Under Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa

So we continue this series with the fourth piece out of 46, a very different setting from the previous three that were all about natural shapes and how nature is kicking ass. In this, the viewer is positioned in such a way as to view Mount Fuji framed and surrounded by all man made structures.

Another thing I noticed while drawing it is the huge amount of geometrical shapes: straight lines in the bridge and background buildings, circles in the hats and umbrella and partial ellipses in the bridge but also in the boats.

The thing that is really astonishing in this piece is the use of vanishing point perspective, a rather new thing in mid-19th century Japan and rather uncommon to see used correctly. This could have been a coincidence tho as some later pieces are wonky in places, when it happens I will point it out but I will follow the artists’ perspective instead of correcting it.

The piece took something of 6 to 8 hours of interrupted work, a full Saturday in fact. Included in that is the waiting time for the various layers of paint that had to dry, something I have a hard time getting used to in watercolor. These complicated pieces teach me patience already. Rough sketch, line work, paint, wait, paint, wait, etc.

Everything considered, it worked out really well. Normally when I do a complicated work by the time the line work is finished and that looks good, I am concerned I will ruin the piece by painting it sloppy or just plain bad. Of course, the color composition was done for me and the block print technique has few blending washes, making it easier to paint. In this case, I went in confident that I could pull it off if I took the time for it. I feel the confidence paid off.

With a range of Daniel Smith paints such as Primatek Serpentine and Jadeite, Janes Grey, Goetite, Burned Sienna and Cerulean Blue. A small amount of St Petersburg Prussian Blue was used at the top banner.

Author: Koen

human, putting down lines, splashing pigment on page, exist.