Week 48: Geneva “GDBee” Benton
“Teal General” (2016)
GDBee works in both traditional and digital mediums and was chosen for this project for her bright, lovely color palettes and cute kickass female subjects. The girls of GDBee’s art have the perfect balance of sass and sweet, often wearing candy or galaxies in their eyes and in their hair. They look regal, poised, playful, and unique. Many of them are witches, an aesthetic that many of you know I adore.
Many of GDBee’s portraits are also of beautiful women of color. Different hairstyles, skin tones, and body types capture the beauty of more than just the typical white girl waif that a lot of witches seem to fit. This, to me, is especially why I love her art. I grew up one of those white girl waifs; I didn’t realize until I got older how the genetic lottery randomly made me lucky enough to have representation in media. GDBee’s art makes me happy because it’s what I desperately wish more people drew, giving hope and representation to beautiful black girls like I had growing up.
She also draws a lot of mermaids in more than just the typical Disney’s Little Mermaid style. I don’t think I have to tell regular readers how much I love that.
The small details in her pieces are also really wonderful and lush: the jewelry and accessories, the bits of fashion worked into the clothes, the background textures. I really admire how she makes such effective use of what turn out to be relatively few brush strokes, whether it’s in easy sketch outlines or a small color palette of blobs turning into beautiful shading in hair and faces. It makes her work feel both simple and complex all at once, which is maybe not the most intelligent way to sum up what I love about her work but there you go.
For those interested, she even posts livestreams and progress pictures as she creates pieces. These progress pictures are particularly nice, giving hope to someone like me who loves art but maybe doesn’t spend enough time practicing it.