Thursday, November 1, 2012


A birthday gift inspired by Disney’s animated film, ‘Brave’ for one of my closest friends. The painting borrows from a scene where Merida and her bewitched mother are taking shelter in a dark grove. While the other slumbers, Merida lies awake in guilt and recalls happier times with her mother during childhood.

The lack of reference used in the overall painting distanced me from my traditional realism and brought out a whimsical quality that I might not have otherwise achieved. I’ll admit to avoiding moonlit environments where possible because of the change in visual perception. According to a recent scientific hypothesis, moonlight is not blue, but slightly redder than the average colour of direct sunlight. There is nothing in the interaction between the sun’s reflection on the surface of the moon to suggest the colour blue. Although the colour-receptive rods in the human eye are incapacitated by moonlight, scientific instruments have shown them to be most sensitive to greenish wavelengths of light. As a result, blue-green hues appear lighter in tone in dim conditions. The phenomenon is identified as the Purkinje Shift. It is different from, and often mistaken for, the perception of moonlight as blue. Despite adhering to the Purkinje Shift in my painting, Merida’s hair is still a fiery and brilliant red :)