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Who always speaks her mind by shoomlah Who always speaks her mind by shoomlah
Sooooo Mulan. It's not that I didn't want to do Mulan (she's fantastic so far as the Disney "princesses" go), but pinning down her time period stopped being fun and rapidly became a headache- you have the original legend taking place in the Wei Dynasty, the Huns as an actual threat during the Western Han Dynasty, the Forbidden City of the Ming Dynasty, the hanfu fashion setting it earlier AGHGHGhjffjhfghgjhkh

On that note, I'll be the first to admit that this piece isn't tying Mulan down to a particular period, rather putting her in plausible historical textiles and hanfu. When I was asking around for references most of the stuff sent my way were from Chinese period films or other modern recreations, so I just threw up my hands and decided to have fun with it.

It's based on Mulan's finale/epilogue costume at the end of the film; she never seemed at home in either the matchmaker costume or the armor, so this seemed like the best "Mulan has come into her own" middle ground.

-C

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:icontherainyasian:
TheRainyAsian Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015
Nice job on the jade pendent for Mulan. Looks exactly like one I have.
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:iconrebellinglemming:
RebellingLemming Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great character!
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:iconli-flower:
Li-flower Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
I really appreciate the effort you put into research, and I think it's cool that you didn't tie her down to a specific period.  It makes her timeless, like the legend.
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:iconejcapulet:
ejcapulet Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  New member
Wow - you really nailed it! From what I know about traditional Chinese attire, the placement of the sash and waist skirt (the black thing on her hips and middle) is the big indicator of time period.  It worked its way from waist level to over the breast then back down again.  From what I've seen (I'm a museum/history junkie who lived in China for quite a while), the sash seemed to spend most of its time right were you put it.  The one single and only criticism I could ever find is that the sash charm, if possible, was supposed to be tied under the waist skirt so only the charm and tassel could be seen.  A clinking sash charm was a major faux pas back then.  However, that would put this image totally out of balance and just wouldn't work.
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:iconlady-akeru:
Lady-Akeru Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I would love have this in a print
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:iconorangecrates:
orangeCrates Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015
Trying to pin her down to a single period is hard enough but finding a historically correct reference can be even harder. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY TOO LATE. But I know 衔泥小筑 is a store that make hanfu that are meant to look historically accurate. They have modern day clothes influenced by hanfu too but the bulk of their stuff is traditional hanfu and the hanfu influenced stuff is kept in its own category. So they're modern creations but meant to not look modern. Like all of their things have ties. No zippers or buttons or, heaven forbid, lace anywhere to be found. It's not the only one, but when I was shopping around to buy historically accurate hanfu this was the only one that was in my price range, haha...ha.

There store on Taobao is here if you want to check them out: shop33287478.m.taobao.com/?

But yeah. Not all modern recreations and periid dramas are made equal. Some of them just blatantly ignore history. (No seriously lace????)

There was also a fantastic hanfu resource I saw a while back but I cannot find it. :(

The textures you used are fantastic by the way! I really love the way you draw fabrics!
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:iconjoeengland:
JoeEngland Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015  Professional General Artist
Your work is simply exquisite.  I've always been of the mind that if you really put effort into a piece of art it shows through to the final product, even if only subliminally.
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:icons-betatti:
S-betatti Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2015  Student Artist
I love her outfit here =)
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:iconjoeabuy1000:
joeabuy1000 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Speaking of which, the details of the Imperial City Palace in Mulan isn't exactly a 1:1 of the Forbidden City, so I've assumed at one point that it's a previously built Imperial palace fitting the actual setting of the film (if we're going with Han as the filmmakers did, it'd likely be Chang'an or Louyang). I can see where the confusion comes from, though; the palace facade resembles (but isn't completely like) the Forbidden City's Meridian Gate. The absence of stairs is one of the biggest key differences. 
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:iconlionessjhr:
LionessJhr Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Mulan is totally my favourite Disney Princess. Once again, I dig these for the detail put into them. Disney's "Mulan" kinda disappoints in that department but that's ok, I still love this movie.
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:icondragon-hime:
Dragon-hime Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2014
Very good work!!!
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:iconazaliefinrandi:
AzalieFinrandi Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014
This might be my favorite of the series; you are right - it totally fits her.
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:iconthenewdorothygale:
TheNewDorothyGale Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014
I love that she still has the jade necklace. like a small sign that she's feminine and not ashamed of it or anything, as too many people seem to mistake her for this masculine tomboy when she's really not (the whole part where she takes Shanyu's sword with a fan, a symbol of femininity, is a good sign of that!).
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:iconixbran:
Ixbran Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
Yea, the legend of Hua Mulan has been told through many centuries of Chinas history. From what I've read the story had been told since before the Later Wei era of China, and no one really knows when the legend was first told or how long it had been told before that.

