Showing posts from 2020

Geisha #7

Close up - Geisha
So I've enrolled with Skillshare - an online tutorial community. It's value for money if you want to do a lot of courses. Which I tend to do! The course I completed recently, was for Illustration. First you have to conceive a unique design, then learn the steps to bring it to life. There was no doubt, I was going to remake Geisha!
Full view
I wanted a really simple brief, so chose three points, for direction: (1) Geisha (2) Garden (3) Peacock. My whole design process, would revolve around these three points. Needless to say, coming up with an original design, is incredibly involved. Illustration is not like putting paint to canvas. Painting for me, is more of a spontaneous affair. Illustration, requires a story behind the scene. Then how to position those elements together, for maximum dramatic effect. I didn't realise illustration was so involved!
Close up - peacock
I lacked some of the tools, that would have made this process easier - like alcohol markers. T…

Geisha #6

March 2020

I'm going to start with a close-up view, since it conveys better in the thumbnail. Full view is at the end. This picture was also completed, pre-pandemic, and reminds me of the calm phase I was exploring with my Geisha. Because I threw away the shackles of word prompts, and just got creative instead.

There's a difference between conveying a likeness, and conveying what you're feeling in the process. Of the six pictures I had created to date, this one had the least struggle. Like we suddenly got on the same page as each other, and her image came from a place other than "just" a likeness.

With parasol

It also helped that I used Inktense pencils. They're a water soluble ink that goes on as a pencil. Because I'm a sucker for illustration, and mediums I can control tightly in my hand. I don't know what it is. Using paints from a tube is exciting and all, but nothing like a pen or pencil in the hand.

So much so, my current WIP (work in progress) f…

Geisha #5

February 2020

Having a long session with acrylic paints, the day prior, I wanted something easier for my next two word prompts: Bridge and Purple. Apparently, you can achieve wonderful effects with acrylic inks, which I am yet to learn. So I just used them like watercolour paint, in the meantime.


They went on really smoothly, and gave the illusion of water. This was an interesting way to convey Geisha. Rather than have her standing on a bridge, she became the bridge instead. I have no idea what inspired me to do this, but it's one of my favourites. Because it's simple, but adequately conveys the tranquil disposition of Geisha too.

There is one more to come, and then I will be caught up with my challenge to date. There's another Geisha being worked on presently too, and I'll share when she's finished.

Geisha #4

February 2020

Early in the year (before the pandemic broke) I had a few more Geisha to share. Here I am in July, and finally able to do so! The two prompt-words were: Red, and Expressionism. I probably didn't do the Art movement, any justice, because my Expressionism was very subtle. It was about covering-up the Geisha, as opposed to seeing her identity. 

Effectively, she became the anti-Geisha. When every Geisha, are made to be seen.

What's under the hood?

Materials used were acrylic paint, and I quiet enjoyed layering it thickly - then scratching into it, with the end of my brush. It was meant to be rough and unrefined, which is quite the opposite of Geisha. It was fun to make, even if it doesn't look like, or convey, Geisha much.

At this point though, I was feeling a little disenchanted with the prompt words. Did the magic of their spontaneity, wear off - or was I just ready to venture on my own? One more Geisha would be inspired by prompt words though, which I'll s…

Geisha #3

Hey Mickey

I'm a little behind in updating my blog. Still making daily Geisha's. This time the word prompts were, Disney and Journal. A tricky combination. I eventually settled on a sketchbook journal page, of a trip to Disneyland, Tokyo. It seemed appropriate.

Originally, I was going to settle for just the Mickey ears. Google revealed however, all Japanese women, donning the Mickey ears, were also wearing a bow: aka, Minnie Mouse style. So we stuck with tradition.

Imaginary day at Disney!

I printed a vintage ticket to Disneyland, Tokyo, as her souvenir for the day too. And of course, had to draw a picture of the Mickey McMansion, out front. I guess it helps create the Disney experience, but found it to be all rather kitsch. That's the nature of doing a challenge though - persevering through the ups and downs.

Next word prompts are; Purple and Bridge. Until next time...

Geisha #2

Seeing double?

Geisha #2 is unintentionally, two Geisha. The same one - just split in half. As my random word prompts were, Mirror and Contrast. The mirror element created duplicates. Using colours for my contrast: orange and blue. Sunset over a body of water, immediately came to mind.

Normally I prefer to use more neutral colours, but Inktense pencils and blocks, are hardly subtle. Because they're based on the vibrant pigments of ink. I haven't used mine for a while, but they were handy in this case. I enjoyed sitting at my drawing table, quietly colouring.

Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me hap-py

I mirrored the sunset in the Geisha's black hair. I don't know how a picture will go, until I'm doing it. With no reference for a sunset falling on their forms, I had to imagine one. The trick was to pick up the colours from the sunset, reflecting on the water, and use it on them.

So much of this, was inspired from the word prompts. As I found myself practically mirroring…

Geisha #1


Geisha remake #1 was a bit of a surprise. This time around, the random word prompts were, "Bubbles" and "Stencil". She came out looking more like The Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland. I didn't mind though. Part of the fun of creating, is being surprised by what develops. I'm probably going to make a lot of unconventional paintings, through exploring what is possible. Sometimes it's just fun to play with paint too!

I must confess to feeling a tad nervous, as I hadn't been in the studio for a few weeks. Nonetheless, dreaming of starting this series, since the end of last year. Getting that ball rolling, felt intimidating. Start, I did though!


I chose to paint some bubbles, but also used some bubble-wrap, as the "stencil" element (lower, left-hand corner). I used mostly acrylic paint, but also water-soluble crayons. Some paintings just roll off the brush, but this one felt a struggle. Not for any other reason, tha…

Getting ready

It starts here...

Once upon a time, I created an art blog, called Make-do-studio. It's the kind of blog you start, when first finding your way as an artist. I enjoyed my beginnings there. But like all first homes, you inevitably outgrow them. I now have a devoted space for my studio, and what better namesake than the property we've lived, since 2017.

This new chapter, is where I set challenges for myself, and develop a cohesive body of work. Many fun and meaningful ideas, to explore. Let's jump right in with my Geisha Gauntlet! I'm not sure if I'll be running the gauntlet, or throwing it down. Either way, it's going to be intense.

It's about a Geisha. A special one, created back in 2018. It was part of a course, designed to make your art, more abstract. While I loved my Geisha, it's not what I imagined "abstract" to be. The thing about art is, you can always remake it. This is what the Geisha challenge, is all about.

Setting up

Let's see ho…