Another Mask (and Netsuke too)
I recently took two books about ghosts and spirits in Japanese Art out of the library. Besides learning a bit about the origins and history of these beings, there was a lot of great art. I decided to draw some of it with my brown pencil set on brown paper, experimenting with rendering both darks and lights on a neutral ground. Above is a mask of Hannya, used in Noh theater to represent the ghost or soul of a woman seeking revenge out of jealousy, or one who has an obsession she can’t escape. The masks are meant to convey conflicting emotions: both hate and suffering. And the darker the mask, the more evil the spirit.
I was also really taken with all the netsukes in both books. Above is Gama-Sennin, one of the immortal mountain gods, who is always accompanied by a toad. He can change himself into a toad too!