Asanegami (Morning Hair)

Second in my series 1-bit Woodblocks.

I’ve just finished “Asanegami” (Morning Hair) so I thought I’d go into a few of my favourite details!

  • eyes
  • eyebrows
  • background
  • lips
  • comb/history

I spent a long time adding and refining eye details, my reasoning being that these are the first thing you look at.

Also I went without “blusher” skin tone shading around the eyes, the amount of which varies depending on which impression of the original you’re looking at.

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The eyebrows were quite tricky, I tried layering multiple dither patterns but was never happy with how they looked. In the end I cheated by copying sections from the shadowy area lower down the image that had just the right gradient! Everything is a remix.

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The original background is quite busy. I tried being faithful to it but I was never happy with how it looked. Too noisy.

So I used one of my own “noise” dithered patterns. I’m quite proud of these patterns and wonder if they are unique? They strike a good balance of order/chaos.

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On most impressions of Morning Hair the lips are a graduated pink fade, so I spent a while finding two complementary dither patterns that would give the same effect. Getting the exact shape of the lips was the moment I realised I was on the home straight with this drawing.

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In 1930 authorities considered “Morning Hair” too provocative and banned it under the Peace Preservation Law. Seventy of its hundred copies had sold and the remaining thirty were destroyed. 😱

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I thought it would be a fun modern twist to replace the comb with an iPhone showing Instagram!

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As always I used a mix of old and new technology to create this piece.

Old: UltraPaint on Macintosh System 7.1 New: Macintosh emulator on iPad Pro 12.9”

My interpretation of Torii Kotondo’s “Morning Hair” is now available to purchase as “1-bit Woodblock: Asanegami” (foundation.app/gingerbeardman…)

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Comments: @gingerbeardman