Will I ever get bored of talking about Gerudo from throughout the Zelda series? Not as long as talented artists keep producing powerful portraits of them, like this stunning watercolor art of Urbosa and Riju by Denouu. After all, we need more women warriors in games and other artistic media, and we need incredible fan art like this to share our love and appreciation for them.
Yuga’s Art Gallery is a series in which we highlight our favorite artwork from The Legend of Zelda community, as well as some official artwork from the franchise from time to time. Zelda is a series that is constantly changing its style, and after over 30 years of evolving and shifting its visuals, it continues to inspire endless ways for artists to interpret their favorite characters and moments.
Among all the Gerudo art I saw before discovering this gem, this piece’s bold blend of colors and sharp style really make it stand out in a sea of soft, anime-style interpretations. Not that there’s anything wrong with that style at all, but I like my Gerudo exotic and breaking conventional beauty standards. Although their eyes could be described as anime, the rest leans towards a much grittier, realistic style, which I think lends itself way better to a race of women warriors who live by their own rules and traditions.
I love how Denouu has achieved this look: she’s created deep shadows, crisp outlines, and well-defined facial features, as well as intricate details in Urbosa and Riju’s attire. Combine this with her perfect selection of colors and skillful blend of them, and you have yourself a genuinely breath-taking portrayal of these two incredible characters. She’s perfectly captured the ornate, eastern-inspired Gerudo clothing, jewelry, and armor, all of which radiate confidence, power, and pride.
Speaking of confidence, I love Urbosa’s over-the-shoulder, hand-on-hip pose that’s no doubt inspired by her promotional art. Her slight smile coupled with the fierce look in her eyes calmly yet clearly communicates that she’s not one to cross. Meanwhile, Riju’s gaze is oppositely cast into the distance, but her facial expression and stance has an equal look of tenacity and determination.
In fact, it’s almost as if she’s looking over at Urbosa as she clutches the Thunder Helm — a powerful heirloom passed down from Urbosa through generations — full of admiration for her historic Chieftain and Hyrule Champion.