Mike Rayahwk
I drank what?
"Envy" - digital, 2006

Envy started out as a character sketch for a friend of mine. I ended up liking the zigzag composition enough that I decided to render it out.

We'd been having a conversation about the bad fantasy novels of the Eighties, and their bad fantasy stereotype characters. She came up with Envy as a caricature of the goody-two-shoes sheltered Elven princesses. Envy is persecuted and cast out because of the color of her hair, which betrays her and her family with evidence of human pollution somewhere in the bloodline. Oh, the pathos! The high-school grade drama!

Of course it's not entirely about her hair - some small portion of her persecution is also due to the fact that she gets bored of Elven high society and tries to escape the tedium by dressing up as a peasant and hitting the town. Slumming around is harmless enough, but when Envy does it she brings a bottle of poison and an appetite for killing sprees, and she doesn't put a great deal of effort into covering her tracks afterwards. But that part of the story tends to get glossed over in conversation, because she gets a lot more sympathy from fellow adventurers and teenage readers of fantasy if she sticks to the tragic-victim-of-prejudice angle.

Given the subject matter, it seemed appropriate to try and make the style of this painting as Larry Elmore as possible. And of course I'd be failing the genre if I didn't work in the silly cleavage and the fanservice panty shot.

Detail: Bad dye job
detail: Bad dye job

Melissa P. asks,"Just wondering why her hair is red near her head, and mousy brown the rest of it?"

The answer: "Since she's in the foul murder profession, I thought it was appropriate to show that she has a bad die job." Envy's viciousness is such that even puns of such remarkable badness are included in her arsenal.

Maintaining a disguise is an important duty of the discreet assassin, but it's not one that Envy can be bothered to take too seriously. If anyone notices that her roots are growing out, and that she's strapping a pile of poorly-concealed daggers, and that she's not really an unassuming peasant girl at all, well then! With a disarming grin and a quick dash of poison, that's a problem that's easily solved.

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