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Saturday, April 12, 2008

She's got it, yeah baby, she's got it

While designing the appearances of the various gods as they will appear in The Olympians I had the hardest time by far figuring out Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. She had to look stunning, even by perfect goddess standards, and at the same time have a air of danger about her. She's so beautiful that even the gods couldn't behave themselves around her. That's why, as soon as she stepped from the foam, Zeus married her off to Hephaistos; that way, at least if she was "off the market", so to speak, it would minimize the conflicts between the immortals.

For the longest time I couldn't get the design of Aphrodite to work, and eventually I came to realize that the problem was that I was drawing her as a blonde. Which is funny, when you consider that no less an authority than Botticelli, painter of probably the most famous image ever of Venus/Aphrodite envisioned her with brown hair. She was a mediterranean beauty whom even the ancient Greeks believed came from somewhere out of the far east. In other words, probably not blonde.  Once my version became a brunette with olive skin everything fell into place.

After all that work, Aphrodite only makes a one-paneled, unnamed cameo appearance in Zeus. She plays a somewhat larger role in Grey Eyed Goddess, but her real chance to shine is a few books down the line.


Maria Mercado said...

Why didn't you just draw Arta when she's mad at you? Give her long hair and Voila! Mighty Aphrodite. :)

George O'Connor said...

I probably should have mentioned that when I showed her my great breakthrough of a brunette Aphrodite, Arta had assumed that my Aphrodite always had dark hair and that I had just been lazy in coloring it in.

Oh, and Arta never gets mad at me because I'm so charming and considerate and whatnot.

lorraine said...

I will stalk you on all your online fora!

Seriously, when is this Zeus GN coming out?

George O'Connor said...

wow, fora, that's a pretty cool word. Gonna have to remeber that. Zeus, and it's companion, Grey-Eyed Goddess, are both due in spring 2009, I believe. Maybe a little early on my part to be hyping them so early, but that's what I'm currently working on, and I am very, very excited about them.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you ghave drawn Aphrodite..she radiates beauty! I had always invisioned her blonde as in those days being blonde meant you where beautiful and wealthy and therfore many paid to have their hair made blonde, but I really can't complain seeing as how you have drawn her is beautiful!! Can't wait for her book!