Over the last week I’ve been unwell with a chest infection. I was still able to sketch a bit after a few days but haven’t been well enough to do much more. Fortunately I had my last post already scheduled before I became ill so that went ahead without me.
While I was unwell in bed I was looking through pictures of Japan on my tablet. I came across this old route from Kyoto to Tokyo called the Nakasendo Way. It’s a route which people often choose to walk as it is recognised as being quite beautiful.
As I was recovering I began to try to sketch a scene from a small town on the route.
It was difficult because as the road climbs and turns it puts buildings into perpectives with different vanishing points. The first thing I did was to slightly simplify this to two points. I wasn’t aiming to sketch an exact copy but to make an enjoyable scene.
Here’s the beginning of the drawing construction:
I was drawing very lightly, mainly because I was in bed and not sitting at a table I think, so I had to ‘push’ the photograph when I got it into my PC to get it to show the lines. Here’s the finished sketch:
My next stage, when I was well again, was to ink the sketch. It was quite a therapeutic thing to do – really relaxing. I love inking!
Here’s my finished ink drawing:
As you can see, instead of putting in the people who were in the original photograph I put in someone in more traditional dress. I also added (at the sketching stage) a plant pot on the bottom right to add interest and detail to the forground. I’m sad to say that I don’t read Japanese and so I have no idea what the sign at the front of the picture says or if I copied it accurately enough.
Once that was done I scanned the images into my PC and then added some greyscale shading to the picture to finish it off. Rather than making all the ‘flats’ (areas of single colour which can be used to define a mask and paint just that bit), I decided to paint the greycale shading on – just colouring it in like you would on a paper colouring book. It was much quicker. In a couple of places I later played around with the lightness of certain areas using a mask. Generally though I think I prefer the more organic shading as I think it has a nicer feel. I tried to keep the shading simple and to use it to bring out the main shapes in the little town landscape.
Here’s my finished picture:
I’m really pleased with this one. 🙂