Art Attack! #44: Zen in a Japanese Garden 🌸
We're back again with another Art Attack! If you're new to the series, this is where I share my drawings and the process behind them. A behind-the-scenes look at my artwork, if you will. This is not to say that I'm very good at art, or that I'm a professional in any way. In fact this is the opposite, and serves as a reminder to how I first started, and lets me track my progress too!
Since I started trying out this new black and white minimalist style, I've been liking it a lot! And it's really opened up a whole new avenue of ideas to try out in this style. But since I'd already done two outdoorsy themed pieces in this style, I was thinking of trying something new, and the first thought that came to my mind was my favourite country in the world - Japan!
Coincidentally, I'm currently writing about our trip to Osaka back in Feb 2016 if you're interested!
I've been missing Japan a lot as it's been ages since we've gone there, given everything that's been going on. So I thought a nice tribute to remember it by would be nice. Unfortunately, I couldn't find vectors that I needed for a Japan theme to reference like the outdoorsy-themed pieces I did. You know, like these, but in a Japanese style.
Source: Free Vector
So I had to convert whatever I could find into this black and white style myself. I did find these though:
Both were done by Liamashusrt and I thought they were so nice and cute! But there were some other elements I had in mind to make it a Japanese garden. I started listing some Japanese styles structures such as bonsai trees, sakura, cranes, a shrine, bamboo, pagodas, and of course, Mt Fuji.
Then I went into research mode, searching for simple pictures I could reference.
There were these colouring pages that had some of the items I wanted:
And I found this really helpful flowchart on how to draw Akatsuki clouds, aka Japanese clouds:
And this really nice and simple picture of Mt. Fuji:
It took a lot of work, but eventually I managed to find some reference photos of all the elements I had in mind. It was actually too much so I had to cut a few. The next hurdle was converting all my resources into a similar art style. And I ended up with this draft:
I knew I wanted it to be a circle, kind of like the Japan flag, but I found some difficulty cramming in all the different elements into one cohesive piece. A handy trick is to divide them into different levels so you have foreground, midground and background, and elements in each corresponding level.
Next it was time to draw it out for real!
Once I was satisfied with the sketch, time to outline!
Another good thing about this style is that it doesn't involve a lot of colouring, so after outlining the piece is already mostly done.
And after cleaning up the pencil lines and colouring in the red sun, we're done!
Unfortunately, I ended up smudging the bridge a little bit, but other than that I really liked how this piece came out! Especially considering how tiresome the sketching process was. I added in some colour this time for accents to make it unique and I think it matches really well with the black and white. And I think I captured the style really well; it's got a lot of different details but they all mesh together well into one cohesive Japanese style garden.
I wish some of the lines could've been cleaner but that's the risk with physical art. No undos. Oh well, a little imperfection makes it more natural. 😉
That's all for now! Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!