Fantastic Voyage

"Fantastic Voyage" Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle smooth. 360 x 425 mm. April 2016

“Fantastic Voyage” – two luminous figures
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle smooth.
360 x 425 mm.
April 2016

“Fantastic Voyage” is about one’s artistic journey.  In Pontocho it is this young lady’s misedashi; her first day as a maiko.  (Metaphorically, her obi is rather like a sail and she a glorious sailing ship setting out.)  The strong diagonal lines in the composition help to suggest movement on a set course.  Her fantastic voyage has begun.

The drawing simultaneously represents my own artistic journey.  It contains two of my favourite motifs; maiko and lantern.  The randomly placed stickers over the lantern are suggestive of my street art-themed drawings.  I have David Bowie, once again, to thank for my title. “Fantastic Voyage” is the first track on his album “Lodger”.

I took the source photo back in November 2005.  I asked the brains trust on Facebook who this maiko might be.  They didn’t come up with a conclusive answer though it may be Ichina who made her debut sometime late 2005 but the exact date isn’t known.

The source photo (taken in November 2005 in Pontocho) for both "Painted" (2006) and "Fantastic Voyage" (2016.

The source photo (taken in November 2005 in Pontocho) for both “Painted” (2006) and “Fantastic Voyage” (2016).

I have already drawn from this source photo in 2006.  The composition of the latest drawing is a little different from that drawing of a decade ago.  For instance in 2006 I elected to remove the kanzashi (hair ornament) as I didn’t think it worked in my composition.  Back then I also hadn’t realised that I had witnessed a misedashi as I didn’t know anything about the language of kimono or maiko hairstyles in the early days.

"Painted" - a coloured pencil drawing from 2006; ten years ago.

“Painted” – a coloured pencil drawing from 2006; ten years ago.

Comparing “Painted” with “Fantastic Voyage” I note that I have made some headway on my own artistic journey since 2006.

“Fantastic Voyage” also relates to my many journeys to Kyoto and my incredible love of that unique city.    During the voyage  (begun in 2003 and still current) I have found, and continue to find, immense ‘treasures’ of artistic experiences and images.  How fortunate I am and how much I DO NOT take my passage on the art journey for granted.


About juliepodstolski

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

8 Responses to Fantastic Voyage

  1. This is so fabulous, one of my favourites of yours. The detail, the composition, the richness of the colour, all comes together to make a Fantastic Voyage. So interesting to compare it to the earlier work – both are good, but the new one has a richness and depth that gives it a leap forward. Keeping the hair ornament is a good choice, it takes the eye right to the edge, then brings it back in again. Bravo, I think this one will be a significant picture in your upcoming exhibition.

    • Oooh – this Arches Aquarelle is what adds to the richness of the colour. I feel like ‘redoing’ so many old drawings on this gorgeous new paper. I’m sure I won’t but I may not be able to resist one or two more. It is so dreamy to work with.

      • Are you using mostly Luminance with this? I am coming to the conclusion that they are the pencils I like best, with Pablos for detail. The richness is unsurpassed I think.

      • I think if you only had two types of pencils and wanted to have unlimited powers with them, those two types would be Luminance paired with Pablos. They work so well together. However I still have my Holbein and use these extensively. To a lesser extent I use Polychromos. In this drawing I expect Luminance and Holbein are most used. Then Pablos, then Polychromos.
        To get such a strong red glow in the lantern, I did the thing where I put a light layer of white pencil on the paper before I put any colour on.

      • The layer of white – such a useful technique. I must remember it, it’s very effective.

      • I should patent it. It is my own invention.

  2. So interesting to see the two drawings, a decade apart. I agree with Anna, the latest ones has a richness and depth of colour that the other does not. I also think the new one has a more interesting composition. Karen

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