In light of getting myself stuck into Japanese culture and history as of late, working on my Geisha art project and working part time as a Sushi chef; I decided to venture into another area of Japanese tradition.
Sumi-e is the name given to a style of East Asian brush painting that uses black ink; this method was commonly employed by the master artists of the past in East Asian traditions to create calligraphy and landscapes drawings/paintings.
I absolutely love the look and feel of sumi-e landscape paintings and the atmosphere they evoke; I also love working with charcoal. That was enough reason for me to fuse the two things and work at creating a Japanese landscape piece that has a sumi-e look to it but the smoky, soft magic of a charcoal drawing.
So in my cultural explorations and world travels via my drawing materials I found myself on a brief visit to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese are fascinating people to study and learn about and although there have been many cultural changes to the island in the past century, there is also a strong presence of the ancestral forefathers of the island.
One industry that is a great platform for cultural exploration anywhere in the world is farming. Farming is an industry that despite the invent of machinery and industrial growth, still holds many roots in the distant past, whether you are in the rice paddies of Vietnam or the corn fields of Indiana.
Continuing on with my Legend of Zelda miniseries, I decided to add a piece into the mix with more of a fine art vibe to it. So far I’ve worked up a few ink and watercolour illustrations with a few more planned, this piece however is a charcoal drawing; with the intention of later being an oil painting.
Art depicting Geisha and Maiko is something that has drawn me in from the bustling county of Essex on the outskirts of London in the UK to explore the historical traditions of South-east Asia, Kyoto in Japan in particular. This oil painting is testament to that exploration and shows a rear-view portrait of a Maiko with emphasis on the hair and make-up.
For this portrait I looked at a different point of view –
My Geisha series is still growing into a beautiful collection of portraits and gestural sketches and drawings now; with a lot more piece still in the bag and ready to be brought to life.
This portrait has served as a preliminary drawing to use as a reference to inform an oil painting that I just wrapped up today and will be posting here next week; however if you want to see the painting now you can, on my Instagram – @JGloverArt
The street of Gion have quietened down, but the tea houses are thriving…
Continuing the Geisha theme that I’ve been working on over the past couple of months I now have a couple of oil painting portraits to share.
Katsuru – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
Mameka – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
These portraits were great fun to work on and I learned such a lot in the process. I worked on these with my usual method of approach; starting with a preliminary charcoal drawing, then transferring an outline to canvas before working on the underpainting.
“Keep Doing This In Remembrance Of Me.” – Luke 22:19,20 – Oil on Canvas
During the past few weeks of the UK lockdown, amongst delving into a new series of artworks I have spent a decent amount of time doing alla prima painting sessions and I’ve set up a few still life pieces to paint. It’s been nice to have the freedom of time to paint for the sake of painting and to learn, observe and explore different techniques and methods to my usual work.
What started out as a curiosity, or cultural fascination is slowly becoming a series of artworks, some completed already and plenty on the way. I have dived deep into the streets and tea houses of Kyoto, Japan on a journey of discovery and exploration.
I won’t spend too much time harping on for now as once the series wraps up, I’ll be making a full length post featuring all of the artworks.
For now I’ll just keep these posts as short musings.
I’ve been working on a new series of fine art pieces for a Geisha series over the past week or two; in the beginning as a means of getting some sketchbook work done and then it progressed onto some sketches that I wanted to take into further development.
So here we are with one of the completed pieces for the series, a Geisha Girl portrait.