I worked on this drawing during the end of April and start of May 2013. In step 1 you can see that I have traced the lines and I am just starting to put on some colour – beginning with the lady in the distance. (Please click on the images to enlarge them.)
More of the drawing has had colour applied to it in the second view.
Because I know that the obi is a difficult part, I begin to build up the colour on it at quite an early stage. Sometimes it takes me a while to connect to a drawing. In this case, I have done all this work and have not made the connection yet. ie I haven’t started to enjoy myself. Maybe this is because it is the first drawing after a break of two months without drawing.
There is some more intensity in the colours now. Also there is effort made into putting texture and shadow into the paving stones. My concern is to make the kimono stand out from the path as in the photo they are such similar colours. At this stage I am still unsure that this work will succeed.
Here is the finished drawing. I feel that the most difficult part was the obi because of its complicated design. I did not connect to the drawing until about three quarters of the way through it. All I could see until then were problems which needed to be overcome. Sometimes one just has to have perseverance to keep going. At some stage one thinks “I think I’ve got it now!” and then it is no longer a slog but a joy. Self-doubt is often my companion.
Finally, the original photo included a woman in the distance taking photos. I left her out of my drawing as she was incidental to the scene. Thinking about what to leave out is an important consideration when composing. Whether it is rubbish bins on Paris streets or unwanted figures in Kyoto, when working from photos there are often people or objects edited out between photo and drawing stage. I keep in the back of my mind “less is more”.
Related page: Subject 2: Geisha