It was only appropriate that a mermaid would be my first subject in ink!
More facial sketches for the Sketchbook Challenge 2014! There’s something nice about not giving myself too much pressure to get every sketch too perfect—that’s practice for you!
A seven year old Mishie!
I was in a total headband stage from ages 5-7, with long hair ever since. For my seventh birthday I had three birthday parties (I have not thrown a party since) and three dresses. My favorite was a red one that I wore for several weekends after.
Getting into the Sketchbook Challenge 2014 initiated by Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying!
Now suddenly I’m attempting to fill up and entire sketchbook in one month instead of my usual one year! This is insane! Watch out for the next one!
A very Happy Birthday to one of the most hardworking, ambitious and supportive people that I know—The Rainbowholic!
I am always astounded with how far you take yourself—and bringing us along with you! You are destined to be great, and you already are! :D
Decided to try challenging myself with a character + color palette randomizer! I’ll try to push out as many characters this year! I’ll also try my darn hardest to improve on my background work since it obviously needs improvement. Also, men and textures. OTL
So much work to do.
HAPPY 2014 EVERYONE!
First doodle/concept piece of the year is a nod to the future—Disney’s future, that is. Later in 2013 Disney announced that they will be releasing “Moana” in 2018.
EDIT: It’s been pointed out that my description below was incorrect. Sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know! :)
Based off of the existing art from Disney, Moana set within the Maori culture.. There’s only been one piece of official artwork released for the film featuring Moana (which I bet they will retitle in the future), but here’s my take on her.
I researched more into Maori traditional clothing—most of the fanart I’ve seen are more Hawaiian in look. One thing I’m super excited about are the tattoos—and Pocahontas is the only Disney Princess with a tattoo! Maori women have tattoos on their chins—something I would really like Disney to show with Moana!
Talk about excited!
"Gender-bend your favorite character."
BEHOLD I HAVE DRAWN A BACKGROUND!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!
Ending-slash-starting the year right by staring my illustration fears in the eye (no sketch lines + lighting) with a couple that I absolutely adore!
Ron and Hermione are definitely my favorite literary characters. I’ve grown up with them both and I admire a great deal of the two of them.
But just imagine how things would have been like if Hermione was a boy and Ron was a girl! The amount of interesting stories that could spawn from that!
I got the prompt for this challenge here: TRY IT
I was actually quite nervous thinking about putting this together—a fear of mine is that I don’t think I’ve evolved at all.
But after seeing all these pieces come together like this, I can remember and say that I did learn a lot this year—obviously I still have to work on drawing men, but I think in terms of technique and digital skills, there has been a lot of improvement.
Happy New Year everyone! And I hope I can even pursue development further in 2014!
Still much to learn about coloring, I have. OTL
Sometimes when I give myself a challenge I fail immensely, and other times when I’m not thinking about what I’m doing, things come out great. I have to keep practicing to finally be consistent.
Learning not to be afraid to shadows and contrasts—obviously you can see here that I still am. T_T
"Draw gentlemanly or fancy animals."
Tried out the art prompts/challenges from this link. I figured that come the new year, I will try to do more of these challenges so that I am able to push myself more. I want to be able to face my art fears. In this case, drawing animals.
This is a Red Crowned Crane, one of the national animals of Japan. I loved how the crown actually looks more like a dapper bowler hat rather than an actual crown—so I went with it. I added a bowtie for an added oomfph as well. ;)
I have never drawn an action hero—ever! Ironically enough, Thor is probably one of the ones I like the least (I’m a Spiderman kind of girl!), so this is a surprise.
But it was showing on television and I figured that I should practice drawing men—as I am terrible with them. OTL
Sneak peek at one of the characters from my upcoming visual development portfolio! So excited to put all the other elements together!
“‘Cause life’s too short to miss out on a sister like you!”
- Life’s Too Short, (deleted song) Frozen
This is probably my favorite deleted song from Frozen—the only one I wished actually made it into the film—instead of “For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)”!
TWO DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!
Until then, it’s time for Part 2!
It’s time to tell you all about my like/dislike affair with the soundtrack of Frozen.
Unlike my love-at-first-listen with the soundtrack of Tangled (except for “I Have a Dream”), the OST of Frozen was something I consciously decided to give a second listen.
I realized immediately that it might be because of the style of the songs that I did not take to them right away. I have watched neither Book of Mormon nor Avenue Q, so I may have been biased towards more “traditional” Disney composers.
I did not listen to any of the previewed songs prior to watching the film. I wanted them to speak within the context of the film, so I didn’t even listen to Idina Menzel’s performance during D23.
Let’s go through the songs one by one!
1. FROZEN HEART
I absolutely love this song. Immediately after I had listened to every single song in the film, I decided that this was the strongest one that I could remember right away.
While watching the sequence on screen it reminded me of three other songs with a similar tone—and I suppose that the familiarity was the reason I gravitated to it right away.
It reminded me of “Roustabouts” from Dumbo, “Deliver Us” from The Prince of Egypt, and “Look Down” from Les Miserables. All of them the first song you hear in their respective films/stage versions.
If you listen to the lyrics of Frozen Heart closely, it pretty much does the job of setting up the idea of Ice as something beautiful but dangerous—pretty much talking about Elsa and her powers. And it also serves as a cautionary song about “beware the frozen heart,” in relation to Anna’s heart being frozen.
It also, by the way, sounds awesome in Polish:
2. DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN
This song does a great job of setting up the relationship of the sisters after The Incident. It helps to show the passage of time as well as throw in the tragic accident of their parents. That part sends goosebumps up my arms every time I hear it!
