Today I painted breasts.
It’s a thankless, possibly morally bankrupt job, and I get to do it!
Seeeeeeriously, another cover for another book–not sure if this one’s a library edition or not, although it’s by the same people–called “Breach of Trust.” (Don’t know when it’s coming out–I think maybe April or May.) It’s kinda neat because this is the sequel to one that also had my art on the cover, but which they’d licensed rather than commissioned–it was a chick with broken swords on a gear-riddled background that I did in one of those Cell-inspired concrete gloom moods. So it’s kinda fun doing this one, because I get to revisit one of my old paintings–it’s got the same composition and layout, just a slightly different figure and fewer gears. (They actually altered the plot of the sequel to match the cover on the first book–for example, she’s got one too many swords, so they wrote another one into the plot. Made me feel warm and fuzzy and contributing.)
The character’s costume, however, was described as “wearing black tight pants and a short sleeve white shirt that gosh oh gee has also come open showing the creamy swell of her fabulous breasts.” (I love my editor. He doesn’t seem to take any of this seriously either.)
So I’ve painted the creamy swell in question, which never takes long, and which got me to musing that damn, I paint a lot of breasts. I mean, scads. I can whip off a pretty good nipple in Painter in seven seconds or less. I paint so many of the damn things that my husband can wander over to my side of the room, find a monitor that’s zoomed in on a screen-filling mammary while I attempt to get the little reflective bit that shows up on the underside of the curve just right, and doesn’t even comment. Which has no bearing on anything, except that I thought it was kinda funny. I don’t think I’ve ever had a call for a creamy swell before. Usually they just say “Well-endowed. Double-D Chainmail Bra.” or similiar.
However, it did get me thinking–fantasy heroines always have either fabulous breasts, or the topic doesn’t come up. Even in the most enlightened depths of novels written by caring and concerned female authors, it usually just doesn’t merit a mention. Nobody’s ever completely flat, or odd-sized, or spends their teenage years trying to pad their breastplate, or lost half a boob in the War. (And given the recent upswing in tales of female mercenaries, we ought to demand it!) And if they do happen to be extravagantly well racked, they never get in the way, either, which is idiocy–back when I took iaido, there is a very real physical point where if your breasts get any bigger, your arms are forced out to the sides and you can’t get as good a leverage on your downward chop as your sensei is claiming you should (to say nothing of a coupla moves where the point uses your chest as a guide to slide around and stab the guy behind you, which on some body types will simply result in an unscheduled masectomy.) I have no problem with unrealistically endowed heroines–some people really do have…um….plus-sized creamy swells–but it’d be nice if they suffered for it appropriately. In fact, had Druuna ever, just once, yelled “If I try to run in this goddamn outfit, I’ll get a black eye!” I would have been a happier woman.
Yes, this is what I think about while working. Be glad that I don’t ever paint porn, or some of the daily musings would get positively creepy.