Illustrator Lets Japan’s Golden Autumnal Leaves Color in His Kimono Drawings via My Modern Met

Such an intelligent and creative way of bringing natural color into your drawings. Even thought it would simple copying, I am considering doing something like this myself just to try it out. I would imagine you could use it for other types of drawings too, like buildings, shoes, creatures and more!  Very cool! — Douglas

One of the oldest and most iconic Japanese garments, the kimono is often adorned with nature inspired motifs and patterns. From cherry blossoms to maple leaves, many kimono designs signify and celebrate the four seasons of the year. With this in mind, Japanese artist Kotetsu combines illustration, photography, and the Japanese art of kirie (paper cutting) to create one-of-a-kind fashion illustrations that let Mother Nature determine the pattern and color of the clothing.

To create each work of art, Kotetsu first sketches a clothed model on a piece of white paper. Rendered in his distinct anime style, each illustration features thick black outlines, with some parts of the character colored in soft pastel hues. He then carefully snips out large sections of the garments, before holding the paper in front of a natural backdrop. The resulting images show trees, leaves, and colorful skies become the pattern and hues of the figures’ clothing. As such, each piece is completely unique!

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