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Kolorful Palette: Princess poised [Shine or Go Crazy]

I had some requests to draw Yeo-won from Shine or Go Crazy and I can’t say that it took much to convince me since she is pretty awesome. On paper she seems fairly run-of-the-mill and hits on many of the classic markers for sageuk second leads: conniving, selfish, pompous, and power-hungry. Usually this also means infuriating to watch, but I find myself incapable of disliking Yeo-won. Perhaps it’s because she’s never cracked and and gone completely bananas on us (which is what I’ve come to expect from such characters) but I think what really makes her appealing is that she’s so pragmatic and grounded. I would never want to be friends with her, and yet a part of me wishes I were more like her. Who couldn’t use some of that composure and efficacy?

The issue with drawing Yeo-won is that she doesn’t emote very strongly and doesn’t do much besides sit in her room meeting with people. I started going through old episodes to look for something different, but then I realized that Yeo-won meeting with someone with perfect poise and veiled emotions is exactly what I should be drawing. That’s her MO, and there’s no one better at it. She always leaves the impression that she’s a step ahead without giving anything away, and manages to come across as superior while remaining just approachable enough to keep her opponent hopeful. I have to give a lot of credit to actress Lee Ha-nui/Honey Lee for delivering such a great performance as Yeo-won since I think such a character requires a lot of subtlety and finesse in order to remain compelling. It would be all too easy to come across as simply vacuous, snotty, or even deranged, but instead Yeo-won seems like an intricate person with an entire kaleidoscope of emotions and thoughts that we just aren’t privy to. Whenever I watch her I want to know more, and always feel quite certain that there truly is more going on and that her mind is whirring away full-speed beneath that icy facade.

I had so much fun using conte last week that I had to give it another go, and it didn’t disappoint. It feels so silky smooth to use that it gives me the strange impulse to go buy creamy and outrageously expensive foundation (and I don’t even wear foundation!). Originally I started this image in color but I quickly changed to black and white and was much more pleased with the result. Yeo-won has a classic feel to her and looks like someone we might see in an old-fashioned perfume ad, so monochrome suits. She also doesn’t seem like someone who would be particularly interested in something as superfluous as color when judging value is so much easier in black and white.

This particular shot is from Episode 20 when she meets with her brother about curing the king (although there are almost identical shots in most episodes). What I specifically like about this scene is how well Yeo-won’s meeting with Wang Wook represents the shifting sands that contribute so much to my personal enjoyment of this drama (they’ve both wanted the king dead at some point and also been enemies). No alliance is permanent, and even betrayal doesn’t feel final. The characters all have their own individual priorities (plural, which is key) and none of them are averse to shifting loyalties. Especially since they all seem to understand one another’s motivations, they manage to maintain a small modicum of trust for each other that enables them to work together when necessary.

Yeo-won may be one of the most devious in the bunch, but she’s never come across as cruel or malicious to me. She is a result of a corrupt system, and is unique in that she recognizes the corruption within herself and would like to live in a cleaner world. Perhaps using her shrewdness to achieve that end isn’t the most honorable method to get there, but she’s a realist, and I don’t think that you could ever convince her that kingdoms are changed with kindness alone. Regardless, if I were fighting a war, I would want her on my side.

Based on Gaebong’s everlasting hypothermia disease I think we can rule out a super happy ending for this drama, but I actually think the story is shaping up in such a way that I might be okay with it. I’m even okay with Yeo-won and Wang So ruling together as a couple. They have zero romantic chemistry, but they’re both great leaders and Yeo-won is respectable enough that I can see them coexisting peacefully with mutual appreciation for one another’s skills. That’s not exactly a Happily Ever After kinda story, but it’s pretty dang good for royalty, and if Shin Yool’s effect on their lives is appropriately honored I think it could be made to feel right.

