It took a while, but here is my entry for the "Picture Yourself In Wonderland
" contest. I chose to draw myself as the Mad Hatter and included my rendition of Ms. Mia Wasikowska as Alice, because one of the things I found most evocative in the film was their strange and wonderful friendship. Why the Mad Hatter?
The Mad Hatter is a character that fascinates many people, for many different reasons. But what I liked and could relate to with Mr. Johnny Depp's portrayal of this iconic character is that he was given a sense of humanity
. There's more to him past the crazy antics and the bizzare exterior which most people don't take the time to see. Deep inside, what he wanted most was to do his part to make things right again. The illustration
This drawing is a representation of how Alice and the Mad Hatter fought together in the name of the White Queen - which is why I had us standing sort of back to back, with a white rose spilling out of the frame. The teacups symbolize how Alice united with the rest of the tea party members in their revolution to restore Underland.
Alice had no confidence at first, but the Hatter had absolute faith in her even when she couldn't believe in herself. He was the first person she learned to trust in the maddening world she found herself in. That's why I made sure to give Mia/Alice a little smile, in contrast to the way she was at the start of the film where she could barely crack a grin.
This composition relates to me in the sense that sometimes I myself feel like the world might drive me mad. What gets me by is knowing that I have a number of wonderful friends who have my back. Our faith in each other lets us feel that we have the strength to do things that we may have thought were impossible.
As for the background - I focused on the trees because I remember noticing the curled tree branches in the movie, which I thought was a very clever incorporation of Mr. Tim Burton's aesthetic. To keep the focus on the main subjects of the illustration, I painted the rest of the background to look like vague silhouettes in a misty forest. I suppose the background by itself would look rather ominous, but that's what I found memorable about how Underland was depicted in the film. It wasn't the usual vibrantly kaleidoscopic, carefree "Wonderland". It reminds us that even fairy tales have their dark sides, and we are challenged to look for beauty and goodness even under grim circumstances. InspirationThis article
perfectly describes the bond between Alice and the Mad Hatter which inspired me to work on this drawing. Stylization
Art nouveau, ukiyo-e, surrealist paintings, traditional Asian art, contemporary manga, and more - I've had many different kinds of art influence me throughout my life, so I guess that led to my own style being a mixture of varying elements. There are parts that are softly rendered, some are cel shaded, some are textured. Some areas have very simple gradations, while in other areas I detailed with fine lines. I do this so that the viewers' eyes find a path to travel and rest across the composition, to find the areas where they ought to focus.
Personally, when something is excessively detailed, I find myself confused and overwhelmed. I feel unsure where I'm supposed to look and end up not giving the piece the attention it probably deserved. That's why I did things like allow Alice's hair to fade to simple colors on the top and sides. I let the curls frame her face to guide the viewer's attention, rather than let them get lost in less significant detail.
...And yes, I do seem to have a penchant for gangly fingers in my illustrations. Technical stuff
I drew this in Photoshop and partially rendered it in Painter.
As previously mentioned, I used myself as the reference for the Mad Hatter, based roughly on this photo [link]
Stock photos and textures used for this were taken by me as well, specifically for this illustration. The background is a texture I made by painting with acrylic on canvas, and the patterns and fabric textures are from clothes around my house.
Full size is about 9 x 12 inches, 300 dpi.
It's been a while since I've really drawn anything for lack of time and ideas, so it made me happy to have come across the news article for this contest and participate.
I enjoyed the movie and found the visuals and costumes absolutely breathtaking, so I looked forward to doing my take on some of those designs by drawing them in my own style. I am still pretty rusty, but working on this was great artistic exercise so I'm very thankful. Special thanks to my friends who patiently gave me helpful and honest critique, and always give me reasons to be inspired.
I'm very grateful to have been included in the semi-finals
! Thank you guys for believing in me.
It's an honor just to have my work looked at by Disney. Seems like not long ago I was admiring my friend as she showed me how to draw Aladdin and Jasmine in class. It truly feels like everyday magic.
I... I won
! I am... completely overwhelmed and immensely grateful. I think I sat and stared at my screen for 5 minutes just holding my hand over my mouth.
Again, my sincerest thanks to everyone who took the time to look at my drawing, read the description and appreciate my work. I am well aware that I cannot please everyone, but just knowing that my illustration spoke to a number of people all over the world is more than enough. Thank you for continuing to believe in me.
Thank you to the deviantART staff for working hard, very patiently managing the contest, and for including me in the semi-finals. I was grateful for the opportunity to have Disney simply look at my work.
Finally, thank you to the good people of Disney for being a constant source of inspiration for the world, giving us wonderful films full of heart to grow up with. It's an incredible honor to have people from such a wonderful company acknowledge my humble art. Words cannot express how much this means to me.