Bad Reference

If you're going to use an existing photo as reference for an illustration, you better choose the original subject carefully. For instance, the "Legends of Steel" character sketch of Talena I posted about a while back used this lovely young lady's photo for the face:

(Image removed due to copyright issues.)

But sometimes using reference can go terribly, horribly wrong.

For example, I've been re-reading the "Honor Harrington" series (excellent military sci-fi by David Weber) lately, and while I can understand the cover artist for "Field of Dishonor" wanted to use reference for the female protagonist, I can't figure out why he went with Michael Jackson:

Michael Jackson IS Honor Harrington

And why does he -- er, she -- have Man-Hands? I feel lucky the uniform color covers up the Adam's apple, although now that I think about it I bet Michael Jackson had his surgically removed anyway.

(Cover painting by Gary Ruddell, book ©1994 by David Weber, published by Baen Books.)