Frozen isn’t my favorite Disney picture, but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty, because I watched it alone as a full-grown adult, and found myself falling madly in love with the flaxen-haired snow goddess, Elsa. But then, I’ve got a long history of loving on cartoon characters of a particular sort.
Probably due to my past infatuation with (New) Teen Titans’ Raven, I was evermore conditioned to fall for characters whose talents or superpowers made them weird, dangerous, uncontrollable, and in many ways, doomed—the burgeoning human need to interact and express themselves puts them in constant danger of destroying all that they aspire to protect. That song remains the same, from Wolfman to Witchblade to Wicked, that essential humanity will not be denied. Eventually it boils over. (Tragedy’s a hell of a drug. I love it.)
Also due to the fact that not only is Elsa sexier than a Pininfarina-styled wet dream—her upswept mane of dangerous, dragon-like curls folded into a slinky French braid, and her gossamer-thin gown clingfilmed to all her most salient peaks, valleys and mounds—but for two years, there was no place to hide from her voice, her anthem, or her predatory glare (and Anna’s comparatively earnest gaze), being advertised on television or in all sorts of public spaces, accessories and apparel, cereal boxes, even a birthday party in my next-door neighbor’s backyard. The record-smashing worldwide gross and prolonged Disney blitz made the cups of popular culture runneth over.
I was bored for a spell (and busy with other things), but with my mill immersed in a miasma of familiar-smelling grist, it was only a matter of time before I would move to consummate my feelings, pick up my Wacom tablet, and draw Elsa and Anna doing something un-Disney-like, with a requisite level of un-Disney-like modesty.
‘THE LAND THAT NEVER MELTS’ The setting is based on the Akshayuk Pass section of Auyuittuq National Park in Baffin Island, Nunavut. Mount Thor is visible on the left. I compressed the range in order to fit the tall and narrow canvas, and filled the bottom of the pass with a frozen lake. The clouds and lake ripples were produced with texture brushes I made from Googled photos of other frozen bodies of water (particularly Abraham Lake in Alberta), and different cloud species (mostly altocumulus, cirrus and cirrocumulus.)
I was originally inspired by the proliferation of methane bubbles in Abraham Lake, which freeze while en route to being expressed at the surface, making it look as if you’re walking on fathom-deep stacks of CD’s and coins. Later on, I felt that a huge methane bubble didn’t make a very powerful visual for the girls to be standing on, so I grafted in the huge snowflake, and used multiple duplicate layers of blurred overlays and screens to make it glow. The more it glowed, the happier I was with it.
THE MODELS I had no intention of going fully photo-realistic, as I’m not a master of the craft and it would’ve taken me a million years to finish, but I wanted to use real faces as references. And I didn’t want faces you could see just anywhere. I looked to my two favorite pinup models from the 1950s and 60s, with Rosina Revelle as Elsa, and Michelle Angelo as Anna. I was introduced to their work via Dian Hanson’s The Big Book of Breasts (which had a memorable cameo on Matthew McConaughey’s desk in the movie Tropic Thunder) in which Revelle and Angelo were prominently featured models.
When I first bought the book a few years ago, it actually took me a while to get used to Rosina. Her facial features are gentle and fleshy, with full pouty lips, and a high-maintenance bearing. Her natural missile-shaped bosoms cantilever from her rib cage, and just seem to hang there even without support. It’s not a contemporary look, even though she is, on the whole, very easy on the eyes.
Michelle looks more contemporary, slimmer and slightly more petite, with a face that radiates a comparatively easier-going nature. Different looks for different times; Michelle Angelo was one of the most widely published American pinup models in 1960s gentleman’s literature, Playboy’s ‘Psychedelic Hippie’, and a fixture of the free-love generation. Rosina Revelle’s criminally short modeling career happened a decade earlier in the UK, where she was billed as Britain’s answer to Brigitte Bardot (though personally, I don’t think Ms. Bardot has anything on Rosie.)
