Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Princess Merida [Completed]

Princess Merida of clan DunBroch is one of my favourite animated movie characters. Her willingness to challenge societal norms and not accept a situation as what everybody else says it should be, is hugely refreshing. Though Brave can be trivialised as a movie about a teenager's rebellion against her parents, I believe there is a deeper meaning to the story if you choose to see it. Voices asking why not is often shushed by the status quo's believe one should not to question what one cannot understand while deceitfully side stepping the fact we cannot understand if we do not question. What draws me to Merida is her bravery to ask why not, something most people don't do often enough.

Princess Merida of clan DunBroch

Being a freebie from a local Tesco in-store promotion, Princess Merida's original paint job had flat colours which didn't realise the figurine's potential. Although the sculpture was not entirely true to the character as she is seen in the movie, I still felt there was enough in it to make a repaint worthwhile.

Before and After the repaint process for Princess Merida (front view)
Before and After the repaint process for Princess Merida (back view)

Although the dress sculpture actually calls for a teal dress with yellow trimmings, I adopted a light turquoise (bordering on light sky blue) hue with gold trimmings instead as seen on another dress she had worn in the movie. To me, the latter combination had more oomph, all things considered.

There are those who say ...
... fate is something beyond our command.
That destiny ...
... is not our own, ...
... but I know better.
Our fate lives within us,...
you only have to be ...
... brave enough to see it.

It seems like forever since I last created a base from scratch and painted it. But this time, I didn't let the little fact that I wasn't any good at bases deter me. I needed the green grass to bring out Merida's turquoise dress and fiery red hair. So I kept it simple: took a broken piece of cork, layered on some browns to mimic soil layers, and glued on some grass as well as stones. Not much but enough.   

A base for Merida - the green grass forms one of the three major colours of this piece
Freehand embroidery on Merida's dress fringes was retouched to smoothen out some rough spots
In hindsight, transition between the middle and lower soil layers is too stark ... meh, it'll have to do

Princess Merida has been an extremely fun project. Funny how the best things in life are free. I leave you with this wonderful quote by George Bernard Shaw whose play Pygmalion was adapted into My Fair Lady, a movie dear to my heart. His quote? My apologies for I digressed. Here it is: You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'


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26 comments:

  1. That is one of your best yet! Love this piece :)

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    1. Thank you Zab. It was one of my most enjoyable projects too. :)

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  2. That is absolutely superb! For a minute there I thought you had actually stuck her on real grass - I love it all!

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    1. Much appreciated Michael. To be honest, I was quite surprised how realistically the grass stuck on the base this time around.

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  3. It is and looks fantastic ! A 1000 times better than it was. Masterpiece !
    Greetings

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Mario. The rather good sculpt design helped make painting it easier than expected.

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  4. Absolutely wonderful!
    you turned a toy into a masterpiece!

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  5. Beautiful work F.E.M.! Inspirational dude.

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  6. Absolutely Gorgeous ! I've also painted some plastic toys and it's amazing how some of them are actually very pleasant to paint and offer a very good result !
    Your painting skills are greatly responsible for the result but it takes a good eye to spot the potential in a piece like that.
    Well done !

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    1. Thank you very much! It's very kind of you to say so. ^_^
      For a freebie, I thought that it had loads of potential and the original paint work (if you could call it that) was doing it a great injustice.

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  7. Fabulous! when you compare the before and after you get shocked! Nice reflexion on the character too, you made it all concur into this piece, wonderful :)

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    1. Thank you Suber. I can't take much credit though as the original colour scheme already looked fantastic. All I did was just paint it as close to the original colours as I could. :)

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  8. The before and after. You are a stellar artist, not just because of what you produce, but what you see possible in a model many would toss aside!

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    1. Thank you Greg for such kind supportive words. It felt great to paint this toy and make it look as good as it could ... it was a different kind of 'high' than that of painting a well sculpted miniature.

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  9. Stunning brushwork but that's what we came to expect of you. The colour transitions are some of the smoothest I've ever seen and your freehand really adds the icing on the cake.

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    1. Many thanks Moiterei. Colour transitions were possible thanks to Vallejo Model Color while the freehand was possible only because I had a Kolinsky Sable brush with me. ^_^

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  10. I love what you did with the basing and will probably (meaning definately) steal the idea :D

    The colourblend of the dress is beautyful.And the outlining really great (Did you use a shade/wash or paint for the outlining?).

    This and your beautyfull freehand painting really make a work of art out of a cheap plastic toy.

    The grain of salt I´d like to add is that I´d have made her hair redder. In the photos it looks as if you made a brunette out of Merida ;-)
    This and maybe highlight a few single strains of hair. You did this great on her front (pony is beautyfuly highlighted) but the back of her hair is almost uniform in highlights.

    And just while writing this I noticed the detailed work you did on the eyes. This mini is really a great piece of work.kudos

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    1. Ha ha ... no worries. Any art should inspire others in any little way it can and I'm glad if you think the basing is worth copying. Hmmm ... for the outlining I honestly can't remember but I think I most likely used the Reaper Master Series (RMS) brown liner if at all. I love the RMS liner ... its a great product.
      You are so right in that her hair could be redder ... lol ... I noticed this too a while back when I watched the movie again on TV. Her hair is really bright red. ^_^ But I'm still happy with the more dark orangey look I gave her. Think of it as a more sophisticated evening out look as opposed to a fiery red angry Anne of Green Gables look. And thank you very much for your kind comments and feedback :)

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    2. Okay I will definately have a look at the RMS liners. I use the Citadel washes for this because they give me somewhat of a transition into shadow/darkness, but are actually quite tricky to apply so they dont run all over the place.

      And I think it funny that you have this Anne of Green Gable assosiation with redheads. Must be a generational thing, as for me redheads are the classic depictions of hotblooded irish/scottish clanners.

      And I think Disney Pixar are on the same pages as I am ^^

      One more question though. As you painted some Kingdom Death Monster Minis I assume you pre-ordered the game as well?

      Would love to see your work with the minis to get some ideas before I start with the project (I am currently trapped in painting a whole set of 2nd Edition Descent minis ... and they seem to publish new Expansions before I finish painting the last ones ^^)

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    3. Ha ha ... you never know. Anne of Green Gables is a strong character and is an excellent subject for a Disney movie. ^_^

      Sadly I couldn't afford the game even when it was on Kickstarter. Instead I got some other Kingdom Death stuff such as individual resin minis and a promo on a set of plastic versions of their resin minis. I love KD stuff and hope to add them to my project pipeline soon.

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