Live Action Animation – Part of That World

I never, ever want to look at the ocean waves again……..ever. It was murder painting these waves and was possibly the most laborious element I’ve ever painted.

Decided to get back into some illustration as it’d been some time since I last did something substantial. Had this idea a few years back to do ‘real life’ interpretations of animated films/TV series but never really went beyond rough concepts and sketches, but having recently started watching many of the Disney classics for the first time in nearly 20 years I thought it’d be worth giving the idea a second look at. My first one is a reinterpretation of The Little Mermaid, tried to keep the spirit of the animated design whilst giving a few realistic touches here and there, I also listened to Ariel’s rather haunting theme song a few times to try and capture the mood of that particular song within the image but I’m not sure if I got the result I wanted. Was thinking about adding her sea pals Flounder and Sebastian but couldn’t really work them into the image so I scrapped the idea. I really looked at Vallejo and Bell’s artwork heavily when making this, especially their mermaid paintings, their artwork proved to be a fantastic resource to reference. Done in Painter using Acrylics and Gouache, probably close to 20 hours work, about 6 of that on water. I’m thinking this will be the first of a series of illustrations.

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Posted in Animation, Disney, Illustration
11 comments on “Live Action Animation – Part of That World
  1. Amy Lynn says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I’m not a fan of the Disney fairy tale movies, but this is stunning and if the Little Mermaid looked like this, then I probably would watch it.🙂

    And BTW, you did a fantastic job on the waves. They look great!

  2. Simon Bergeron says:

    Wow… if the waves were that hard, the result is simply breathtaking. It is truly one of my favourites of yours, probably in my top 5. The design is beautiful, the colors are quite effectively balanced and the darkness in the overall results make me think of the possibilities ahead with a story featuring a darker mermaid… but that would be quite the task.

    You’ve truly outdone yourself with this piece, and I think you should make a print out of it and sell it.

  3. joshmc says:

    Wasn’t necessarily going for darkness, I was listening to Ariel’s theme song whilst painting this trying to capture the mood of the song and vocals, I hadn’t heard it since I was like 7 and found to be quite hauntingly beautiful upon hearing it for the first time in so long, almost like a song sirens would sing to sailors in the old mythologies. Anyone who hasn’t heard it for a while should head over to youtube and find the video of it, Jodi Benson has such emotion and longing in her vocals.

  4. Caitlin Sedoff says:

    This artwork is simply beautiful and I must commend you on your diligent work concerning the waves; however, Ariel is barely sixteen in the film and I would have liked to have seen a younger portrayal of the character in contrast with the woman that you have created. In other regards, it is wonderfully done and I cannot wait to see what you come up with next.

  5. joshmc says:

    ^Age change was intentional.

  6. Brandan says:

    So what you’re saying is that we shouldn’t look forward to an Aquaman painting/poster?

  7. joshmc says:

    If I’m honest, I’ve never really had Aquaman in my sights.

  8. Aya says:

    Hello! This is my favorite artwork of Ariel of all time. That’s why I’m going to ask.. Is it possible to get your permission to make this a wall decal? Because I simply love it and would love to see it on my wall!

  9. josh says:

    Go for it.

  10. imelda carroll says:

    Do you sell these paintings?

  11. josh says:

    Unfortunately given they are copyrighted characters I’m not aloud to sell anything on this site.😦 I’d love to though.

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