Art Gallery – Eeeveelution Girls

What’s this nonsense? Pokémon fanart? I was inspired by the Kimono Girls who are present in both the games and the anime and manga. I thought it would be really cool to do a series of them inspired by each of the evolution forms of Eevee, who is one of my favourite pokemon. Hopefully it’s obvious which one is which, but just in case it doesn’t come through clearly (or you’re not familiar with Pokemon), we have, in order:

  • Eevee – Since Eevee is the original/unevolved form, I wanted her outfit to be basic and versatile. Eevee’s distinctive fur ruff and tail formed the starting point for her kimono.
  • Vaporeon – For the water evolution, I knew a seigaiha obi would be perfect, and I’ll never pass up the opportunity to include Kanagawa’s Great Wave when I can!
  • Jolteon – Modern lightning motifs for the electric evolution, of course.
  • Flareon – Hot colours and traditional flames suit the fire evolution perfectly.
  • Espeon – The psychic evolution is hard to convey visually, so I chose to do a base kimono in a subtle gradient of Espeon’s colours, and the sakura motif obi as a nod to the trainer Sakura in the anime, who has an Espeon.
  • Umbreon  – Like psychic, dark is a hard concept to convey, so Umbreon’s style was inspired directly by the visuals of the game.
  • Sylveon – The pastels and bows of the fairy evolution seemed perfectly suited to tabane noshi. This is actually the first one I made, and inspired the rest of the project!
  • Glaceon – Yukiwa motif for the ice-based Glaceon just made sense. The diamond pattern of the obi helps reinforce the crystalline feel.
  • Leafeon – Swirling vines and shades of green and brown were the clear choice for Leafeon’s grass form.

I had a lot of fun finding the right colours and patterns for each of these little ladies, and I love how they look all put together! If you get a kick out of them too, prints are available in my Society6 shop.

Art Gallery – Portrait by Dan Howard

I’ve loved Dan Howards’s art for years, ever since I saw it on a message board we were both members of. I’d always wanted wanted to commission him but things never worked out. Until now! Things came together at just the right time, and I’m very happy.

He did a great job capturing the details that were important to me, like my hair and my accessories, while still staying true to his personal style. I also love the low collar of the kimono! Especially since he’d never drawn accurate kimono before and was going by some vague references I sent. The pop of red is great too. It adds a great little racy touch and contrasts so well with my beloved teal/peacock colour palette.

Please go check out his work on his website, Dan Howard Art.

Art Gallery – Floral Fans Colouring Page

Recently while browsing Pinterest, I came across a lovely colouring page with fans on it. However, the scan was very small and blurry, which would have made it quite difficult to colour digitally. So I decided to redraw it from the ground up before painting it on my Surface. I really like how the end result turned out, so I thought I would share it with you.

If you’d like to colour this yourself, here is the clean version of the lines. Whether you print it out and colour it traditionally or do it digitally like I did, I would love to see!

Art Gallery – Pink Komon Portrait by Logan Spector

I fell in love with illustrator Logan Spector’s art in a group on Facebook we’re both part of. I contacted her about a kimono-related commission, and I am so beyond glad I did! I absolutely love how this turned out.

It’s obviously based off my recent coordination at the botanical gardens, and Logan’s attention to detail is just blowing my mind. From the kimono itself to the pattern on the haneri to my glasses and earrings, everything is spot-on perfect and translated into her unique art style so well.

I get really happy seeing how different artists interpret my face in their own looks while still being true to my weird nose and squishy jaw-line, and Logan was no exception. The whole process from start to finish was very pleasant, she showed me a draft and asked for input and kept me in the loop the whole time.

Please check out Logan Spector’s website and Instagram!

Art Gallery – Six Modern Bijin Artists You Should Follow

Bijin-ga (美人画) literally means “picture of beautiful person”. They originate in the woodblock prints of the Edo era, and typically depicted beautiful women from various walks of life – from everyday women doing everyday things to famous courtesans reclining in luxurious surroundings. Many famous artists produced bijin-ga prints; some of the most well-known being Utagawa Kunisada, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

Around the transitional period from late Meiji through Taisho into early Showa era, artists such as Jun’ichi Nakahara, Yumeji Takehisa, and Katsuji Matsumoto‘s modern styles made an enormous impact on traditional bijin-ga and produced works that helped form the flowery, large-eyed shoujo manga aesthetic as we know it.

With the advent of more modern printing technologies and digital painting, art has become more accessible than ever before. There are incredible modern artists out there today producing breathtaking works that continue to challenge the way we think of traditional Japanese art of gorgeous women. These are the sorts of artists I’m going to focus on. I urge you to check out their galleries, follow them on social media, and buy their prints to support them if you can.

While these featured artists are all incredibly versatile and do portraits of women in kimono and modern clothes as well as floral studies and still-lifes, I chose to focus on kimono-clad beauties to keep with the spirit of bijin-ga.

This entry will be long and image-heavy, so please click through to keep reading! Continue reading