Friday, January 24, 2014

Frozen - Rosemaling

Research is a huge part of what we do. Once the team had decided that Frozen would take place in a kingdom that was based on Norway, a group was sent to Norway to gather as much first-hand reference as possible. While there were many things learned on this trip, the one thing that the team came back with that directly affected my work on the show was the art of rosemaling.

Rosemaling is a type of decorative folk-painting that can be seen just about everywhere in Norway - it is used on everything from architecture to clothing. My fantastic art director, Mike Giaimo, (if you don't know who he is, do yourself a favor and look him up!) decided that we needed to develop our own library of rosemaling for Frozen - and that is where I came in!

My first month or so on Frozen was dedicated solely to creating rosemaling for the world of Arendelle. I worked on everything from wallpaper to tapestries (like the ones above) to painted architectural designs to costumes (there will definitely be more on those later). The great thing that we discovered about our rosemaling was that nothing went to waste. We needed so much of it to propagate throughout the film that even if a design didn't get picked in the first round, we ended up using it later.

For costuming, we wanted our rosemaling to reinforce each individual character's personality traits. Anna is bright and bubbly, so her rosemaling is always effervescent and floral. Elsa is poised and refined, so she has long, elegant designs with a hint of crystal-like geometry.  Since Kristoff is a bit of an outsider, his patterns are much more geometric and banded, reflecting design elements seen in the clothing of the Saami people of Norway.

The tapestries that hang throughout the castle in Arendelle were a fun challenge. They had to be approached with the design language we established with Arendelle's rosemaling, but with an added element of storytelling. The tapestries below were initially requested as a set of two: one representing Spring and the other representing Winter. Eventually it was decided that we should have all four seasons, so Summer and Fall were added to the mix. 

All images are property of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

I don't think I had any idea when I started on Frozen how prevalent rosemaling would be. Honestly, I was thrilled to just be able to work on the movie, so I happily doodled away for days and days on these designs. Now I look back and am so thrilled to have been given this task. As a visual development artist, it is really rare that your actual work makes it to the final frame of the film. Our jobs are to inspire and inform the artists who make the actual assets, but in this case I get to see my work on the walls and the hems of their skirts. It is magic. 

More to come on Frozen soon, as well as other updates! Thank you so much for your response to the last post, as well as your continued support.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Miss-Manitas said...

Wow...your job os really amazing and the best part is that is geting better and better... Congrats Britney and thanks for beeing Such an inspiration

Rodrigo Trindade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Varghese said...

Your work is so amazing and inspiring! Thank you for taking us behind the art of Frozen! <3

Rodrigo Trindade said...

Cool, thanks for your help Brittney!!!

Alishea said...

Beautiful designs. Thanks again for sharing!

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Never before can I recall an animated feature were I was so mesmerized by the detail of the character's clothing, and I know I wasn't the only one to think the same!

My hat is off to you and your fellow artists who put so much work into this. Oh what I wouldn't give to see a fraction of all the inspirational art that you must of collected to create so many aspects of this film.

Also want to say thank you for recommending looking up Mike Giaimo, I just know this is going to become one of those "down the rabbit hole" kind of Internet searches.

Maddy said...

Thank you for sharing! I really loved the use of these designs in the movie, particularly in the costuming.

If I may ask, were all the rosemaling designs on the costumes made to look embroidered? On some dresses (such as Elsa's coronation gown) its been hard for me to tell. Hope I'm not being a bother!

Megan Emily Pinkston said...

very exciting! i love when you update! as a student interested in visual development, it is ever fascinating to hear you talk about you labors of love. thank you so much for your post!

Helen M said...

Great work!!! Your designs are wonderful! Thanks for sharing them with us!:)

Lacey said...

Visually the rosemaling is my favorite aspect of the film. Anna's costumes in particular are my favorite princess costumes ever, I think. Wonderful work!!

AJ said...

Your work is incredible. Frozen is definitely the most beautiful and intricate Disney films. The detail in your designs did a great deal to polish off the movie.

Mythical Designs said...

You work on the film is immediately present a significant to the look. Very well done and we sat right through the credits noticing the Rosemaling brackets. We kept want to look closer at the palace details. It has also been the buzz in lots of the arts community. Plenty of very skilled and creative people admiring it. Thanks for the images. Inspiring work.

Lisa Wang said...

Hi Victoria,

Just want to give a shout out to you. I really love your work and your art style. You are an inspiration to me as I hope to one day to become a designer/vis dev artist at Disney.

I was wondering, if one of these days you can demonstrate how you create your pieces from start to finish?

