Held by Honor

©2000 by Charles Keegan


click here to view a close-up detail of the painting


Seeing one too many female “warriors” with ridiculous armor designed by Fredericks of Hollywood, I had to put my two cents in.   It takes more than a prop sword and armor to convince anyone of a woman’s worth as a fighter.

So I found a model I believe has it in her to really fight well.  Who could, if the situation demanded it, do whatever it took to win.  I took her out in the backyard and within twenty minutes with a sword she looked like a pro.   A true natural, though she had never had any martial training; once she allowed herself to do it, she really was capable of doing serious damage with a sword.  I then handed her the sword in the painting and let her go – she was scary.  I’ll be painting action paintings with her in the future because when she chops or slashes with a sword it looks believable.

For two weeks she posed and I painted her from life.   Throughout those weeks she continued to practice cutting with the sword she posed with.  This way when she held the sword, even in a standing pose, it looked natural.

All the work paid off because I took the barely dry painting (32 x 42, oil on canvas) to the World Fantasy Convention in Corpus Christi where it won Best in Show.  

Held by Honor - small
image size: 7" x 9"
on 8 1/2" x 11"

Held by Honor - large
image size: 10 1/4" x 13 1/4"
on 11 3/4" x 16 1/2"


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