The Art of Elegance

The Art of Elegance My drawing of Katsutomo with lanterns.

The Art of Elegance
My drawing of Katsutomo with lanterns.

For the past several weeks while I have been stressing about my upcoming exhibition, I have also been working on this drawing which I finally finished yesterday.  I took the photo for this drawing in Kyoto about two months ago.  The source photo was a candid shot of Katsutomo taken ‘on the run’ so to speak -point and shoot – no time to do more than that. As luck would have it, I caught exactly what I wanted.  I have written several times in the past how I enjoy playing the game of chance.  I like to photograph in the street as I never know what to expect and what riches I might find.

Katsutomo was returning from a dance performance (called Gokagai) hence the white gloves. With these gloves, Katsutomo’s outfit reminds me of gorgeous 1950s fashions and I particularly think of Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Maiko and geiko are a favourite subject of mine, as are lanterns.  How pleased I was to have both Katsutomo and lanterns together in one frame!

The source photo

The source photo

Maybe you would like to see the original photo so that you can compare with the drawing.   I do not try to ‘copy’ a photo but to make something completely new and better.  The photo is simply the (very important) starting point.

It occurs to me that as maiko and geiko personify art – (they BECOME art when they dress as they do and perform the traditional Japanese arts) – the drawing could just as easily have been called “The Elegance of Art” as “The Art of Elegance”.    Here is a drawing with an interchangeable title!

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in art, coloured pencils, geisha, Japan and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Art of Elegance

  1. stefan2009 says:

    Yes, I agree with you about your interpretation starting from a photo. It’s hard to tell (especially in english Xp) but when I see the original photo I don’t have the same feeling than when I see your drawing. It’s as if the subject isn’t the same despite IT’s still Katsutomo. I hope you will understand what I means ^o^ ;;.

    And also I love long gloves too, I find this cloth very very chic.

    • Thank you, Stéphanie. I know exactly what you are saying. I have thought same as you when I have seen other artists’ interpretations of their photos. A photo is just the beginning. The rest is passion for the subject which comes from inside the artist.

  2. Another brilliant piece, Julie! Love how you do your “fuzzy” backgrounds.

  3. Ann Kullberg says:

    Has your show started?? Gorgeous piece, again!!

    • Ann, my show opens tomorrow (Thursday 4th). I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping. At least – I get to sleep – but then I wake around 3 and that is IT. The exhibition was curated yesterday. I will see the finished job when I go in this morning. Very excited to see it.

  4. Mchan says:

    very beautiful, I was thinking that I had never seen a maiko san with gloves before but that’s maybe because I’m used to being in Japan in summer.

  5. Jennifer Rose says:

    love how soft this looks 🙂 and its really interesting seeing the source photo and how you have made a gorgeous piece of work out of it 🙂

  6. a ferreira says:

    They are both beautiful, the picture and your drawing.
    I specially like the enphasis on ethereal mistery you’ve achieved on the drawing!

  7. It is fascinating to see your source photo alongside the drawing. Although it is a good photo, yours always are, it’s not a patch on the drawing. You have interpreted it so sensitively, enhancing the areas that need it, softening the areas that have less importance, interpreting the photo in a way that can only be done by the person who took the photo. You know what was there and what wasn’t. It certainly is an elegant piece of art!

    • Thanks Anna. I put the photo there to show that people who work from photo sources don’t necessarily just blindly copy the photo. My photos are full of flaws. I don’t want those flaws to get into the drawings so they have to be resolved during the working process. One example – you can see how Katsutomo’s face almost disappears in the photo. I had to bring out her skin in the drawing so that this same problem didn’t occur.

  8. Di Kyle says:

    Hi Julie, Unfortunately we are unable to attend your exhibition tonight so hope it all goes to plan & you sell heaps of your artwork.If it was possible after you get over all this I wondered if you had any Japanese drawings with cherry blossom,suitable for a little gir’ls room.We have a new little granddaughter & I would love to buy her something special to keep.No hurry,she is only 4 months old , Good luck tonight, Di Ky

    • Hello Di, always good to hear from you. We are having another opening tomorrow night – due to the mix up on the invitations giving two different dates! Tomorrow evening should be a small event – around 6pm. Tonight’s opening looks like it will be full house.
      I tried to do a drawing with cherry blossoms (sakura) last year but it failed. You never know – something might be suitable. I’m glad you read my blog as if I do something which seems right, you can let me know.

  9. Simoc says:

    You’re doing great work Julie. Love the blog to. Hope the opening was fun.

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