How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel

1. Prelude

Hello everyone and welcome to my article on How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel. In this article, I will talk about how to draw grilled eel in the ukiyo-e japanese art style, in a step by step manner.

Reading this article will take less than 10 minutes.

Please, enjoy your reading and don’t hesitate to comment. If I made any mistake, I will do my best to correct it as quickly as possible.

Speaking about grilled eel (“うなぎの蒲焼” Unagi no Kabayaki) in Edo japan, it was a dish popular in Japan. Inexpensive meal, a lot of people used to eat it. Nowadays, because of a rarefaction of the eel populations, they have become a delicacy and is now considered a luxury food.

Summary

  1. Prelude
  2. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Body Parts
  3. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Grilled effect
  4. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Color and glossing

2. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Body Parts

How to draw ukiyo-e series - Grilled eel from “Spring Rainbow” by Kuniyoshi Utagawa
(Grilled eel from “Spring Rainbow” by Kuniyoshi Utagawa)

This image depicts a moment of a woman who is caught by a rainbow that appears unexpectedly, trying to eat a grilled eel.

If you look at the model, you can see that it has been split and opened from the belly of the eel, the actual cooking style and preparation techniques are still the same than in the Edo period.

While being conscious of this making, draw the center line in a exquisite curve. Draw both sides along the line in a slightly corrugated surface.

Let’s adjust the thickness so as not to make it too plump. If you make the tail a little thinner, you can imagine where the head and the tail of the fish were.

Grilled Unagi - ukiyo-e BlackandWhite(うなぎ焼き) by RedSparkle (11-2019)
(First step drawing the body part of the grilled eel)

3. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Grilled effect

The grilled effects on the surface is what determines how delicious it looks.

This scorch is caused by unevenness in the strength of the burning from the brazier when baking.

Therefore, realism comes out by drawing a burn on the same horizontal line to the vertical line of the fillet.

I recommend using light ink so you can adjust the color later!

Grilled Unagi - ukiyo-e Glossy(うなぎ焼き) by RedSparkle (11-2019)
(Second step, drawing the effects)

4. How to draw ukiyo-e series – Grilled eel: Color and glossing

The most effective when coloring is the highlight = gloss that expresses the shine of the cooked fillet.

Even in the real world, you’ll want to lick the glossy part. I will express it with a solid color.
The ground color is painted brownish yellow. On the other hand, highlights are expressed in white as close to the skin color as possible.

While focusing on the direction of the light, avoid the scorched part that you drew earlier and add highlights.

Because it is the surface of a fish, the atmosphere comes out when you paint it with a slightly crumpled shape.

Grilled Unagi - ukiyo-e Color(うなぎ焼き) by RedSparkle (11-2019)
(Third step, color)

And there you have it. Please try to draw it multiple time in a row to get a good result.

If you ever come to Japan, please try this delicacy, this is delicious.

Edo period eating contest with grilled eel by unknown - ukiyo-e
(Edo period eating contest with grilled eel by unknown)

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Deligne Mathieu - RedSparkleArt- Author-Painter-ukiyo-e artist- kachoga artist

Deligne Mathieu

Deligne Mathieu is a young artist with the objective to master the art of drawing Ukiyo-e bird and flower (花鳥画 – Kacho-ga).