I have to admit that I feel a little bad for drawing Shine or Go Crazy again this week, but besides enjoying it as artistic subject matter, it’s also been nice to hear everyone’s thoughts on the drama in the comments. Sageuks in particular can get a little crazy, so sometimes a second opinion opens up my mind to entirely new possibilities (or clears up something confusing that went way over my head). Only four more episodes left, but thanks to everyone who’s stuck around for the ride!

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I love Yeo-won as a character. I'm glad the writer decided to not portray one-dimensionally as a villainous character.

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I do too. But I wonder if she was written as a typical second lead "bitch" character, but because of Honey Lee's skill as an actress, she is able to bring layers and dimensions to what would otherwise have been a static or flat character.

The scene where she confesses her pain to Wang So about the horrors they were forced to endure in the palace as children, just about broke my heart, and that was where I fell in love with Yeo won. I could forgive her of almost anything! I replayed that scene multiple times because it was just so moving .

It's not often that I love the second lead female as much, if not more than the lead actress, especially when she's playing the antagonist, and not the supportive best friend, but Honey Lee's delivery is excellent, and Yeo won is a character I can get behind. There's always a logical reason for what she does, and the fact that she's not fighting for the main leads love interest, but rather playing the part of his political ally goes a long way in relieving my ickiness of what I see as an incestuous relationship.

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I really love Yeo Won. She's aware, and extremely intriguing, aside from being absolutely gorgeous. I love the fact that I love both leading females. They're both so intelligent. They're both on opposite ends of the spectrum but they are equally compelling.

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Yes, I agree totally. Both female leads are highly intelligent people. It's extremely interesting watching them match wits. It's a rare drama that celebrates female power in a male dominated world. Especially in a saguek, very well done indeed!

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And the scene when she finally broke down was so well done! Props to the writers and all the actors!

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I love Shinyool and wang So so much. I'm praying hard for their happy ending.
Both janghyuk and oh yeon seo delivered so much solid acting skills in both episodes.
I hope they get some acting awards for that.

As for YW i find her much better than her pathetic brother WW

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This drama is beyond awesome. Although ep 19 and 20 have cut my heart into pieces .
I love YW as a villain much more than Wang Sik Ryeom or Wang Wook. She is cold and gorgeous.
Still i'm all for the awesome little darling Shinyool/ Gaebong. I want her to survive all this and be happy with her fated love. She is his light after all.

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I was excited at her complexity at first but as the series goes by she bores me. She is indeed very pretty but i think there is a limitation to her acting. I'm do wish her a happy end with her shadow and of course Wang So ShinYool.

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“… but she’s a realist, and I don’t think you could ever convince her that Kingdoms are changed with kindness alone.”

That perfectly summarized Yeo-won’s character in a sentence! I think in a drama filled with great multi-dimensional characters, Yeo-won has to be my favorite alongside Wang So and Shin Yool’s hilarious brother. Lee Honey does such a fabulous job of making her extremely layered and interesting, so much so that I sympathize and relate with her much more I do with Shin Yool. Yool seems like a typical nice female lead – she’s caring, idealistic, intelligent and a little too perfect. Oh Yeon-seo plays her a certain flatness that someone mentioned last week as well. I feel Yool lacks variety or a sense of realism despite her character aimed to be written as almost heroic. It’s probably just acting the way she’s acted tbh.

Yeo-won is her opposite in that she sees the world the way it is. She’s shrewd and manipulative but it never feels as though she’s technically happy with what she does. She just believes there’s no other choice but to be the villain in order to destroy the unfairness that forces royals to live the way they do. I love that her sole purpose isn't to get Wang So's love but instead achieve something of much bigger importance. Even if I’m not so sure we’ll be getting a sad ending, I’d like to see Wang So and Yeo-won lead as King and Queen. They’re both capable and the only two people who can truly change the politics of the Kingdom.

And since there’s no recaps, I think this is the best place to just touch upon how much Wang Wook’s whiny, irritating, cowardly and almost idiotic character pisses me off. Every time I see him on screen, it feels a part of my brain gets friend and fed to the dogs. On paper Wook seems layered but Im Ju-hwan just makes him so undeniably pathetic and intolerable. Such a big casting blunder!

