Disney’s ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ Visual Development Painting: Glimmer

In May of 2010, I was promoted to Character Visual Development Artist as I joined the crew of ‘Pixie Hollow Games.’

Suddenly, I went from designing props and tertiary background characters to designing brand new principal characters.  …a rare and precious opportunity.

My favorite of all the new characters we created for ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ is Glimmer (shown above) a lightning fairy and a member of the Storm Team (painting by Chris Oatley based on LineArt by Ritsuko Notani).

I’ve posted some detail images below, so click through for a closer look…

Close-up portrait of Glimmer from 'Pixie Hollow Games.' Painting by Chris-Oatley

I worked on ‘PHG’ for the better part of a year before I moved onto ‘Planes.’  (I have since wrapped on ‘Planes’ and I’m now working on an unannounced production.)

During my time working on PHG, I experienced an unprecedented phase of artistic growth.  I think it was the almost-holy fear that that propelled said growth. To date, there has been no professional assignment as scary and exhilarating as the call to design characters that will likely become part of the Disney legacy. Also, I love a challenge, and painting those soft, fairy-faces is an incredible challenge.

Extreme close-up of Chris Oatley's Visual Development Painting of Glimmer from Disney's 'Pixie Hollow Games'

I hadn’t painted a humanistic ‘portrait’ in quite a while so I had to go “back to school.”

I returned to the study of the human face with James Gurney’s ‘Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter’ and Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting.  I also jumped on the opportunity to once again study closely the work of Malcom Liepke (some images at this link may be considered NSFW) and, of course, John Singer Sargent.

I have to thank my amazingly talented Art Director Fred Warter and Character Designer Ritsuko Notani for their gorgeous work on the production which, of course, elevated my own work. I did the painting but the character designs were definitely a team effort – as they almost always are.

More Visual Development art by yours truly coming soon!

Here’s a shot of Glimmer from ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ which airs November 19th on The Disney Channel:

Final rendered frame featuring 'Glimmer' from Disney's 'Pixie Hollow Games'

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Dachille

Wow, Chris. Beautiful work!

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ChrisOatley

Thanks so much, Mark. We had an amazing team.

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Sarah

Chris! She’s so beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been holding my breath!

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ChrisOatley

Thank you!

I have to say that we also have Art Director Fred Warter and Character Designer Ritsuko Notani to thank for Glimmer’s beauty. I did the painting but the design was definitely a team effort.

And, yes, I’ve been holding MY breath too! Because I’m so excited to show and tell!

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Adrrianna

I love the character!
She looks great!

Mind posting more characters from “Pixie Hollow Games” ?

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ChrisOatley

Oh, I will. I’ll post another one next week and will continue posting for the next few weeks!

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Scott Wiser

Well, Chris you really nailed this one…can’t stop staring at it…all the beautiful reflected light and the transparent wings…so appealing.

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ChrisOatley

Thank you, Scott. she’s definitely one of my favorites.

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Loni Edwards

The softness of her face is incredible. I love James Gurney’s books! I put Richard Schmid’s in my Amazon cart. Thanks!

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Andrea

Very cool. Three favourite things in the painting: the softness of her skin, the rendering of the hair, and the translucency of the wings. Good work :)

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EverythingMouse

What amazing images. They are truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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Rachel Kimberly

Wow. Very cool.
I have say, I love her original costume and hair.
The overall effect is astonishingly powerful for such a little fairy. :D

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DISNEYFAN101

Glimmer is definitely my favorite! I personally think she was created very beautifully. I especially love the wings and how soft her face turned out.

Excellent work!

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ChrisOatley

Thanks so much! Yeah, Glimmer is my favorite too! SO glad you like it.

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Casey

Hello Chris,

I’m a more recent follower of your blog (and fan of your work).

I am a freelance illustrator, and work on some Disney art for print and publishing.

I was wondering if you could tell me what program you are using to create the digital color for these character designs? Is this all Photoshop?

Also, Glimmer has a very soft subtle texture to her skin that looks like real skin! Is that achieved using various photoshop brushes? I’d love to have some insight into your tips and tricks for creating these beautiful characters!

Thank you,

Casey

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Casey.

Yes. The whole painting was done in Photoshop. The skin has no photo textures in it. All painting.

I used

I’ll reveal my process for painting skin (and hair, cloth etc…) in a future online course I’m creating about Digital Painting.

Details about that course will be available here on the site.

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Chris Oatley

Chris,

Just wanted to congratulate you on all the good things that are happening to you. I pop into your website every once in a while just to see what your up to, and it all looks good.

Keep it up
Chris

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Rachel

This is silly, but I love the veins in her wings!

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Chris Oatley

Not silly! We design appeal into every aspect of the character.

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Kristin

Isnt that just like the hunger games character? Cuz her name was glimmer and she has green eyes and blonde hair 0.0 if u look it up you will see what I mean…I know u didn’t copy but I would just be careful since you have the same name and looks….

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Reilly

i have seen the hunger games and it kinda does look like the Glimmer ( it would more look like her if they put Clove, Cato, Marvel and other people ) lol

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Kristin

Also ‘the pixie hollow games’ and the ‘hunger games’? See the resemblence?

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Chris Oatley

I can assure you that it’s purely a coincidence. We have been working on this project since long before anyone even knew about The Hunger Games.

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Ria_J

Hi, Chris!
I’ve read this post before but went back to it today, because yesterday I saw the Pixie Hollow Games on Disney Channel Asia (Philippines) yesterday…and I cried. Hahaha! It’s so inspiring reading this post (again) and having seen the movie on TV. I know this is a long hard road but it just reminded me of how much I want to work for this and improve my art so that hopefully some day I can be good enough to be part of an awesome team like the in Disney.

So beautiful…I’m mesmerized by her hair especially…

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Chris Oatley

Thank you, Ria! That’s so inspiring to hear!

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Sachin Sachdeva

Hi Chris,
I recently started following you on twitter.
The painting is beautiful. You have got amazing talent.
Is it possible to get a feedback on the latest painting i did.

Thanks
Sachin

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Chris Oatley

Sachin, unfortunately, I can’t handle the 5-10 requests for portfolio/ artwork feedback that I receive every day but I AM working on a way for my newsletter subscribers to get feedback.

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John D

Dear Chris,

Thank you so much for posting like this. It really helps me out as someone who is near the starting point! :)

John

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Chris Oatley

You’re welcome, John!

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Kristine

Beautiful work. When I look at mine, compare qualities with yours, etc. This let’s me know what my potential is. Makes me feel a bit better about my work. Thank you.

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Chris Oatley

Thanks so much, Kristine!

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