Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kelly Freas Uhura Portrait

So far, in our look at the bridge crew portraits by fantasy/sci-fi artist extraordinaire Kelly Freas, we've seen Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty. Now, fellows, calm your churning hormones, for the post of the Freas portrait we've been most anticipating is here... Lt. Nyota Uhura! Kelly's ethereal style was perfectly suited to portray the galaxy's most beautiful communications officer. As noted by myself and other commenters, the resemblance to the characters was achieved in varying degrees of success. How does Uhura fare? Judge for yourself...
(Click on images to enlarge.)

"She walks in beauty, like the night."

Aside from the non-regulation silver go-go dancer boots, Uhura's portrait turned out pretty well. Although Nichelle's waist was nowhere near that small, her other assets are nicely portrayed. Her graceful hands and the familiar sexy pose that showed off her legs are faithfully reproduced here. But the bodies of the stars were never the issue. Nichelle's striking facial features are captured nicely, considering that, like several of the others, it is not a head shot but a full body painting, which makes faces more challenging to accurately depict, being smaller. The colors of the panel on her board, and the PADD prop add some visual interest as well. The only way it could have been better would have been to depict her in the mirror universe uniform!

"Message coming in, captain... it says I've been voted 'Hottest Starfleet Officer' for the fifth year in a row!"

Bonus: From issue #112 of Starlog magazine, the Trek 20th anniversary issue published in October of 1986, is Nichelle Nichol's salute pages. (I have decided to retroactively add each star's salute pages to the Kelly Freas portrait page of their character, so look back over them in coming days to see each one.)

Uhura doesn't need a phaser to stun you, just a look.

Such a pose from the scene in Star Trek III makes one wish that Nichelle had been given more such opportunities in the original series. She really was, as the only female regular on the bridge, criminally underused. But, considering the times, I suppose we were lucky she was there at all. Today, she would be a co-star, as evidenced by the character's prominence in the 2009 reboot.


Rob Bignell said...

Pat in the Scotty post said Uhura was among the two Freas pics that were the best. I couldn't agree more. While I like the Scotty painting most just for its uniqueness and personality, as to getting the portrait to look most like the original character, the face on Uhuru wins hands down. The silver boots always threw me, but after a second look, I always came to like them. They hail (no pun intended) to those pulp magazine days.

pat said...

Oh Yeah! That's one sexy Uhura!
This one to me shows how partial to illustrating sci fi ladies Kelly was, Nichelle's likeness is spot on and full of life.
The silver boots,distracting perhaps, but I guess it's apersonal touch from the master, like Scotty's beard and Spock longer hair, it adds to the uniqueness of the series of portraits.
Thank you so much for posting these Fred.
Request: Any cahnce of posting MAD'S satire of TNG?

Frederick said...

Thanks for commenting! But what is this strange "TNG" you are referring to? :)

I do have some TNG clippings and magazine articles to post, but since this blog is devoted to the original series, I would have to post them on another page. I am thinking of adding a page to the blog just for such items, if enough people show interest. How about it, readers?

david_b said...

I remember the ads for these paintings in Starlog; 'course, like most of us, if we had the meager $10 (or whatever they costed back then), I would have ordered a set.

Uhura's rendition is the best so far. It shows a very well.. proportioned figure. As for the others, I have no issue whatsoever with artist taking liberties to reflect the inner spirit of the characters over any details on skin tone, wrinkles, etc. Excellent portrayals, and a delightful treat here at the 'Scrapbook', many thanks as always to Frederick. You simply ROCK.

david_b said...

As for the TNG page, that would be a WONDERFUL treat as well, perhaps focusing more on the first year or so, all 'PRE-bloated franchise' ads, creativity, etc.

Frederick said...


I will start adding TNG and spinoff material to the second page soon, and will announce it on the main page each time. Unless I decided by then to begin a new blog devoted just to that, which is looking more like what I might want to do. I'll keep you all posted!

Faith Imagined said...

Thanks for the post on the paintings. The Star Trek Legacy is very multifaceted.

I'm just beginning to watch the original series. I find it interesting that the simplicity of the them makes them more intense to watch. I can't watch them without my husbad because I get too scared. Isn't that funny?

Frederick said...


Thank for the comment; I completely understand how you feel,. Although I don't get scared (now as an adult), I do feel the emotions and excitment more intensely with the original series than any of the spinoffs. I attribute it to the characters, the drama with which it is presented; the acting, the the music (especially the music) and the camera work... it all comes together to make it more engaging than most of the other newer shows.