Anyway, I feel like I ramble too much on your SOGC posts and never even compliment how awesome your drawings are, Fanderay! I hope you can draw one final one before or after the drama’s ending. I love reading your thoughts.

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I really loved SY in the first half of the drama, but I don’t feel the same anymore. I think my allegiance shited when YW had the outburst in the end of episode 16 (was it?). Her mission and purpose in life is much bigger in the grand scheme of things than SY’s little trade company (that I don’t even care for right now). How silly was it when she tried to save the company instead of her life. Were others moved, because I rolled my eyes so hard! Like really, WTF?!? Maybe I’m just bias because I think Honey Lee is knocking it out of the park and OYS… isn’t.

WW is so deprived of brain cells and gobbles mine without results. FML! Compare him to Hero Prince who's badass, levelheaded and just so charmin’. I love smexy guys who always have a back-up plan and plays the fool even when they’re super intelligent. Jang Hyuk is amazeballs!

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Yea that scene was an utter fail. I actually loved Yeo-won's face as she watched in disbelief how Shin Yool was asking for her to save the company. I found that ridiculous too! Maybe the only ridiculous one in the drama. If the aim was to show Yool as too kindhearted and caring - candy - that didn't work. She came off as a bit foolish and out of place. I mostly still love her though!

Wang So <3 <3 <3

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I agree with your thoughts on YW and, to a certain degree, with your other points. But I have to disagree with your comments on Im Joo-hwan.

I'm not his fan girl or anything so I say this without bias. The Wang Wook we see is a writing fail, not an acting fail. It IS a crap and pathetic and flat character. He's done so many things that scream illogical and plot hole. The WRITER is to blame for that. The only reason I even cared, showed interest in what his character is up to, is because of Im Joo-hwan. IJH makes me care and feel pity (only a little, because Wook is an idiot) for this sadsack character with his acting.

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I think it's a case of agreeing to disagree because I certainly see the pathetic Wang Wook as an acting fail instead of a writing one. He was initially written to be flat and one-tracked vying for Shin Yool's love and nothing else. But in the second half of the drama, we've seen him join hands with the bad guys, stand up against his sister and get embroiled into proving he's better than Wang So. There's depth in how he's written and with a more capable actor, I expected to see a lot of conflict between what he really wants and how he is to achieve that.

He always wanted to be King from the first episode. I remember him asking Wang So what kind of Prince wouldn't want to get the court's highest position. He and his sister dreamt of being powerful leaders. That allegiance changed once he met Shin Yool. She looked like his past lover and he lost his desire to be King for the desire to be with her instead. Im Ju-hwan is an utter fail in portraying the struggle Wang Wook had to go through for that change to happen. I should have felt his deep love, and I should have understood why a woman was more important than his life's mission. I also should have felt Wook's conflicted pain when his sister picked her husband over him. Instead, there was one-note obsession to be had. That's not a writing fail to me because the foundation was laid clearly. That's an acting fail because the actor is unable to portray the emotions on screen.

Wang Wook comes across as just pathetic. Yeo-won could have gone the same route but because Lee Honey is such a capable actress, she feels so layered and complicated. Can't say the same for Im Ju-hwan which is just so unfortunate.

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I can see where both of you are coming from. But when I look at it from the perspective of the characters' motivations then how they act makes a lot of sense and there are no glaring plot holes.

What motivates Yeo won? Brought up in that evil palace in a kill or be killed situation, she's learned to protect herself and the people she loves by mastering the art of poison, managing a brothel to keep her sources of information current, scheming, and carrying out any evil plot that will keep her on top. She fell in love with her bodyguard/protector, but since that love was thwarted, she's become icy cold. She wants to be queen so she can put an end to the evil machinations of her uncle and end the savagery the royals were forced to endure in the palace, and usher in a new age of Goreyeo. She wants to support a strong king who will not be a puppet to the nobles or her uncle.

