There was a artist and painter in ancient Japan called Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎). He did the most recognizable Ukyo-e (浮世絵) woodblock printing series that is well known outside of Japan, Thirty-six views of mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景). This series includes one painting, called Kanagawa oki nami-ura (The Great Wave off Kanagawa). Exactly this one had a big influence on me and made me interested in Ukiyo-e.
Even if I never use to draw on canvas, I don't wanted just to copy the original image of Kanagawa wave, but try to draw it my own way. The collectors edition of "Total War - Shogun 2" a strategy game for a PC, contains a small artbook with exellent ukiyo-e drawings in it. At first I thought it were original japanese drawings, then I realized that they've been drawn by game designers, who were responsible for the backgrounds and all this stuff.
One of this drawings is actually this big wave, very similar to the one from "36 views of fuji" series. That gave me the idea to put a guy on a boat, torn up by a huge wave, with a cliff in the back.
Now this painting has a statement! Almost... I searched for a phrase that could describe the message. Like the kanji font in the original painting, on the left upper corner, that tells the title of the image. I asked my japanese friend to help me out by finding a suitable kanji for this. Like "Never give up!" or something. Then she came up with a better idea to use 不撓不屈 (ふとうふくつ) "wilfulness". Its "Widerspenstigkeit" in german.
First I drew with a pencil directly on the screen to make the mistakes undo easier by using soft eraser. With a hard graphite core by just slightly pressing on the pencil, you can easily erase the drawn tracks. As well as all lines been drawn slightly, can be overpainted by acrylic colors without leaving a trace. After the pencil drawing was done, I colored the wave with two shades of blue. One of them seems to be very light afterwards, so I drew a darker one over it later. The black outlines should came at last, otherwise they would be covered by other colors and that would not look nice.
I'am still unhappy with a implementation of green shrubs on the cliff. It looks like junior highschool level. I tried to put a lot of details there, but maybe I shouldn't. Ukiyo-e is a simple way of drawing/printing due to the limitation of detail, because you have to cut all this in to the wood. But to be honest, the end result looks not exactly ukiyo-e, more like a normal painting.
Anyway, it looks good on my wall now.
My next painting is dedicated to a very popular video game series. Stay tuned!