Painting Concept Sketches

By Erika Moen on March 12, 2012


I’m working on preliminary sketches for a future painting, inspired by “La Bella Principessa” by (probably) Leonardo DaVinci.


You can follow the evolution of my thinking, with the reference sketch on the far left followed by my smaller thumbnail sketches that are lined up chronologically. I started much more literally, thinking I could use an ocotopus as a decorative hairpiece, like the one the Principessa wears, (You can see how I originally was going to have tentacles flowing down her back to mimic the rope of hair in the original painting) but then my sketches evolved into her head actually growing its own tentacles.


Renaissance and Medieval illustrations and paintings are a huge source of inspiration for me. The humanness and beauty of the figures is amplified to me by the formal stiffness and very strategically-placed posing. Piero di Cosimo’s “The Young Saint John the Baptist“, was another inspirational painting for me back in 2010 when I painted Portrait of the Tenacle-Headed Lady.

His delicate features are so gorgeous and then his tight locks of wavy hair remind me of waves in the ocean or (surprise!) tentacles rolling over his head. Which, naturally, I re-interpreted into this painting:


Portrait of the Tenacle-Headed Lady


On another note…

At the end of March I have two events coming up in Seattle, Washington!

-March 29 at 7pm, Nutritional Information: A Webcomics Artist Panel. (The Henry Art Gallery, 15th Avenue Northeast)
-March 30 – April 1, Emerald City Comicon at booth 223. (Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place)


Erika Moen’s Posters, books, prints and original artwork

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