Also, this may be the first time I’ve heard younger vocals in a Disney film since Little Mermaid II’s “For a Moment”—which are strangely similar in theme as “For the First Time in Forever.”
3. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER
If Frozen were to become a musical, this would make a nice sequence. This, along with “Love is an Open Door,” would probably be the nicest to see translated onto stage. It has a lot of very musical elements that show a lot of character as well as motive for the story to continue. This gives us a really good glimpse into Anna’s character more than any other moment in the film. It’s probably why I think Anna is the most fleshed out character in the series.
Elsa also has a moment here, and it gives us an idea of her own goal for the film—but let’s admit that this is Anna’s song. Elsa doesn’t really relate to this “first time in forever” lyric apart for it being the first time she’d be in public.
4. LOVE IS AN OPEN DOOR
"Love is an Open Door" is the song that I was initially on the fence about. Maybe because it isn’t the typical romantic ballad I’ve come to expect from Disney (ala "I See the Light", "A Whole New World"). It’s upbeat and has percussion which I wasn’t used to.
But the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. I’ve never seen Avenue Q or Book of Mormon—but this is probably the song style that I can imagine those shows having.
I really don’t mind seeing a stage version of this song. I think the closest song I can think this reminds me of is “Dancing Through Life” from Wicked—just a tinge.
"Love is an Open Door" has actually become my favorite song from Frozen. It’s playing now as I write this review!
5. LET IT GO
Obviously this is the flagship song of the film. And while the visuals during this sequence were great, I had confused feelings about the song.
Don’t get me wrong—this was a great song! It’s an empowering song one in the context of the film. There are some lyrics, however, that made me feel like it was sort of like it was about giving up (“turn away and slam the door”—that’s the third time “door” is mentioned in three separate songs from this soundtrack). But then again, many people would argue that “Part of Your World” was sort of a greedy song (“Lookin’ around here you think, ‘she’s got everything’…But who cares, no big deal—I want more”). So with that in mind, I just “let it go.”
I also find it quite interesting that the message of this song is very similar to “Defying Gravity” which was also sung by Idina Menzel. I wonder if they made this song with her in mind or the other way around?
6. REINDEER(S) ARE BETTER THAN PEOPLE
So I don’t consider this a whole song really—and I find it highly unfair that this was the only song given to Jonathan Groff! I thought they cast him because he was going to sing at least 2 minutes! But, nope, they gave him a song about reindeer.
This song is really easy to sing though, so I found myself singing this while washing dishes or while getting dressed. It’s easy to hum too. I just wish this were a full-blown song. I mean, Olaf got a solo! :(
7. IN SUMMER
I was bummed to find out that Olaf got a solo, while Kristoff got nothing. I felt that Kristoff could have used a little more exposition and a song would have been perfect for that. But Olaf got this song that hinted a lot about melting—and he didn’t even really melt in the end. I would be nice if he actually melted because at least it would have justified an entire 2 minutes for him singing.
This song, I have to admit, is addictive though. I find myself singing the “ba ba ba bamdarum” and “just think how cooler I’ll be in summer!” quite often.
I can just imagine though, that if I were with Anna and Kristoff when Olaf was singing this, the below would have occurred:
I know this because I still think about it every time this song plays. I have the urge to just exasperatedly say “PUDDLE, YOU’LL BE A FRIGGIN PUDDLE.”
Oh Olaf, you product of childhood innocence and naivite, you.
8. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER (REPRISE)
I’m not sure I enjoyed a reprise for “For the First Time in Forever.” I didn’t think it helped too much—Anna could have very well have just said that Arendelle was in deep snow by speaking it rather than singing.
What I would have rather seen was the deleted “Life’s Too Short” song! It actually fits in the story very well since Elsa ends up setting a giant snow gollum on Anna and Kristoff anyway. It’s a bit confrontational but it gives a new dynamic to the sisters! And I looove the exchange in this song—because I can imagine it being relatable to a lot of siblings. It goes from endearing to angry. But you’ll hear that in the end that this song actually goes with the “prophecy” concept from an earlier version of the story.
Interestingly enough, the reprise of “Life’s Too Short” has the score of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”—which I realize SHOULD have gotten the reprise instead of “For the First Time in Forever.”
9. FIXER UPPER
While very musical—I can see it being in a production because it’s an ensemble performance—it just seems the most out of place song. The main purpose is to get Kristoff and Anna to realize that they like each other—and at this point it seems too far into a film and feels a little bit contrived.
It’s as if to tell the audience that “if you haven’t already figured out, these two have to be together in the end.” A song like this would normally be in the middle, like “Under the Sea.” But then again, The Little Mermaid also had “Kiss the Girl.”
In my opinion though, “Fixer Upper” didn’t do much to drive the story forward—and only misled the characters and the audience to think that the True Love’s Kiss was the solution (and I already explained in Part 1 how I don’t quite agree with that solution to begin with).
SPECIAL MENTION: VUELIE (feat. Cantus)
The other song I’d like to point out is this one from the score for Frozen! It’s not really an original song because it’s a Norwegian church hymn, but it gave me chills with the opening snowflake sequence.
But after listening to the rest of the songs which are obviously more Broadway than church hymns, I don’t know if this song totally belongs. I know that the film was heavily influenced visually by Nordic elements and this looks like an attempt to integrate music into that as well. I just wish that there was more (apart from “Frozen Heart”)!
If you get the chance, I recommend listening to the demo tracks and other deleted tracks from the film—they’re actually quite interesting! And you can almost imagine how the film would have gone if a song was substituted for another!