More Like This Please

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 13 February 2012


Thalestris by ~dashinvaine (via DeviantArt)Thalestris by ~dashinvaine (via DeviantArt)What I love:

  • She's a warrior, doing warrior things. Sometimes the warrior thing to do is wait out a barrage of arrows under your shield. If it was good enough for King Leonidas and his men in 300, it's good enough for the Queen of the Amazons.
  • The javelin through the shield makes the piece. Without it, I'm scared for her, but not too much so since her shield seems to handle the arrows fairly well. With the javelin through the shield, I'm afraid for her life and whether or not she'll make it out of battle. This fear is heightened by the dead bodies around her.
  • The blood on her spear shows that she's probably killed already in this battle. She isn't there merely for show.
  • The smoke from the fire in the background adds to the feeling of uncertainty and grimness.

Old Woman vs Demon BW

Old Woman vs Demon by ~ThreeEyesWorm (via DeviantArt)Old Woman vs Demon by ~ThreeEyesWorm (via DeviantArt)What I love:

  • I've seen depictions of older men fighting, but rarely do I see one of an older woman. I love how this drawing breaks the mold in that area.
  • I also love the Japanese feel I get from the artwork. I'm not quite sure if that's the style the artist intended, but the swirling clouds and the characters remind me of that country.

As Old as Your Fears

As Old as Your Fears by *chryssalis (via DeviantArt)As Old as Your Fears by *chryssalis (via DeviantArt)What I love:

  • This is another example of a story in a painting which will often get a +1 from me. But in this example, it's a story that often is heavily tied to women. With our culture's emphasis on women's beauty, and the belief it fades with time, women often feel the pressure of time in a way that I feel that men do not. I've also felt the loss that we seem to forget about women in the middle of their lives, although that is changing too.
  • I love the symbols used in the work. The watch carried by the crow, representing the in my mind the feeling that time is often stolen from us or at least always fleeting. The dog, to me, means she's not friendless but yet her presence in the woods makes her seem all alone.
  • The work has a fairy tale feel to it that I love, especially the mirror in the woods and the darkness of the location.

First Lesson

First Lesson by *kerembeyit (via DeviantArt)First Lesson by *kerembeyit (via DeviantArt)What I love:

  • Dragons! Not just a big, mean dragon, but a baby dragon learning to fly from a parent. What a cute and wonderful story. I wonder what would happen if some adventurers stumbled into this moment.
  • Not only is it a cool snapshot into the life of a dragon, it gives some depth the creatures, something that I feel is missing in a lot of D&D. I understand the pressures that word count and space have on the game, especially in the monster manuals, but if we want to tell fuller stories, ones where the PCs don't always murder everything in sight, the monsters need to have a little more something to them then a desire to kill all that is good and yummy.

Some Notes

  • Since it's a frequently asked question, yes, I know about the Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor Tumblr. It's a great site and I sometimes add artwork from my Pinterest from there.
  • After my last post, someone left a comment pointing out issues about the artwork and putting down my desire to not critique the art. I understand his points but critique is not the point of these posts. If people want to critique or say negative things about the art, they can do it elsewhere as that's outside the bounds of these discussions.

I totally agree there is an area for positivity. I only review things I love on my blog, since I have no time to waste on things not so great, and because of this, my reviews are generally gushing.

Its like on amazon, you want to hear from the person who most likes it, as well as the person who least likes it, then you decide whom you are most likely agree with. The objective reviews are also good but not always for judging yay/nay.

Love the "First Lesson". I think the flock of birds wheeling around, almost as an afterthought, really rounds out the narrative, that in their native state, Dragons are not so horrible. The stature of the momma is particularly majestic. Whenever I see a piece like this (the good ones at least), I'm always wondering what an adventurer might feel if they were viewing this from within the picture. And I think those adventurers would be feeling a sense of awe.

The old woman vs. demon is great - reminds me of the thick, heavy lines of Baxa back in 2e.
I've often found it funny that male spellcasters are always depicted as aged and withered while female spellcasters are all young and smooth (what, does it take that much longer for men to graduate from magic school?). I like to see art that challenges the silly assumptions of its genre.

I'm really enjoying these posts. They are a nice break from all the D&D Next negativity that's assaulting me on the rest of the internet at the moment.

Of particular note for me in the first image is the all in one quiver/scabbard. That's awesomely practical when you're carrying three weapons (she's not carrying a bow/crossbow but the half full quiver suggests she may have started out with one). My next short sword and bow carrying PC or NPC will definitely have one of these.

The composition of that image is also particularly good. You are right down there with the Queen and can more easily notice the elements you mention from her point of view.

There is a lot of great stuff here. If you want to comment or critique on something that is up to you and there is nobody who should be telling you to do so one way or the other. It is that simple.

I really like old woman vs demon-- it breaks two stereotypes that irritate me--
1) Women are helpless
2) Old people are helpless

I know plenty of martial artists (male and female) in their 50s/60s who could break 20-ish muscle men like hammers break ice.

The world needs more of this sentiment.


Have you ever seen the old Dragonlance comic books? There was a series of them about a female (rare in itself) Knight of Solamnia named Riva Silvercrown. Some of them were about her adventures in the prime of her life: but the best of them took place much later, with Riva shown as a much older woman (like 30 years later), gray-haired, muscled, grizzled...and she kicked ass. Still doing warrior things.

I want to see more like that, too.

I haven't seen it but I'll look around to see if I can find some. I'd like more of that too. Not everyone has to be under 30 :)

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