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||This picture features the characters Zuko and Hakoda from the Avatar: The Last Airbender 'toon series on Nickelodeon.|
This picture is gift art for the indomitable Lady-Rai-Frost, a DeviantArt buddy. She's been hard at work on a post-Avatar story arc called Conquest for many months now, and she just finished chapter 21. This illustration is the header for chapter 19, because as I understand it, there's still some fight left in those big beasties!
This pic is based on the action in chapter 18 - in this bit, an adult Zuko and the Water tribesman Hakoda have been ambushed by these gigantic arctic snow leopards, and ol' Zuko is about to give one of them a rather severe headache...
...I've taken some artistic liberties from Lady Rai's exact text for the sake of both action and composition (honestly, I wanted to draw fire. That's the main reason). It *does* remain true to the spirit of her story, though!
Lady Rai didn't give us a whole lot of description on the snow leopards themselves. I watched the first couple of Avatar episodes again to see what kind of wildlife lives in the arctic/antarctic regions in this world, and I came up with a kind of "fusion animal" that combines a snow leopard's soft fur and spot patterns with the massive body type of a polar bear. And to my great good fortune, Lady Rai has allowed me to play my little games with her characters with good grace.
Colored with Polychromos pencils.
Oh, and that weapon Hakoda has is called an adze. I wanted something that was at least similar to authentic Inuit tools and weapons... His is made of metal rather than stone, in this case. ^_^
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