Another Mask (and Netsuke too)

hannya mask s

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.

gama sennin with his toad s

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!


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19 responses to “Another Mask (and Netsuke too)”

  1. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Love them both!! You could do a whole mask collection and it would be amazing! Very cool and I love the ground and colors together. Really makes an impact. Nice job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon Mann says :

    I do like the effect of brown pencil on the brown paper, nicely sketched.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. memadtwo says :

    That guy is both jovial and scary at the same time. Yes, I like the brown paper/pencil also, very sculptural effect.


    • memadtwo says :

      Those masks are supposed to express conflicting emotions. I do like drawing sculpture…you’re still coming in Thursday, right? (with sketchbook in hand).


  4. tequihby says :

    Those sound like very interesting books. I love both of these sketches. The mask especially is just so expressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says :

    Yes. Planning to leave on the early side, a little after 11 maybe, early lunch and head back before traffic starts. Sketchbook in hand.


  6. artandmoondreams says :

    Really nice sketches and love your color choice on tinted paper. Looking forward to seeing more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. M.R. Emberson says :

    Very cool! Were there any masks depicting tengu?

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Netsuke #Inktober | method two madness - October 7, 2015

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