Junto ao Mar Sagrado - By the Sacred Sea
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL; MAY 1, 2007-The calming sound of the waves could be heard from the beachside. Pure white sand could be seen for miles; it sparkled in the evening sun as fresh ocean spray refreshed its surface. I reminisced in the feeling of the wet sands between my toes, as it tickled me so. A golden sunset caressed the horizon just above the sea, and shone its heavenly light in a straight path to where we were standing. I was at my element here on these pristine sandy beaches, yet I didn't have much time to relax. Me and my troop had been training on this beach for hours at a time, and this was the last run of the day before heading back. "One more lap everyone," I shouted as I blew the whistle. My soldiers ran across the beachside with me, one behind the other and I leaded the forward advance. A team of about 30 or so men and women could be seen from the boardwalk as shadows, cast upon the white-hot sunlight, leaving their footprints in the sand behind them. More blows from my whistle broke the evening silence, as we neared the end of an exhausting five kilometer run. I halted the advance after my pedometer read five kilometers, giving my brigade the signal to stop. "Great job on another successful run everyone," I announced while handing out water bottles from my bag. "Now let's head back to base." A wind of heavy breaths filled the air as my troops lined up for the bus that awaited them. Me, I just stood here and watched them go; staring off into space as the wind blew through my hair. It was quiet again and I filled my mind with thoughts of tranquility. This was my home away from home and I had an unusual connection to it; my soldiers being close as family. And I walked slowly towards the bus, singing to myself, "We are programmed to receive; you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!"
I was on a roll with making art for Valentina, and could not pass up this one opportunity. My last one got quite a lot of praise (at least on Facebook) and I'm hoping the same will go for this one. And if you've been following my art for a while, you may recognize this as a reference to the old pictures I used to draw of Valentina cast before the sunset. That is her symbol, and I wanted to incorporate that same theme into this picture to create a powerful sense of emotion. In that essence, her flowing gold hair symbolizes the sun's rays warming the earth. And she appears to be sad here, in which you can base your own interpretations by paying close attention to the context. Aside from that, I put a lot of heart into this one picture; even more so than my last headshot picture of her as a contrast in theme. I prefer this one better because it shows a lot more detail I wasn't able to capture in my recent fullbody reference of her. Her face is of course the main focus, but I wanted to get as fine a detail in drawing her badges and hat emblems. Especially in the hat, in which I have a clear picture reference for and enjoyed drawing.
Valentina Kaz/Barbara Fuentes © SpetsnazKaz