Well folks here it is the completed tribute to Carrie Fisher. This one has been a long time coming and I was so happy with the results I could not wait until Sunday to reveal it. I started this image back at the beginning of January. This one took longer than many of the other images because I was again attempting something new, namely smooth transitions in color tones necessitated by the skin of Carrie’s face. The learning process of the skin shading later came in handy with the silkiness of her dress. When I decided to add Y-Wing fighters to the image, I added another challenge that slowed me up. I have generally stayed away from vehicles because I am not that good at mechanical representations and the best image I could find was a three-quarters view. I could not have copied that if I wanted to; however, I was able to make decent enough measurements to come up with a top down view.
Now, let us talk about the painting itself. First, I chose this image of Carrie Fisher because it was the way I first fell in love with her. Yeah, the slave girl bikini was hot but the soft silk of this dress plus her feistier nature just can’t be topped. In addition, this particular photo from the early promos caught my attention because of the intensity of her gaze. Understanding Carrie Fisher’s history you can almost see the pain buried underneath the future galactic Princess’ determination. Perhaps a look at the real person under the fantasy.
I paid extra attention to the creation of the background because I wanted the star field to look like it came directly from the movies. One thing I noticed while re-watching The Empire Strikes Back was that Lucas did not put nebulae in the films. We always see just a splash of stars. However, if you look closely, you will see areas of soft fuzzy light and darker zones creating patterns. I captured this effect by tapping lightly with the airbrush function in clusters to make the soft glow and an absence of these clusters for darker areas.
The Y-Wings are basically copies, scaled to different sizes, from two versions I created. On a separate layer I made the softer glow around the engines and extended the trails to the bottom of the image. The design reminds me of one of the playbill posters I saw at the time. The reason I chose the Y-wings is that in one of the first novels to come out after Star Wars, The Splinter of the Minds Eye, Leia piloted one. Also, I always thought they were kinda cool.
The planet in the background is of course Alderaan. Nothing tying into the real woman behind the character, but I wanted to stay on theme and putting earth their didn’t feel correct for me. For me, I depicted what I felt was important about Carrie Fisher by picking the particular image above others I could have chosen. Everything else was for me. Finally, I chose to make her look like a returned Jedi Knight for obvious reasons, which works just as well for Leia as it does for Carrie.