Whilst it’s true that there are no ochaya (tea houses) underwater that are operating and hiring Geisha, there is always room in the imagination to invent some. I’ve been working on a series of Geisha artworks and then suddenly, Mermay 2020 was upon me.
Mermay is described by its founders as a month-long celebration of creativity, community and above all… MERMAIDS. People use this month to create a variety of Mermaid illustrations, many people creating one for each day of the event. I’ve never partook in this particular ‘drawing challenge’ so this time around, I made a point to throw out at least one piece.
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.
Things have been considerably quiet on the blog posting front as of late but behind the scenes the wheels haven’t stopped turning, well not quite anyway…
Work and other commitments take their toll on my time and make it hard to update the blog as regularly as I want to.
That being said, I’ve decided to step into a slightly new venture and try my hand at turning my artwork into a marketable business plan and I intend to start painting murals. I spent yesterday white washing a practice wall at home and I’ve drawn up a design to try out in my first attempt, it’s not a huge piece but a good starting ground for this new journey.
I’ve got a whole pot full of freshly percolated coffee and I’m ready to begin the twelfth installment of my Morning Coffee & Sketch series.
I took a slightly different direction for this morning’s sketch and experimented a little with a new technique; a technique that I will be practicing and honing in order to use for more detailed pieces as well as sketches.
It all started with the purchase of this Winsor & Newton Ink, I diluted the ink a fair bit in different proportions and then toned several scraps and pieces of watercolour paper; I like the idea of working on a toned surface and building my values using the paper as the middle value.
Here’s the sketch for this morning, using this method –
I spent about 15-20 minutes on this sketch and I’m reasonably happy with the result and what I learned in the process. I love the way Leonardo captured his subjects and sketching one of the Maestro’s drawings is like learning from him in person in some respects.
So I had to come up with an idea for my next artwork project and with my goal of interpreting and bringing back to life British history, myths, legends and folklore, I have decided to work with a popular medieval romance tale that stems from Celtic legend; the story of ²Tristan and Yseult.
There are numerous versions of this tale, but all of them contain prominent features and I will most probably play on the different aspects of each telling that appeal to me the most. As a base idea to work from I might even write up a short version of the story combining the various aspects and suiting to my own interpretation, thus making me able to create more works from this further down the line, that’s not presently set in stone though I’ll have to think about that¹.
With that in mind I won’t go into the nitty gritty details of the legend just yet although I have linked to the Britannica version of the tale.
As promised before, I will use the series of posts and updates on this project to show my preliminary studies, sketches and ideas, as well as a bit of prose or poetry that I intend to write for the particular scene that I will show in my finished painting. I have chosen the scene that I want to capture and have begun sketches, mainly to work out composition and background scenery, I’m also implementing a fair few symbolic features as well so I’ll have to hit the books and see what I come up with; some symbols I am certain of and relate to the story itself and therefore will definitely be added.
I’ll leave that there for now and my next post will contain my preparatory work that I’ve create up until that point, which will most probably be next Wednesday, when my posting schedule is due, this post is more of a taster for what’s to come and to give awareness of the project I am currently pursuing now that I’ve set my heart upon it.
¹More of a note to self than a definitive idea
²Link to the Britannica version of the legend Tristan and Yseult