Martha Balieiro said...

Thank you very much for saying how was made the movie frozen, is fantastic know about it!

Katherine Young said...

I love the dress designs and the 4 seasons! So whimsical and it reminds me of classic Disney with a twist!

Laura Fleischmann said...

Very lovely ! especially the girls'dresses

Beatriz Iglesias said...

This is sooo beautiful...I work as prop designer at an animation studio and your work is so inspiring...thanks for share it! ^_^

Janna Bock said...

These are truly beautiful! Very well done! Thank you for sharing these inspirational pieces!

Jennifer Sese said...

These are lovely! :D

JenHoney said...

Right after I saw Frozen I started researching rosemaling and incorporating the designs into my work! I'm so jealous that you get to be involved int his work. Fantastic stuff!

matthew justice said...

so thats what my rug is

Petra van Berkum said...

Those are lovely designs!. Man it must have been great, drawing these :). I love the cozy, folk-like touch of it yet it also looks like it has a modern twist.

Sarah L said...

That is beautiful, I can see how much detail and effort was put into it! I knew that their costumes were some of things I absolutely loved about the film and your efforts were paid off! I was delighted to see them on the embroidery clothes and now I know who that talented artist was! Many thank you for contributing a visual spectacle for the viewers.

Megan said...

Hah, I love the 10 Virgins tapestries! All the Rosmalling in the film is so beautiful--thanks for posting up so much of your work!

aislinn said...

i must thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this blog. excellent blog post .

Joni said...

I love how you guys first explored the details of the look through cultural/design exploration. It's interesting to see how much work gets put into it beforehand- and to see how that work shows up in subtle ways that make all the difference. Makes for great world-building and realism. Thank you so much for sharing these! Not only is it interesting getting a look at the process, but it's inspirational. ^^ Beautiful work.

Mona said...

I love it all! and now I know what to call it besides "cool Scandinavian design thingies."

Crystal Lai said...

Love the inspiring designs so much,thanks for sharing these amazing art works to all of us,you're a great artist,love your style!

Hanki Nguyen said...

Dear Britney Lee,

I am very interested in your artwook. They're so amazin. I love 4 season drawing. I want to print our those 4 photos to make bookmark for my friends as a gift in New Year. It is not for sale or commercial. Just for friend. Could I ask you approval to print out those artworks? Thank you

Hanki Nguyen

Meridth Gimbel said...

When I saw the movie at it's release my husband and I were in total awe of the textiles. Frozen has so many incredible details. I can totally see your handprint all over the movie. Just lovely.

Fishing Rod Holders said...

Excellent post. Its very wonderful and enjoyable post. I Think its really inspiring for us. Thanks for your nice post.

Stine Sæthre said...

Your work truly amazing, Brittney! Being a norwegian myself it's so much fun to see you putting rosemaling (rose paint) into the designs!

lionorelle said...

Hey guys
Info-blast: Rosemaling means rose painting and is the art of painting any type of wooden item (doors, bowls, boxes, chests and whatnot) with these traditional Norwegian patterns (based on baroque/rococo patterns and common plants and flowers). So, really, you can't "put" rosemaling on the costumes, unless the fabrics are actually panted, but the same patterns are often embroidered onto clothing, as can be seen the national costumes (bunad) from all over Norway. These bunads often feature more geometrical patterns as well, they are not reserved for Saami people.
Sorry, I just had to. Thanks. :)

Margaret Synnott said...

You should call it "frosemaling" :)

I love this aesthetic. I'm working on a couple of designs in the same style to paint on my cargo trike. The images in this post have been really helpful, so thanks for sharing them!

Abigail Blumenthal said...

Hi! Love your work!! I'm a graphic designer from Argentina, and while I was watching the moovie with my 4 year old daughter couldn't help to be amazed by all the graphic details. Could you please post Elsa's bedromm door pattern??

Thank youu!


leftbraincraftbrain said...

Love hearing the back story on the designs. My mom was a rosemaler and I have a special place in my art for designs like this.

Anonymous said...

I really love what you've done. :)
But I was wondering one thing...the Queen (Elsa's and Anna's mother) has this beautiful overdress, but you never really get to see the backside of it! I think that's such a shame...and it also made me curious.

You don't happen to have any pictures of the design used on that?

jasmine said...

Your work is so beautiful!! I love all the rosemaling in Frozen. I want to cover my house and my whole life in it. :)

Abigail Blumenthal said...

I can see the "Erté" Arte Decó influence, love it!

lee woo said...

Love it! Very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positive. Thank you for sharing this information that is actually helpful.


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