January 2018 archive

Ukiyo-E Americana

Ukiyo-E inspired triptych for Core Studio 2D

In creating this piece, I wanted to stay true to the inking style of Ukiyo-E: minimal linework, no shading, ornate robes, and minimalist expressions.  By varying line weight I was able to accomplish subtle shading to hint at light and dark areas.  For inking I used a Pentel Brush Pen and a Copic Fineliner

Ink lines for Ukiyo-E Americana

After scanning my images I used Photoshop to add color and texture.  Starting with a cream colored overlay allowed for a softer tone to the entire piece overall.  Selective erasing was then used to bring back some areas of white ie. the skin and eyes.  I wanted the 4 figures to look mostly the same, using only their Kimono style and hairstyles as the dominant distinguishing features.  Each figure is branded with a stereotypical American thing: the American flag, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks.  For texture, I created custom brushed with brand logos. As a finishing texture, I overlayed a woodgrain photo over the entire image and turned down the opacity.  This created a subtle texture to mimic that of old parchment paper or scrolls.

The final piece:  Four Courtesans at a gathering place (in this case, a silhouetted shopping mall), engaging in stereotypical American food and drink.  I used the vivid coloring of traditional Japanese Kimonos as inspiration, but applied a stereotypically American color scheme to go with each figures respective brand.  By inserting American iconography into a traditional Japanese art form, I wanted to show how America bastardizes the traditions and customs of other cultures.

Ukiyo-E Americana by F.A. Ross