Brhea – Barbarian woman commission

A few weeks ago, a friend approached me about doing a quick commission for a mutual friend’s birthday present. They all do RPG gaming, and Solana’s character is a barbarian named Brhea. Unfortunately I only had about two and a half weeks to do the commission (not counting work and pre-arranged Sketchfest and family visits). I scoured reference sites for photos, but couldn’t find the right ones to match the original commission idea, so panicking I caught up with Michael (the ‘client’) and explained my dilema. I knew that I’d only have two, maybe three days to get the sketch and painting done. Sure, you can do watercolours fairly quickly, but commissions often have a lot of research go into them. I normally take weeks on a commission as I like to gather as many references and work through lots of details so this was really quick.

Luckily he was open to a very loose interpretation of the character, which was great given the time constraints. So armed with the character’s name, the fact that she was a barbarian who liked killing halflings, she had a double axe, and had long crazy dark hair with braids. I’d started working on a sketch completely unrelated to this, and turned it into the beginnings of a barbarian.

Brhea Sketch

Reference: LadyDove Stock

Anyway, after some colour tests, a bunch of sketches and agonising over the background, I pulled together a sketch, transferred it to watercolour by using my dodgy ‘lightbox’ (A sheet of glass resting on some boxes, with my old fluoro lamp underneath). I painted while watching copious amounts of bad tv, and managed to scrape together the painting before the deadline. I think between work and other things I had about 2 and a half days to do this and it didn’t turn out too badly. I was most pleased with the rocks and background. I’d made some minor tweaks after I scanned this.


I handed it over to Mick and he framed it all up, with some poetry.

Brhea Compilation

Brhea Halfling Rhyme

By the unseen moon and eerie echo,
With crescent metal dripping with spilt life,
Did the name Brhea become feared and cursed,
Forever remembered amongst Halfling-kin,

Whilst death was but a dream to the few,
Ever shall it be mightmared by the rest,
Beware the Shaytan’s scourge, the Harbinger of doom,
Beware Brhea Halfling-Wielder

-Famous Halfling Warning Rhyme


And the dedication:

To Solana,
May your axe be forever sharp, and the halflings aplenty.