made in japan

Hiroshige’s diary sketchbooks, Korin’s sketchbooks, Okyo’s Sketch scrolls. Also noteworthy was reference to the Yamato-e-scrolls from the 11 to 13th, hokusai drawing


  1. Maruyama Okyo

some of the terms being used by British Museum which are interesting to note are:

Sketch, Handscroll, preparatory drawing. It is seen as a sketch, as it uses lines, especially if you notice how the faces are drawn out. the concentration is to make an eye, a nose, lips and an expression. It is also seen as a preparatory drawing. This would mean, the eye is being prepared as if this is not the final thing. That keep preparing. Keep on preparing. When I make karah parshad at home, i keep preparing it till its done. But is it done at every step, or we see it till it resembles karah parshad. Dekho bull shit philosophy shuru ho gayi, na sar na payr.

Not really. I dont do bullshit philosophy ( telling my self). Do we really know that for Maruyama, that it was a moment of preparation?

2. the Sketchbooks of Utagawa Hiroshige


Sketchbook, one of four (Jap.Ptg.1545-1548). Sketches of scenes and views along the Kisokaido highway. Ink and occasional light colour on paper.

everything is drawn out proportionately to each other. Hiroshige has a sense of scale for everything. The brush lines on the 6 x 9 inches sketchbook paper are drawn out lines ( as per western art, its drawing on paper ) or painted lines ( as per asian art, it’s a finished work on paper or silk). They tell us what he is seeing. He draws out everything that he sees in simplified lines where when it comes to depth in landscape, the built, constructed objects, the bridges, the post lamp, from the distance he is from the object, he marks everything down in simple strokes as if its a photograph taken from that point of view. The human figures are also noted down in strokes of brush lines with ease in their movement. the empty spaces of the paper fill out volume.

3. Katsushika Hokusai’s random sketch

RISDM 31-394-1 detail

The drawing is wood cut and we see the left over space of the wood as water. The visual by the artist, as i look at it, spend time staring at the 4 images, makes me see lines which expand into forms. Lines which convey the movement of the water, then these lines become form conveying depth of the stones, or represent soild objects.

Then lighter tone represents something, as if supporting the darker tone marks, stains, impressions. Or in some places, something which has less visibility, is at distance.

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