Megara Picture

When I started bringing my portfolio in to universities for them to review before I transfer from where I am now, one school suggested that I incorporate my love of Disney into my work, since it was watching old Disney movies that originally made me decide I wanted to be an artist. I've decided to take all of my favorite characters from animated Disney movies and render them realistically, as well as portray them as historically accurate based on the time and location in which their movie takes place. I'm not the first person to think of this by a long shot, but I do think it's important to recognize that the characters in these stories are not portrayed accurately due to the younger target audience, and to try and place them in history in a realistic and believable manner makes them even more accessible to all ages than they already are.

Hercules is obviously set in ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, Megara was the daughter of Creon, the king of Thebes. She was wed to Heracles after he defeated a monster and saved the town. This event has been dated to around 1450 BCE, placing it far before the Classical era in Greek art. However, Greek gods and goddesses were often portrayed in the Classical and Hellenistic periods of art, both in painting and sculpture. These time periods are a bit farther back than is easily researchable in terms of fashion, but I was able to find some academic illustrations of traditional womens' hair and dress styles, and the surviving artwork was of course helpful. Greek statues were sculpted with their ideal vision of beauty in mind. Bodily proportions were mathematically perfect and the figures were often posed in contrapposto stances - meaning weight was mostly shifted to one engaged foot, causing the shoulders and hips to be off axis from one another. I therefore painted Meg in such a stance and with the Ancient Greek idealization of the human form, and the draping of her clothing as well as the shape of her facial features are meant to resemble the statues that were sculpted with such detail. I did also keep some of her features from the film to keep her recognizable, most notably her thin, expressive eyebrows and her berry lipstick, although neither of those things would ever have been seen on a Greek woman at the time Megara was supposedly alive.

Continue Reading: Thebes