But I must say my favorite part of this piece is the gade ornament hanging from her hips. From what I've read online, Jade in Chinese Culture, represents human virtues due to its hardness, durability, and (moral) beauty. And I feel those represent Mulan her self very well.
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:iconlightxlove:
LightxLove Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can imagine the headache you had in order to do this :S China's traditional fashion is sooo numerous! And it changes quickly depending on place and dynasty :S
But you delivered a very good redemption ^^ Gorgeous work!
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:iconwickedegg:
WickedEgg Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014
ah! this is beautiful! I love the colors :)
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:iconfoxboyprower:
FoxboyPrower Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014
Found this via this:
www.quickmeme.com/p/3vs88p
Good thing you use watermarks. That's how I was able to search for this.
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:iconmroneears:
MrOneEars Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Bravo! Beautiful work!
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:iconweaponx-23:
WeaponX-23 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
Oh my God the love I'm feeling right now is insane. You actually get it, the pink matchmaker dress is her at her lowers point in the movie and she isn't entirely happy pretending to be someone else! One of my biggest gripes about how she is portrayed (especially by Disney...) is they tend to put her in that matchmaker dress. This is happy Mulan who has come into her own and learned to be proud of herself. Also you include her as a princess because she freaking is (not just by Disney's standards either...). Oh, and it's amazing artwork but hearing what you have to say about the periods and why you chose to use certain outfits from the film as the ones made historically accurate makes me appreciate it more.
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:iconnixequeen45:
nixequeen45 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
While I do not agree with you on her being a princess, I'm completely with you on the matchmaker outfit.

It's meant to be symbolic, and not symbolizing anything positive, for this character. Unfortunately, marketing companies are too stupid to understand this, and proceed to use it as a means of cashing in. Thankfully, this isn't really being tolerated, anymore. Cases like the Merida Dress Incident are proof that people are calling bull, when they see it, and that they're being listened to.
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:iconthenewdorothygale:
First, I don't mean any of this to sound rude (I tend to say things really bluntly so don't be offended) but:

how is that stupid? putting her in the dress people will WANT TO BUY is being smart. and it's a gorgeous dress too. If I could afford one of the dolls I'd love one of her in her bride gown.

and the Merida thing was so dumb. proof grown adults are so bored and petty they'll make a petition about a harmless (and gorgeous) dress a Disney girl wears, and shows nobody gets the whole ending of Brave, where Merida is no longer against tradition but has compromised with her mom. the point of the franchise is to make money marketing to little girls what little girls like... which is dresses, crowds and sparkles. That's just common sense. Unfortunately, Disney didn't stop because people "called bull", it's because Disney is concerned with making money as I said, and if they think politically correct, screaming parents will no longer buy their sparkle-loving daughters the dolls, they'll fix it ASAP. This is embarrassing and shows how much our culture despises femininity.

and I think you both missed it- Mulan isn't unhappy in the matchmaker's gown. She was perfectly fine till the cricket screwed her up and THEN she felt bad because she blamed herself. it's her as Ping people mistake for Mulan, not for Mulan in the dress.
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:iconnixequeen45:
nixequeen45 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I get all that, yeah, but I still stand by my opinion.
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:iconleo-pheonix:
Leo-Pheonix Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
I think Mulan is the best Disney "princess". She saves the general's son, twice! Nice interpretation! 
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:iconthesnowe:
TheSnowe Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014
I know xD
She's the badass one who saved the world while everyone else was marrying their "true love"
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:iconbeccaleerobinson:
BeccaLeeRobinson Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
This is great considering the story originates with the Northern Wei and since they were nomadic Tuoba at one point you pinned down a great choice. I love the stylization of all the images blended with the historical accuracy! I hope to see more!
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:icongoldenknight57:
GoldenKnight57 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Student
This one is lovely too!
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:iconnisafee:
NisaFee Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love your style with this! A well done drawing of my favourite Disney character- brilliant.
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:iconcrystalsetsuna:
CrystalSetsuna Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013
very nice choice for the middle ground option. i love the skirt, but the pattern on the top kind of throws me off.@_@ beautiful colors no double, but the bubbles. never put Mulan as a bubble person...maybe cherry blossoms? they did have significance in the movie, and in asian cultures..i do like the pendulum hanging from her sash though! a bit more jade and tassles! you can never go wrong with tassles!^^
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:iconshoomlah:
shoomlah Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's a traditional mandala fabric pattern, not bubbles I'm afraid.
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:iconcrystalsetsuna:
CrystalSetsuna Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013
well i am referring to the pattern, they remind me of bubbles.
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:iconname-already-chosen:
name-already-chosen Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Nicely done!
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:iconblackkiteekat:
blackkiteekat Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
THANK YOU FOR FIXING TO GORRAM SWORD! I love Mulan, but I can't look at Shan Yu's sword without wondering if his smith was really drunk...
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:iconkovujackson:
kovujackson Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you made a very good choice in Mulan's costume. She definitely didn't fit in the armor or matchmaker costume, and that was what her character called for. Thanks for these re-imaginings 
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:iconkellyriker:
KellyRiker Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I love the Mushu on the background, It actually looks and reminds me of Mulan, one of my favorite characters, by the way. I'm really glad I found your historical princesses, they're beautiful! I love looking at all the beautiful dresses and characters, I think you did a great job on all of them.
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:iconrukariotrainer:
RukarioTrainer Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
The greens are beautiful. Nicely done! I like the patterns too!
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:icontopace12:
topace12 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I've watched a good number of Chinese period dramas, and I have to say... I love this picture. Straight out of a period drama, great stuff!
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:iconshadowsheir500:
ShadowsHeir500 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013
Love the reasoning for the choice of this dress. "She never seemed at home in either the matchmaker costume or the armor, so this seemed like the best 'Mulan has come into her own' middle ground." Fair enough! Still a wonderful dress for a wonderful character.
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:iconblackdiamond13:
BlackDiamond13 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
My god you have no idea how much I am rolling around in this series.
I love the historical accuracy of all of these and I'm so thrilled you've done this!
I decided to comment on Mulan because one, I'm Chinese -rolls around in asian-ness as well- and two why the hell not she's pretty.

