portrait of Kiyono
Coloured pencils on Velin BFK Rives paper. 280 x 335 mm. August 2015
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They all have their exits and entrances…”
Oh the joy, the joy, of costume drama in Kyoto.
A note about paper: I drew “Costume Drama” on the smooth watermark side of Velin BFK Rives. The previous portrait of Kiyono was on the opposite side which has much more texture. You can view the previous portrait to see the difference by clicking Her First Day .
Note: I uploaded an image of the drawing on Facebook yesterday. A friend said that the hair wasn’t dark enough. I thought she might be correct so I altered it, photographed it again and put the new image on Facebook. She said that was much better but now I should put more black into the kimono. Oh no! But again I figured she was right so I altered it again and photographed it again. But then so many other parts of the drawing needed adjusting which I have just finished doing. So here are four images for your perusal – in order of alterations. ps. I’m not touching the drawing any more!
I wonder how much difference, if any, you can see? “Costume Drama” certainly turned into a drawing drama!
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Her First Day
Her First Day
Portrait of Kiyono-san on the occasion of her misedashi (debut) as a maiko.
210 x 260 mm. August 2015.
In March 2013 I took a series of photos of Kiyono-san during her misedashi. Over two years later I have finally made a drawing from that day.
So what is a misedashi? It is the very first day that a girl becomes a maiko. I have only witnessed one misedashi – this one. Usually a girl is around 16 years old. She has already spent a year or thereabouts training (and working extremely hard) to get to this point. Misedashi means ‘open for business’. From now on she will attend ozashiki and perform her arts – even as she continues to take lessons in all her disciplines.
Do you see that Kiyono-san only has her bottom lip painted? This is because she is the most junior of maiko. She won’t paint her top lip until a full year has passed. And notice how much red is in her collar. Red symbolizes childhood. At this early stage of her career she is supposed to look innocent, cute and childlike. It is not until much later that sophistication starts to creep into her ensemble, make-up and hairstyle.
If you would like to see the photo-essay I made from this day, please see my blog post called “A Girl’s Best Friend“.
A photograph from my post “A Girl’s Best Friend” in 2013.
I named the drawing with Katherine Mansfield’s short story title, “Her First Ball” in mind. The drawing is on Velin BFK Rives paper. It is the first portrait I have tried on this surface. I feel, more and more, that Velin BFK Rives is becoming my own best friend. The more I use it, the more I like it.
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