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Anime? Disney By JOVE! – New Process Discovered

Before I was an anime fan, I was a Disney fan. I still am. I am still struck by just how life Disney characters showed on screen, the kind of life that most anime back in the 80s didn’t have.

Who is the darkest skinned Disney Princess you know? It’d have to be Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. (Esmeralda’s a hottie but she isn’t a Disney Princess, as far as I know.) Among the princesses, Jasmine is the most exotic, if only because her skin color gave her more presence and the appearance of more life (ie blood, which her fairer counterparts seemed to lack.)

Black Disney Princess

Of course the illustration above isn’t Jasmine. It’s actually Aunt Jemimah… er… when she was young! Before she became famous and had her face on all that maple syrup!

The story behind this artwork is actually pretty eye opening for me, technique-wise. Not because it was done completely digitally or because I painted digitally into flats, but because during the process I was able to find a comfortable way of “inking”. Inking, as comic artists are familiar with, is the process of artistically rendering essential pencil lines into ink. It doesn’t feel natural for me to ink on the computer — even when I use a large graphic tablet to render the nuts out of my work in color. Furthermore, I have not invested a lot of my practice time on fine line work. During the creation of this illustration, I rough out the lines digitally, much like young animators would rough out key frames. But instead of inking over these rough lines, I erased them to form more polished lines. They were not refined enough to be fluid comic line art, but they did maintain a graffiti quality.

I could’ve let the line art just pop out and come across as grafitti art, but I wasn’t going to give that treatment to this lady. So I just proceeded to paint using various layers held in place with hastily put together flats. Typically the lineart is given its own colors AFTER rendering is done, but.here – using my own “Pixel Pintura” process I am able to color the lines concurrently with the rest of the image.

The result of using these methods is a much sharper image. Naturally less blurred from Photoshop’s anti-aliased brushes because of the flats, and for me closer to my experiences in drawing for animation.

5 comments to Anime? Disney By JOVE! – New Process Discovered

  • lol… did aunt jemima use to have a brunette hair?

  • Didn’t know Aunt Jemimah started life as a blond haired white boy.

  • hehehe. It’s the spirit of Obama that change his life!

  • Lea

    I actually think Pocahontas is the most exotic Disney princess, she’s Disney, she’s a princess, she has dark skin, she lives in the forest, have you seen her clothes? She is an native american. Yep, I think Pocahontas is just as exotic as Jasmine 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I think Tzipporah from the prince of egypt is. She is as dark skinned as Esmeralda. She is a princess in her tribe. So yeah

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