3 views of a Geisha – Face

3 views of a Geisha - Face

the original drawing on plywood

Summer is winding down – so now without the distraction of visitors and sunny warm days, I’ll be better about regular postings here!  We’ll ramp back up with the Geisha project and take a look at the progress of the first in the “series” – her face.

When I had the chance to be made up in Geisha makeup – we took a picture of my face in a similar looking down to the side at about a ¾ degree angle. It struck me how the white makeup really flattened all my features.  To be frank, I have a fairly prominent nose – even that seemed to “go away” in the photo. What you saw was mostly flat white and just the highlights of strong red around my eyes and mouth. I wanted my mosaic Geisha have a similar look – and also not have her be too real-life looking. Kind of more the idea of Geisha but not necessarily a real life copy.

I adore faces in mosaic, the ones in the churches of Sicily were my first mosaic love!  However, actually creating realistic mosaic faces, I’m not too bad but I hate it with a passion.   I have 0% fun when working on a realistic face. So a long time ago I decided that I would admire them more than create them.

But I really wanted to do this face and thought maybe it would be ok since I didn’t want it too “realistic”. There is a mosaic of the face of Peggy Guggenheim that was done by Antonella Gallenda of Orsoni that I just love. The thing I loved most about it – the way the pieces of the face were primarily vertical, not the normal curving line shaping for the cheek, etc..

I thought this idea of laying the face vertical would work for my Geisha’s face, it would make it less “realistic” and also help to give it the nearly flat appearance I was looking for – especially since I was using just one color of white, and not shades.

I kind of love her but am not totally sure yet. I’m not totally sure it worked out how I’d seen it in my head – there would be things I’d do differently if the chance arose again.   I’m working on the back of the neck view next, so give us a visit again soon to see how it turns out!

6 thoughts on “3 views of a Geisha – Face

  1. I like how you have a touch of the red in the eyebrows. I can certainly tell that this is a geisha. I love the detail in the lips. You really do an amazing job with curves and small, tight spaces. Can’t wait to see the next piece.


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