwolfsblumen:
Wolfsblumen Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2009
amazing work
thats great!
it`s living your picture..
Reply
:iconwolvesrokhard2:
WolvesRokHard2 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student General Artist
this is beautiful! i love the colors and the feel of it gives off. great job!
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:iconfaerywitch:
faerywitch Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Too long after it's been uploaded, but I finally get to it. I love it Mel! I love the light from the medal, the dynamics, the mood, it is fantastic!
Reply
:iconladymidnight81:
LadyMidnight81 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Professional Writer
gorgeous, love her armor as well, and great dragon
Reply
:iconvulgardragon:
vulgardragon Featured By Owner May 31, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome. I'll have to admit that I haven't kept up with your work lately, and I can say that you have been getting better by leaps and bounds!
Reply
:iconroewyn:
Roewyn Featured By Owner May 29, 2009
I absolutely LOVE this picture! I found it and the first thing that caught my eye I think was the dragon, which is pretty freaking awesome. The whole scene is very telling, and is just very fun to look at. I love the character too. Amazing job!! :D
Reply
:iconmegcowley:
megcowley Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Professional General Artist
Wow, this is just fantastic... youve portrayed the hurtling bulk of the dragon so well and it just really makes the scene so much more convincing! I think it definitely embodies Audacity very well - an original interpretation of an intruiging word! What else can I say - you display your usual technical skills, with fantastic shading and good use of colours - I really like how you've used bolder colours to bring out the foreground - and the character design is lovely :heart: :+fav:
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:iconvaledhelven:
Valedhelven Featured By Owner May 26, 2009
:wave: Hello! :iconpeachplz:

I'm just letting you know that I've featured this awesome artwork in my journal this week: [link]

Thank you for creating one of my very favorite images here on dA!!! :deviation: If for any reason you would rather not be included in this journal entry, please let me know and I can remove your image. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing what else you create!
:painter:
~Ellen, Giver of Giant Cookies! :iconcookieteaseplz:
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner May 26, 2009  Professional General Artist
No, I don't mind. Thank you. :)

..but... er..., you do know that the character in that painting is a halfling, not an elf, right? I only ask because you put it under "Elf Features" on your journal, and I'm pretty sure in the description I mentioned that she's a halfling.
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:iconvaledhelven:
Valedhelven Featured By Owner May 26, 2009
Yeah, I know... :D I should have titled my journal "Elves and Kin" or something like that - lol! I think I had saved it to my Elves folder first (the boots threw me off - no furry bare feet ;)), and I was just browsing through there looking for the more recent awesomeness that I hadn't featured yet.

My apologies to Raethe... no disrespect intended! :hug:
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:iconmelissafindley:
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner May 26, 2009  Professional General Artist
Okay, just checking.

D&D halflings are very different from hobbits. No furry bare feet for them. :)
Reply
:iconvaledhelven:
Valedhelven Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
I know - but I always played mine with bare feet anyway... bit of a purist, I suppose, or just too stubborn to take advantage of a good pair of Boots of Speed ;)
Reply
:iconselene713:
selene713 Featured By Owner May 24, 2009
:omg: i love this drawing!!! :clap:
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:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner May 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
Hey! I have featured your work in my journal here --> [link] Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography/artwork/resources!! :hug:
Reply
:iconikarlion:
Ikarlion Featured By Owner May 22, 2009
Wow!
I like it=3
Reply
:iconredisdrunk:
RedIsDrunk Featured By Owner May 22, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A really beautiful piece. Inspiring, even.
Reply
:iconlucidcreations:
LucidCreations Featured By Owner May 21, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Holy holy holy holy crap. ^_~

I love the way the dragon blurs with movement. I love the light sources, and the colors...gah! :)
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:iconsussi1:
Sussi1 Featured By Owner May 20, 2009   Digital Artist
Stunning!
Reply
:iconerethkhaniel:
Erethkhaniel Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
This is just epic. I find myself trying to envision the giant "FUCK YOU" she must be planning in order to take out the dragon. Something involving leaping out from the boulder at just the right moment and either hurling or doing something else with that gem to blast the thing, but making sure to look it RIGHT in the eyes the second before, so it knows who, and WHAT, did it in. On a side note, beautiful job on Raethe's face in particular, and, well, in making it beautiful. ;p Only thing I really see is that the dragon's back seems too broad, but having tried to draw dragons in frontal perspective myself in my misspent youth (was never much of an artist, hence why I do stock. Vicarious.), I know how much of a bitch it is to get something that long to look right at all. So, again, beautifully done.
Reply
:icontndrhrtd37:
tndrhrtd37 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
Your work has been featured here [link]
Reply
:iconfantasydreamer59:
fantasydreamer59 Featured By Owner May 15, 2009
Wonderful! :heart:
Reply
:icondark-nite-rayne:
Dark-Nite-Rayne Featured By Owner May 15, 2009
Simply beautiful ^_^ I love it :D
Reply
:iconrita-ria:
Rita-Ria Featured By Owner May 14, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
FANTASTIC work, Melissa, I so enjoy to look at it.
Reply
:iconartist-anika:
Artist-Anika Featured By Owner May 13, 2009
I am really impressed by the scales on that dragon. the whole thing is gorgeous.
Reply
:iconerikshoemaker:
ErikShoemaker Featured By Owner May 13, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
really awesome
Reply
:iconbowofanariel:
BowofAnariel Featured By Owner May 12, 2009
:+fav: it is awesome that you are so into DnD. :XD:
Reply
:iconlightningsorceress:
LightningSorceress Featured By Owner May 12, 2009
absolutely stunning! I think this is my favorite yet! ^^
Reply
:iconcornixius:
cornixius Featured By Owner May 12, 2009
Simply stunning, a wonderful work.
Reply
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May 11, 2009
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