What motivates Shin Yool? All her life, she's known that she is living on borrowed time, where every day is a gift and that she could succumb to hypothermia at any time, so she wants to build a legacy, a trading company and town where the rights and dreams of the common man, and slaves can be protected. Her vision is so much bigger than herself. She may be called unrealistic, but who else is going to be in a position to care about slaves or the working man? Certainly not the nobles or the Royals. Even Wang So with all his cleverness and drive never really saw her perspective until he spent time in the trading company and saw for himself how the common man could improve his lot in life, by learning, writing exams, getting promoted and holding down a career. To us in the 21st century, it seems commonplace, but at that time, it was visionary and the world needs its visionaries to point the way to social reform. It makes sense that she would plead for her trading company (which affects the lives of hundreds of freed slaves) over her own. What's the point of avoiding beheading by Wang Sik Ryeom, only to fall sick in a few months and die? Her pleas to Yeo won makes sense if looked at in that context.

What motivates Wang Ok? The love of his life was forceably taken by the king, his father, as one of his wives. He is forbidden to marry except by the declaration by the king for political advantage. He saw his lady love kill herself in the place they used to meet. He wants to be King to protect the people he loves, no other reason. He is not motivated by political machinations, quests for power or social reform. He counts all that as nothing if it means he would have to rule alone without his loved ones. When he saw Shin Yool all the love he had manifested itself as love for her, so his one desire is to keep her safe, if not healthy and happy. He doesn't even care that she doesn't return his love. His vision is narrow and quite limited, but it explains his alliances with an uncle he despises, and his hatred of his dead papa, his inconsistenties regarding being...

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I totally see what you're getting at but I prefer not watching dramas thinking everything can just be blamed on character flaw. It feels a little like an 'it is what it is' approach.

Every character in this drama is written with layers. Everyone has a goal, but there's a certain path they take which makes them either reasonable or not. It isn't simply driven by perspectives. For Shin Yool, yes choosing her company over her health might have (some) logical reasoning. But that's theoretical. When in practice, I see her struggling to survive with Wang So panicking over her health. Yeo-won just poisoned the guards to buy them an hour. She's locked in jail and about to get prosecuted the next day. But instead of finding a way out of it, she's there hoping to get some money to save her company? For anyone practical and intelligent, that's a might dumb thing to do. It's true that she might die soon and was thinking of slaves etc. etc. but surviving another day would be any reasonable person's first objective. Because what can you do when you're dead? Yeo-won could've given her what she wanted but then what? She'll just die and hope her makeshift family will take the money and continue on successfully when Wang Shik-ryum is out for blood? That's ridiculous to me. We could declare that as just her character, kindness etc but in the end it makes her a lame candy. When she was so intelligent initially, that's a writing flaw in my books.

Now Wang Wook. He's driven by love, yes. But on paper, he's also given a whole lot of different relationships that should make him feel somewhat conflicted as he goes down the bad road. Firstly, there's his sister who's always protected and supported him. Losing that should have made the viewers feel as though he lost something important. Instead, it felt like he didn't care. Second, Wang So. His brother constantly tries to knock sense into him, asking him to fight a greater cause, respect their father and think for the better of the Kingdom. That's obviously not Wook's goal, but to make a more dynamic character, he's supposed to feel conflicted after hearing such heartfelt pleas. I expected to see his resolve dissolve through his eyes for a few moments, then get steely again because he decides love is more important. Instead I got nothing but flat, relentless obsession. I see that as an acting flaw instead of a character one, through and through.

I'm personally a lot more excited for Wang So and Yeo-won's journey to the throne. They're both fit to lead the Kingdom even if Wang So is a lot more idealistic whilst not sacrificing his realism. I'm a big fan of the kind of views he has and I can't wait to see how he ascends to the throne. I'd really love to live in a country he rules lol.

