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January 15, 2014
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Leda by Marie-Esther Leda by Marie-Esther
Watercolours on cardboard, size slightly bigger than an A4

My very first time with watercolours mostly (and a white gel pen)!

Reference picture: www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi… by the talented I am not Ana www.facebook.com/iamnotana

Title inspired by Greek Mythology, in particular by the character of Leda (therefore the feather in her hands)

Princess Leda was admired by Zeus, who seduced her in the guise of a swan. As a swan, Zeus fell into her arms for protection from a pursuing eagle. Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen (later known as the beautiful "Helen of Troy"), Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux (also known as the Dioscuri (Διόσκουροι). 

Leda and the swan and Leda and the egg were popular subjects in ancient art. In the post-classical arts, it became a potent source of inspiration.


A sudden blow: the great wings beating still 
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed 
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, 
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. 

How can those terrified vague fingers push 
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? 
And how can body, laid in that white rush, 
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? 

A shudder in the loins engenders there 
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower 
And Agamemnon dead. 
           Being so caught up, 
So mastered by the brute blood of the air, 
Did she put on his knowledge with his power 
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

Leda and the swan-William Butler Yeats
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:iconal1n7a:
al1n7a Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Student Filmographer
very disarming, love the colours mixed with the shadows!
Reply
:iconelitegengar:
Elitegengar Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
i like your style. :)
Reply
:icongavenia:
Gavenia Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What I like best about this piece is the contrast between softness and craggedness, between the tear stains and the red red lips and finger nails. I do think that goes very well with the story of Leda and the swan. I also love this sentimental touch holding a feather cradled in her hands. All in all a very impressive work even more so as the first attempt with this medium.
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for this beautiful comment, I really appreciate it! 
Reply
:iconhannipm:
Hannipm Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is soo good! u r talented!
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconlyrithen:
Lyrithen Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
So amazing.  I especially like how vibrantly red her lips and nails are.
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw thank you so much dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconxroxyfoxyx:
xroxyfoxyx Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Photographer
This is spectacular.   The colours blend together so well, I could stare at this all day. :happybounce: 
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw thank you so much darling, I'm really glad you like it! :heart:
Reply
:iconmoonlight-fox:
moonlight-fox Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I love the mix textures! Also you are very knowledgeable with how realistic faces look like! :D
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconlegrandzilla:
Legrandzilla Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For a fist time with water colors, this is amazing!  Great work!
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much Jon! :hug:
Reply
:iconlegrandzilla:
Legrandzilla Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Welcome!
Reply
:iconpictureonprogress:
PictureOnProgress Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
All that dripping blue is a pretty interesting touch :noes:
It makes me think she's covered in tears! :nuu:
You sure have done well with the hands and feather :nod:
Her face is pretty expressive too :o
And the hair seems nice as well :dummy:
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconpictureonprogress:
PictureOnProgress Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :bow:
Reply
:icontheelvishdevil:
TheElvishDevil Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
This is beautiful :heart: I really love the colours and the addition of the splatters/drips, they add a very nice effect. The way that you have done the hair is also very effective. Personally, the only thing that I am not too keen on is the neck. I am guessing it has been edited digitally and that makes it stand out quite a bit against the rest of the image.
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconcaptainmisuzu:
CaptainMisuzu Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's so rare to see traditionnal work :3 I'm always happy to see that :3
And painting :'
The pose is beautiful but the whole thing is kinda sad. The strikes you add
add a litteral sad effect on it, like it's raining painting on the canvas. You did a great job.
And the shape of the frame is a nice idea :3
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconyitzin:
Yitzin Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice one! The smudging strokes give the sensation of her being through a window to protect her from a rainy day :)
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconnurboyxv:
NurBoyXV Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
"My Nails & Lips are painted with a Man's Blood"
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Man or swan in her case! ;)

:hug:
Reply
:iconnurboyxv:
NurBoyXV Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Professional General Artist
If a man; then it is for a purpose. :XD:
Reply
:iconaggelikhxiarxh:
aggelikhxiarxh Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014
awesome work love the hands
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconcoloredinlove:
COLOREDINLOVE Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lovely textures of colors caress her gently..the story has come to life in her..your art is always a joy to see...You're a favorite of mine~!! Keep on living the dream! Hugs!!!Heart Hug Heart Love Heart 
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you darling, you're a very favourite of mine too and I always read your comments with pleasure :hug: :heart: :heart:
Reply
:iconcoloredinlove:
COLOREDINLOVE Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much Honey! That makes me smile and I'm glad you are a friend of mine too! I will be starting your picture next week! Hugs and love!Heart Heart Heart Huggle! Huggle! Heart Heart Heart 
Reply
:iconponderhope:
PonderHope Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Student General Artist
The watercolor looked like it reacted interestingly to the substrate. 
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed! You should try it out!
Reply
:iconriftress:
Riftress Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Such lovely contrasts here, I adore the blue with the sharp red you've used! :iconawwloveplz:
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw thank you dear, I'm really glad you like it! :hug:
Reply
:iconriftress:
Riftress Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's my pleasure! :huggle:
Reply
:iconramwoc87:
RAMWOC87 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this so much! It looks so real and the colors are amazing! This must've been hard with watercolors?
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aw thank you dear! I'm so glad you like it! :hug:
Reply
:icondorashouldprint:
dorashouldprint Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
I'm really big fan of Leda theme, not so of portrait in this style but it's obvious you're master of this technique so the overall look of the piece gives me some very calming and nice feeling. It's great how you used pen with the watercolor, and the harmony you've created!!
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconconwant:
Conwant Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
I like the way you made the red stand even more out with the cold colors in the 
bg and her skin. She looks cold, longing and alone. But is she alone alone? Or is 
it in her mind? The dreamy sad state in this picture kinda gets to me, since I've 
been feeling a little down lately. The poem is beautiful and I think you did a 
splendid job with the watercolors. The textures you make in it is even better 
up close, witch is kinda hard when it comes to something so stubborn as 
watercolor. (I argue with it all the time ^_^'')

Love it, and can really "feel" it. :heart:
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this beautiful comment, truly.
You really nailed the rendition, and I hope you'll get to feel better soon! :heart:
Reply
:iconconwant:
Conwant Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
No problem hun, and thank you. I will ^_^
Reply
:iconobcodis:
Obcodis Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconninykinin:
ninykinin Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014   General Artist
Wow, this is really beautiful. I love the contrast and how her lips compliment her nails. Fantastic work, thanks for sharing. :)
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear! :hug:
Reply
:iconmarlennaesseriksen:
MarlenNaessEriksen Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First time with mostly watercolours, and it looks so great! I love the red and shiny finernails, and using a white pen in her hair was a great touch. Lovely! :hug:
Reply
:iconmarie-esther:
Marie-Esther Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you dear, I'm really glad you like it! :hug:
Reply
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