Costume Drama

Costume Drama portrait of Kiyono Coloured pencils on Velin BFK Rives paper. 280 x 335 mm. August 2015

Costume Drama
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!

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

I wonder how much difference, if any, you can see?  “Costume Drama” certainly turned into a drawing drama!

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
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30 Responses to Costume Drama

  1. Stunning and beautifully done.

  2. Ann Kullberg says:

    Wish I could see it in person…I know it’s even more beautiful than what we see here!!

  3. msk8r says:

    Beautiful! No need to change it any more, she’s perfect.
    I really like the darker hair and kimono because it adds a nice touch of contrast to the lovely white of her skin and the softness of the background. That made a fantastic work even more stunning.
    And your friend has a good eye.

    • Hi Melody, thanks. It is a fine line to tread between accepting criticism (that you weren’t asking for in the first place) and rejecting it in favour of your own inner critic. I am still not really sure that I did the right thing in adding the darks. However I have put the work away completely and will look at it with a fresh eye when I am feeling more detached. I’m not saying my friend was wrong, but I’m not saying I was right either in carrying out the alterations.

  4. Sue Donze says:

    Personally I think it’s an odd thing to offer advice unless asked for. Doubting yourself was the result. Just go with your gut, don’t be prompted by comments that make you unsure. Waiting for a fresh eye is a wise choice!

  5. She looks so vibrant now! Just like the picture that turned into this beautiful drawing ^o^!

  6. Nice work Julie – the final (?!) version colours are crisp and strong – somehow quite mesmerising. Its amazing that there is also a strong sense of Kiyono’s facial expression even though the view is partly from behind – cool.

    • Yes, it really is the final version. That’s very good that you get a sense of Kiyono’s expression. I felt she was looking into her future life with optimism and courage. That’s what I hoped to convey.

  7. kathleen campisano says:

    You just went through what I experience often. I begin changing things, sometimes for the better and sometimes not! Leave it alone. It’s perfect. In fact all versions look great to me.
    Thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations….

    • Kathleen, some drawings just resolve – plop – with a satisfying finish. I thought this one had until someone critiqued it. Then I started fiddling. That’s when the trouble started. However I promise it is put away safely now…waiting for a convenient time to frame. I like to share the trials and tribulations because so many other artists (you) can relate to them.

  8. Linda Lilja says:

    I would have to slap myself if I ever critiqued your work. However, I too thought (in my little pea-sized brain) that the darks were a bit light. I love the adjusted portrait. But, I also loved the first “finished” one. I can’t even imagine achieving your level of expertise or offering a critique.

    • Linda, I am heartened that you think the final drawing IS an improvement on the first. I must have agreed with my friend about the darks not being dark enough or I wouldn’t have changed them. The trouble was, it threw everything else out. But once I had sorted the rest, then I figure same as you, that the end result is better than the beginning result. Thank you so much for your supportive words.

  9. Adding to a ‘finished’ piece is such a dangerous thing to do! The possibility of ruining it is great, but you have ended up with a delicious piece, very rich in the depth and intensity of the colour. This is testament to your experience and level of skill. But unwanted ‘advice’ is undermining to even the most self confident, and as artists most of us are not as confident as we would like. So, congratulations on taking it on and making it work.

    • Thanks Anna. Beautifully put and I totally agree. My lack of self-confidence in this instance was a surprise and a not-so-wonderful revelation. I still kind of look at this piece sideways – as if it might bite me.

  10. Julie, you are an extraordinary artist. I tip my hat to you.

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