Diseased Brushwork

The paintings are not actually diseased, of course. The original scroll is called the Yamai no Soshi emaki, which is “Scroll of Diseases and Afflictions”. This is a pretty unpleasant scroll overall, but there are some nice details. I particularly like this image of a calm maidservant carrying her mistress’ burden.

I’m clearly back into the swing of painting by now. The inking is smooth, the color is even, and the shading is good. I even put little escarbuncles on the package.

One of my favorite comic books is Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. Even when he’s working in black and white, he usually adds graphic interest to the clothing of characters by embellishing the fabric with repeating graphics. I decided to use this effect, adding little cherry blossoms to the maid’s kosode.

Here I added little ikat patterns to the kosode, and gave the package a tie-dye coloring. This started when some of the blue from the robe ran over into the wrapping cloth, then I tried to cover it up with some red, which just made it look like whatever was in the package was leaking blood. So, I had to do still more work.

This one got a reasonably smooth gradient coloring, made by mixing up some yellow paint, then adding orange, then adding red. I’m happy with how this turned out. The coloring is pretty smooth, too.