WB Animation Character Design, YOUNG JUSTICE, Queen Bee Mural. Pencil, Digital Color.
For the first season episode, "Image," I was assigned to create a political mural of Queen Bee. This was for a scene where the mural would appear on a wall behind various foreign dignitaries on a rostrum before the national media.
Whenever I create images that appear in the YJ universe as "art," I opt to deviate from the show's animation style, as established by the Emmy Award-winning Lead Character Designer, Phil Bourassa. The idea is that "art" within this cartoon universe should represent the interpretive vision of an artist, as the subject is rendered larger than life. Going "off-model" is deliberate. In fact, that's the whole point. I took this same approach in designing the pantheon statues for the Hall of Justice in the opening episode of Season One.
Here, I endeavored to depict Queen Bee's exotic beauty, along with her aloof, regal quality. There is a touch of abstract modern art, with the stark, flat colors and shapes, on top of a tiled texture. The classic political art featuring Che Guevara was the clear influence. I felt that would work on multiple levels. The low angle appropriately makes Queen Bee appear lofty, while the light radiating from her adds a twisted beatific quality.
The tile mosaic is patterned after a honeycomb. Yeah, it isn't very subtle, but I couldn't resist trying to be cute. Heheh.
The dove was included to falsely depict Queen Bee as a peaceful and benevolent ruler, rather than as the dictator of Bialya.
It's so cool that actress Marina Sirtis provides the voice for Queen Bee, as I often had the privilege of drawing her likeness on the covers of DC's STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION comics. I met her many years ago, and she's a very beautiful, genial, and hilarious woman.
As always, these color selections are my own, and they do not necessarily reflect those of the final version used in the actual episode. This image is the property of WB TV Animation.
Thanks for viewing!