I decided to put into practice what I learned about drawing perspective for an art class assignment of mine. In my Art333 course, we had a day of presentations just on different styles and different artists. There was one artist in particular who stood out to me, by the name of Yuko Shimizu. Her art reminds me personally of a combination between Japanese traditional art and American pop art. It’s this sassy, colourful, yet beautiful art that challenges its viewers to question their assumptions about the different genres of art. Let us look at a few examples:
This one is my favourite:
I love this particular piece because it shows a woman who looks like a geisha, but she is being a total bad-ass. Geishas are not DJ’s. Nor do they usually have tattoos. Yet here this woman is, busting the norms wide open and just being herself. For the assignment we were to complete next in Art 333, we had to choose one of these styles that stood out to us and learn it. I chose her style to help influence mine. We did not have to exactly copy their style, but rather let it influence our own.
For my drawing, I knew I wanted to draw a hard-core, battle-ready, rock-star geisha. I knew my subject, but I couldn’t decide on a background or other content for the image, so I had help from my friend and we brainstormed a million ideas for my project. Eventually we decided that she would be in a traditional Japanese woodblock print, fighting Oni.
(If you want to learn more about woodblock prints, check out this link.)
Here’s the start of my piece:
If you look closely at the background, you can see the perspective lines I’ve drawn. However, if you look really closely, you can see that the vanishing points are not on the page. To make life easy for me, I actually tied string to two objects along an extended horizon line that went beyond my paper and across my entire desk. To draw the different lines, I just pulled the string, taped the end down, then used a ruler to follow the string and draw a line across the page. Somewhat like this, but not nearly as impressive:
I worked on the drawing for nearly 12 hours, just messing around with the perspective until I was finally, somewhat happy with it. This is the final result. Not happy with the colours, but that’s what I get for leaving the assignment until literally the final few hours before it was due. (Don’t judge me)
The perspective was swell, which is the focus of the drawing, so I can’t complain about it too much. (Cough cough Just know that I would change a lot of things about it and I’m not happy with it. Cough cough.)
However, let me show you a weird random sketch I did before I started practicing perspective, and note the improvement.
It is totally out of proportion, and the perspective is all wrong. So, with that in mind I can see that going back and working on the basics has affected my work at least a little bit, which pleases me! However, it was really hard, and it took me multiple tries to get the perspective right on my geisha, so I think what I am going to do moving forward is work on just practicing basic perspective drawings of simple objects (boxes and buildings) until horizon lines, vanishing points, and rulers aren’t so intimidating anymore. That’s all for now! I’ll be checking in soon with more art next week!