Friday, 14 March 2014

First Chasseurette - Charlotte

Striking while the iron is hot, so to speak, I'm following up quickly on my post introducing Yara by showing you the "Hussarette" painting I  promised in that post. We'd set out to do our version of "The Chasseur's Lady" based on the 80mm miniature you can see on that post or here at metal-modeles nouveautes. I did a bit more research and found out these beautiful fantasy female figures were bought from UK company Phoenix Models and designed by exceptionally accomplished sculptor and artist Tim Richards. You can see, and buy, some of his lovely paintings of nude females at art So it is a hard act to follow but that's part of the challenge of my Hussarette project. So here is my Charlotte - The Chasseur's Lady.
"Charlotte - The Chasseur's Lady, 1805"
Acrylic on canvas 14 inches x 10 inches
However, it wasn't till I got down to detail in planning the painting and looking up uniform references I realised what a conundrum the original Phoenix Pholly figure poses. I had assumed at first that she was wearing parts of the uniform of a Chasseur a Cheval of the French Imperial Guard - in fact the fur colback, bag, plume and raquettes are all fine. But if so that pelisse should be red, not green, and the boots should be black leather, not red. So we have a real fantasy chasseur here and I thought it better, if one is going to pay homage to a master, to stick with the original colours. Well, we all know French Chasseurs wore green uniforms but if so that should be a dolman not pelisse, unless she is from one of those few Line Chasseur Regiments which wore the green pelisse - some reader will no doubt remind us which they were.

The red boots reminded me of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. In the style of Legatus Hedlius here's a pic of her

Luckily my lovely Eastern European models seem well equipped wth high heeled boots, so no problem there.

Here is a close up of the, umm,  face
Not a particularly good likeness of Yara, but she was putting on her serious military "Don't mess with me" expression and I found it too severe for a commercial painting. I hope you like this young lady. And if you think she looks too young remember Marshal Massena's mistress, Henriette Leberton, was, accordng to legend, only about 20 when she distracted him from properly conducting the Battle of Busaco in 1810 (fact suggests she was 32 but that spoils my anecdote!).  As an old man painting young flesh, I'm beginning to understand and sympathise with poor old Andre :-). He was 52 at the time!

Just to complete the picture here are the hands, sword hilt and cuff lace.

Comments very welcome.

My Chasseur's Lady stands 210mm, foot to eye, and is priced for sale as a unique original painting at a similar price per millimetre as the Phoenix miniature, only she is completely ready for display and will provide enjoyment for generations. Please contact me if you are interested in this one, or "Natasha", or in commissioning anything to your own specifications.

Wargamers, don't worry, next posting will be back to Waterloo with something equally spectacular - one of Kevin's 180 figure battalions.


  1. Damn fine painting chris. You are getting masterful! Great subject too! Kevin

  2. Sorry, don't want to spoil your fun, but I find your hussarettes exploitative and demeaning to women. They border on pornography. What is your justification for this project? What on earth do you hope to achieve?

  3. Thanks Kevin, glad you like it.
    Thanks Anonymous, always good to hear from the PC brigade but such a pity you couldn't give your name. Embarrassed I might know you? To answer your questions and points. All the women I have used as models have not felt exploited, they enjoyed the experience and were willing volunteers and generally earned more at it per hour than a well paid desk job. The latest model absolutely loves dressing up (or down) and posing, and I'm working with her on elegant dresses next. She gets to use her pay to buy dresses she couldn't normally afford, and I also give her a "hire fee" for using them, and she is "very pleased" (her words). I don't need to justify myself to "Anonymous"!!! What I hope to achieve is to do something as a male chauvinist pig artist that I haven't done before, as after my cure for cancer I have to "carpe diem" while I can. I want to challenge myself technically with a hugely demanding subject - ever tried painting women's faces and flesh realistically? I want as, with all my art, to create something decoratively pleasing, I don't always succeed, but these are my most popular posts so I hope someone likes them. Gorgeous women in gorgeously decorated uniforms, what's not to like?

  4. Exploitation and justification eh? What man's heart wouldn't be touched and what artists's passion not challenged when his young model writes about her latest costume thus? "Potential is huge. If we get lights to make this dress shine in the correct way, it will be a master piece".