"Ballad of Mulan" it was called and it was supposedly first written around the 6th century. 

But there's a bunch of history I know about these characters more so than I know the dates. I can't remember dates to save my life. When's your birthday? ...uh..mom? 
But anyways!

Your style is absolutely gorgeous and I stumbled upon your Cinderella video on YouTube ;w; Your colors and composition is wonderful and the positions of the characters is even accurate compared to the time and place of the setting! I'd go on about stupid little facts about this and that but I'm sure you either know it or don't care haha.

Thanks for letting me go on about this! Just really love historically accurate things that's all. Especially when they vary from culture to culture. 
They're beautiful beautiful pieces
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:iconshoomlah:
shoomlah Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ha, thanks so much for the lovely comment! :D
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:iconmadmatt88:
madmatt88 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist
The Middle Kingdom will look up to her for her looks and her deeds now...
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:iconjessypet92:
jessypet92 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Absolutley beautiful!
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:iconthedevilreborn:
TheDevilReborn Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
May I ask how you can sell prints of a copyrighted character?
I really would like to know. :o
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:iconshoomlah:
shoomlah Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
in that this series doesn't directly infringe on the copyright character designs? It's parody/tribute more than a direct rip.
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:iconthedevilreborn:
TheDevilReborn Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
I never know that. Thank you.
:iconilikeitplz:
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:iconhaerial:
Haerial Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
Please forgive me for the inquiry of clarification, but one part of the image threw me for a loop. Is she presenting the Hun Leader's sword ( traditionally known a a dao, or hard sword) or is that her father's jian ( a soft sword, otherwise known as a scholor's or nobleman's sword)? If it is the Dao, then it makes sense for the blade to be curved as it looks to me in the image. Otherwise, if it's her father's jian, the blade should be straight and double edged- kinda like a thinner version of a bastard sword. In either case, the handle looks a bit off as well for both types of weapon. Still, wonderful image. Breath taking use of complimentary colors and well placed usages of opposite color schemes to make the image pop to life. Your line work is exquisite as well, executed with precision and flow befitting one of well honed talent. Great job as well on the attention to detail.
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:iconshoomlah:
shoomlah Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It's the Dao! If you've seen Mulan, she presents Shan Yu's sword to the Emperor at the climax of the film. :)
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:iconhaerial:
Haerial Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
Ah! Then my suspicions were correct when I was looking at the image. Thank you for clarifying that quandary for me. Also, thank you for your response. Usually when I am confused and ask such a technical question, people ignore it or it gets lost in a slew of posts.
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:iconshoomlah:
shoomlah Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Naw, technical questions are the best! A lot of the questions I get are pretty inane and repetitive, so I love a good comment or informed critique. :)
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:iconhaerial:
Haerial Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Awesome! I'm glad that my queries don't bother you and that you find them a refreshing change from the normal inane ones you get. Might I ask something else out of the norm as well? If at all possible, would you mind giving some of my art a look through and a small critique if you have the chance? I'm interested on what you would think of my style and any further work I should do to it to improve upon it.
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:iconarcticmoonrise:
ArcticMoonrise Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
This one is my absolute favorite of all your princesses :)
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