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Sorry this is a long post...

But I'll finish here. When you examine their perspectives, then the actions they take are in line with what drives them, and the errors or flaws that one sees in each character is not due to faulty writing or poor delivery of the actors, but just a character flaw.

I think it ironic, because the one most suited to be King is Wang So who was raised outside the drama of the palace. His motivations are a desire to avenge his father's death, and to lead the band of righteous brothets as a faithful steward to the king. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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You always impress me with your art! I just got into this show and I'm finally caught up!! But one thing that makes me love this show is the fact that each person has their own agenda and "alliances" shift. I can never really guess everyone will do. I can think and pretty much guess but there is always a little bit of doubt that lingers! Plus I find the relationships in the show to be a lot more complex with not only romantic love being a driving force but filial love as well.

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SOGC is so great that I’m even loving all the angst the past few episodes. Whenever I feel they can’t up it, they do! So unpredictable, I literally can’t tell what will happen next.

What is WS going to do while working under nasty son of slimy uncle? How is being a Princess going to help SY? How will WS be king? Who will stop the wedding? Will WW finally grow some goddamn balls and back out or do I need to travel back in time in order to shoot him with the biggest gun available in 2015?

Why is this drama so awesome!?!?

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Uh oh our undying hate for Wangwook.

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Another imp question: Will we get rewarded for it?

Lol, I really want WW to suffer grandly by the last ep. #eternalhate

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Lol i hope so. SY predicted him to end up all lone without nothing so i really wish he got exiled or something #eternalhate

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She is one of my favourite along with the two leads. Of course Wang So and Shin Yool are still my favourite.
Two smart outgoing, straightforward, smart leads are what i'm looking for in a drama. What can i say Shin Yool is so delightful, very lively and sweet to watch while Yeo Won is an ice beauty. I can say Oh Yeon Seo has taken such a huge leap from Jang Bori.

Yeo Won is much more a character that i can't hate compared to Wang Wook. Im Ju Hwan acting and look are not doing it for me either. He is the most annoying character in this drama that i hope he is the only one with sad ending

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This is the second time I fall in love with the second evil female lead in saguek. YW in this drama has my sympathy like Jang Hue-bin in Dong Yi. They're both extremely intelligent, and the evil schemes they do just because they need to protect themselves. While the heroine SY makes me feel good with her kind heart, but in my head, I know iit's not realistic that she can survive in the palace with that kind heart. Just speaking of the harem alone, there's so many people struggling, scheming, pushing each other to rise to the top. If the Queen can't be strong enough, she will become a puppet for other to take advantage. She can't handle the harem not mention to help the king handle the nation. Therefore, even YW is evil but her evilness doesn't make me feel despicable but instead, I see it as necessary and realistic way to put the palace in order and help the king rule the nation.

Thank you for the masterpiece. The black and white is so suitable to decribe YW in the drawing.

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I am in love with her character, sometimes my bad side whisper to let her win
but I just wish her for happy....
thank you so much fanderay ^^

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How could you do a portrait of her without her dimples?

(I guess you'll just have to do another one.)

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oh my gosh, PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for this! And you've described her perfectly well in your post! A wordsmith and an artist!!!!!! So glad you're on this site.

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Your art is beyond awesome!!! She was an awesome villain in saeguk but get dull now. Still i want her to regain her happiness back.

I super dupeeer love this drama. Janghyuk and Ohyeonseo are superb in their roles. I'm praying for a definite happy end for this couple. They are just so beautiful, even their acting and chemistry totally hit the roof.

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Why is this drama so awesome???
The latest two episodes did break my heart into pieces. Kudos to JH and OYS terrific acting.

YW is not that evil.. She is quite vulnerable. The absolute devil is WSR. I hope she will be touched by SY sincerity to protect the slaves. That poor girl... Can never take a break.

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Honey Lee can be my evil queen any day ... don't tell my wife...

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