I recently got a book about drawing Disney princesses, “Learn To Draw Disney’s Enchanted Princesses” and although it’s ostensibly for ages six and up, I pity the poor six-year old who gets it for her birthday, sits down with her brand new sketchbook and tries to draw her favorite princess. The very first exercise is how to draw Snow White’s head, and if you’re wondering how to draw her eyes, well, here’s step 1 and step 2…
Looks like they’re missing two or three steps there to me!
That’s to say nothing of the later exercises: once you get to Tiana, who’s near the end of the book, they don’t even pretend to be holding your hand anymore.
“How To Draw The Tick” was a joke, but the difference between steps 1 and 2 here is no joke at all. This book either should be a lot longer, or should focus on only two or three princesses; either way I think the steps should be broken down a bit more for the benefit of readers who might not have several years of drawing experience to back them up.
However, I’m glad I bought the book, because of the very complexity that makes it so frustrating. If you have patience and drawing skill, it teaches you how to draw the princesses — not simplified approximations, but the princesses everyone wants to see more of, princesses that will make you the Queen of Buzzfeed for a day if you master them and pick some pop culture reference or art style to mash them up with. All you need is to be stubborn enough to draw the same thing over and over and over. There’s a movie about a tour of the Disney studios, The Reluctant Dragon, in which the man taking the tour meets with animator Ward Kimball, who dashes off a sketch and, when praised, answers that the first 100,000 drawings are the hardest. Even if the book broke down every step properly, it can’t do those 100,000 drawings for you. I’m starting to feel like I really will need to do that many drawings just to produce a Snow White head that looks like Snow White, because the slightest mistake is so noticeable.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time with Snow White lately, and I’m not even particularly all that much of a fan of Snow White unless she’s the Snow White in Castle Waiting. As with so many other expressions of femininity, like ballet and applying natural makeup, it takes a lot of hard work to produce a princess face that looks natural, simple and attractive. Trying to draw Snow White reminded me of a blog post by Andreas Deja, who worked as an animator at Disney for 30 years, where he wrote about Cinderella that “if you are off by the width of a pencil line, this character would look like an alien from outer space.” In my quest to draw Snow White, I’ve fallen right into the uncanny valley several times, and you’ll note that I’m not posting any sketches here! (You can see some if you stalk my Twitter account, but I’m not helping you out with a direct link.) But hey, I’m much better at drawing Snow White now than when I first started.
Today’s outfit is inspired by Disneybounding, which is putting together casual outfits that are an allusion to a Disney character. Here’s an article about Disneybounding, the Disneybounding tumblr that started it all, and a cool Pinterest board with examples of real-life Disneybounding. For my take on a Snow-White themed outfit, I started with a trendy tulle skirt and added a subtly sparkly blue camisole and a blue bolero jacket. (In my imagination the bolero jacket belongs to a bridesmaid’s dress ensemble, and the wearer added the ribbons later.)
Next week… well, you may actually see that fourth doll, who’s coming along nicely! Until then, you can download combined color and black and white PDFs of all of my 2014 dolls and outfits for free! (I’ll add the 2015 ones soon…) Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for sneak previews, fashion plates and malformed sketches of Snow White’s head. If you enjoy my work, I'd also appreciate your support through Patreon.