Despite being photographed at a younger age than Michelle, Rosina’s eyes carry a sense of wisdom and experience beyond her years. And at times, a sense of implacable will, like she’d have no problem getting what she wants, most of the time, and not entirely due to cuteness.
Remember when Elsa told Olaf to lay off the cake? Stuff like that.
To paraphrase a line from Vito Corleone, Anna can afford to look a little careless, but Elsa cannot. This is what I feel allows Rosina and Michelle to really sell these characters, apart from bearing some vague resemblance to highly stylized cartoon designs—Anna is light and free and open, while Elsa carries baggage befitting her age and rank, both in the form of greater sensuality and the burden of responsibility.
THE WORK I sketched the original line drawing in November 2015, and proceeded to paint in grayscale until I was comfortable with the direction of light sources, and the styling of the ribbons and bows.
In my previous outing with the Wacom tablet (which was my very first!) I only used varying sizes of hard and soft round brushes, bewildered by the vast selection of other brush tips and the sheer amount of control a power user can have over their behavior. Now this time, I was experimenting in earnest; I’d gobbled up all the free tutorials I could find, and was determined to learn this stuff and make it stick.
But I didn’t relinquish all of my powers—most of the piece is straight drawing, but where Photoshop could make my life easier (and make the painting look better), I just let it.
I tried painting freehand clouds, and thought at first that I managed a satisfactory result. Then I put away my pride and chucked it, made some custom texture brushes, and came out with something that looks a whole lot better. Likewise with the ripples on the lake. The rosemaling patterns and snowflakes were taken from a Google image search, and free-transformed into place.
The thing I looked most forward to trying out my new custom brush skills on was Anna’s freckles. I was giddy for it in a weird way. In the end, I got a little carried away and really Shawkatted her up. Then after I added blush and jacked that up, it looked like she had a condition! Jeez, where’s a freckle model when you need one? This is something I still need to work out.
THE MEANING I should leave that up to the viewers. But if you want my view anyway:
I subscribe to a couple of Elsanna and ‘arencest’ tumblrs because I enjoy the fanart. But I don’t think the fate of the Universe hangs on the fulfillment of that prophesy, and, if many of one’s friends swim in that pool, one could be forgiven for thinking it was a religion. Ultimately I don’t care to ship it, because I don’t care. I painted this for my own selfish, prurient reasons.
I would be lying, however, if I denied I felt it to be a compelling concept that Elsa’s ‘greatest gift of all’ was herself. And in a non-incestuous context, Frozen Fever is the bow that tops the wrappings of the previous film’s finale, with the wounds created in the first full-length feature all neatly bound and healed, pretty much hermetically.
Still, I didn’t let that stand in the way of me fixing my own little Elsanna sandwich. (Om nom nom)
hey guys. my name is Sara and I’m 24 years old from NY. I’m actually fairly new to wrestling. I’ve only been a fan for a couple of years but I really love it. I watch NXT also. I’m a huge fan of Enzo and Cass, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, and Paige. My other favorites are Tyler Breeze, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, Nia Jaxx, Seth Rollins and I’m probably forgetting some people lol. I don’t have any pictures of myself in my wrestling merch but hopefully if I get confident enough I’ll post something. I went to my first wrestling match in May of this year and it was the greatest night of my life. I don’t write any fanfiction, but I love reading the stuff you ladies write, especially if it’s of Enzo lol. I also have a Twitter if anyone of here has one and wants to follow me. Nice to meet all of you
Overall, probably my bedroom. I mean, it’s got all of my favorite books, pictures, belongings, and I mean, who doesn’t love spending time in their bed???
A few other places that I’ve come to love are at 3 of my friends houses. There’s the twins’ house, Jacob’s house, and Jen’s house. I mean, they’re all pretty great people and I absolutely love each of them, but yeah! I find so much comfort with my friends, but, as above, I’m super comfortable being by myself
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sorry that was kinda longish, but thank you so much for the ask!!!