Sunday, April 13, 2008

Japonisme Lizard


Watercolour & Sumi Ink 19cm x 14cm sketchbook

Just in case you think all I've been doing lately is copying art, here is something that is all my own work.

I've finally applied the Japanese influence I've been absorbing to my own work. Now that spring is here the little lizards are appearing in our garden again. They are very quick but this year I have a better camera, so I'm able to sit very still and wait for one to appear. I still haven't got a good reference shot of the totally iridescent green ones but when I do, I'm hoping to do a whole series of paintings of them.

I was pleased with how this little fellow turned out but I'm not sure if he can be called Japonisme. There are so many elements to consider, but I'm going to keep chipping away at the subject because it really inspires me. Katherine Tyrrell - Making a Mark - keeps adding more wonderful links to her posts about Japanese Art and has generously tied them all together in her Squidoo lens here.



Ayu (Trout) After Ando Hiroshige - Grand Series of Fishes
Watercolour, watercolour pencil & Pigma pen

Actually, I couldn't resist one final copy from these wonderful old Ando Hiroshige woodblock prints!

I couldn't work out what the marks were in the background at first but on studying the fantastic website of Japan based woodblock printer, David Bull, I've learned they are brush marks made by the printmaker as he applies the pigment to the block. I used coloured pencil to try to achieve the same effect.

Next stop, I think, will be to start looking at some traditional Japanese landscapes.

10 comments:

Joan said...

I love the painting of the lizard. I was laughing thinking about you sitting with your camera waiting for one! Beautifully colored!! The trout are also lovely...perfect colors!

Lin said...

WONDERFUL WONDERFUL, Robyn!!! I love the detailing in the lizard -- and the trout look a bit Asian in style --- very very nicely done -- both!

dinahmow said...

Oh, Robyn! What a lovely lizard. I have been trying to sketch some of the skinks and geckos that are all over the place here, but, as you note, they are too quick. But I found some old photos from Liguria and one is of a lizard (gecko?) like yours!Thing is...is my blade work good enough to cut one?

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

You sure have taken on board all your Japanese studies as this lizard is stunning. What a wonderful subject/genre you have decided upon. Mind you the oil you achieved from the Botticelli was masterful - did you say it was your first oil painting?? Cant believe it. This particular work reminds me of an American artist who works in the Mische technique I met in Bournemouth a few years back - Brigid Marlin. I think its because its an egg tempera technique used in the Renaissance.

Robyn said...

Joan - Thank you. I was out there again this morning with my camera. I give myself a bit of a fright when I zoom in. I have a phobia of one particular cold blooded creature and when I get too close, I'm reminded of it. I now wait for the lizards in the same spot and was amused to see one pop up and stare me down today.

Lin - TY too. I found masking fluid was fantastic for getting that mottled skin.

Robyn said...

Dinah - I love big-eyed gecko you get in Queensland. I'm sure you blade work is good enough - I'd love to see what you make it. I've been looking at so many woodcuts lately and I really wish I was capable of cutting one of these. Might give it a try with in linocut.

Joan S-C - Thanks Joan. I can't imagine how long it took Botticelli to make that huge painting with tempera, he would have had to apply it in tiny dabs. Much the same technique I used because I don't have confidence for the big sweeping brush strokes in oil.

I will see if I can track down some work of the American artist you mention.

Casey Klahn said...

Perhaps you've been to Japan, Robyn?

I found some interesting similarities between Japan and Italy, both which I've visited.

Narrow peninsula and narrow island; compacted architecture and land use; cultural peculiarities related to isolation (less so in Italy, which is a crossroads); art-forward cultures, mountainous topography.

Loved both countries.

Dave said...

Gorgeous painting of the lizard. I took a photo of an enormous lace monitor when I was in Australia...perhaps I should try to paint it, though it wasn't as attractive as this little beastie!

caseytoussaint said...

What's really interesting to watch is the way you're absorbing the lessons from copying Japanese work, and that colors your own work in a unique way. All of this hard work is really paying off.

Robyn said...

Casey (Klahn) - I have been to just about every country around Japan but never actually there. Of course now I have a great need to go!

Dave - I saw your photo. I used to believe, when I was a child, that if one stood still there is a danger those big lizards will mistake you for a tree trunk and run right up you! Yes, you should sketch yours too.

Casey T - TY - I'm so glad you can see some result from all this study. I still have a lot more to do though.

Joan S.C. - You asked if the Botticelli (previous post) was my first oil painting. No, it's actually my 4th, but I certainly do consider that I'm just starting out in oils.

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