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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

A bookmark for Eliza

April 15, 2009

Geisha bookmark

In the same vein as the Thank You card I made for my brother and his family comes this – a bookmark that I made back in January for Eliza.

Since I’m just now getting the chance to post about this bookmark I thought I’d take some time to share the process I went through to create this bookmark – albeit simple. Sometimes, and maybe this is only true for me, we look at things at being too difficult or involved to have the time to do instead of just giving it a try. This is usually the case for me and any art project I plan on doing. By sharing the process I’m hoping to debunk that myth a little. Making these little art projects can be both fun and not take up too much of your time.

I started out searching Flickr for bookmarks, geishas, and anything I thought that would inspire me to create this bookmark. You can rummage through my favorites on Flickr to see anything that I’ve found on Flickr that I find inspiring. Somewhere in there are a few elements that I pieced together in my mind in order to create this project. A geisha drawing here, a Japanese sign there, and I ended up with an idea.

Geisha bookmark sketch

Next, I began to make rough sketches (pictured above, click the photo for a larger view) of how I wanted to draw the geisha for the bookmark. I tried four different styles. One that had an umbrella, which didn’t turn out well. One that was a more anime/kid-like take on a geisha that I believe is from a current cartoon that I didn’t think fit with this project. And one that I ultimately settled on. Once I found the style I thought I liked the best, I sketched it a second time for practice.

Geisha bookmark watercolor

I then outlined the geisha on a corner of small 140lb. watercolor paper. This gave me two straight edges off-the-bat and made it easy for me to make two simple cuts to finish the project. Using my simple set of watercolors I painted the geisha and was done. In retrospect my “keep it simple” approach worked well for this bookmark though I would have liked to experiment with making a “crazy” or “detailed” edition of this bookmark. Maybe next time.

Told you it was simple, but it was a lot of fun, and Eliza liked it!