Harpy

-By Jesper Ejsing




This little illustration here is an interior piece from the recent Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. It is a classic Harpy, no more, no less. And yet, I am told, it represent a unique quality in being the only ever full nude female figure in Dungeons And Dragons. Not much of an achievement, you might say, and yet something I cherish and hold as an accomplishment. Mostly because I have been censored before and has been told to remove or erase breast all the time. But in this case I am especially proud, since the issue never came up.

I read the monster manual text and noticed that the monster was described as being a female elf torn by love, asking the gods for help. When she didn't get her lover, she cursed the Gods and in return was transformed into this being. The burning love was thus transformed into and unsatisfied hunger for flesh.


That was the feeling i was going for. Especially in the facial expression I tried to capture the mood of someone being extremely unhappy, not screaming or acting out, but sitting in a pose that shows she is totally engulfed in the hunger, have been so for a long time, and has given up. The hands are down, lying flat, and the head is turned upwards looking towards the gods who made her into this.

I guess that in succeeding in conveying this mood and feeling, the whole issue of her being naked was never raised. No one ever saw her as a sexual being. I think the nakedness enhances the image of this being a mood piece.

The picture was created first as a pencil sketch. I added some colours on for my own sake and got the Sketch approved. I added the colours digitally on top of the sketch trying to work transparent to let the pencil show. Almost as if I was doing a watercolour: But as I started painting the colours became less and less transparent. In the background I kept it loose to make the bleed into the page work better in layout.

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