Japanese artist Ikenaga Yasunari paints portraits of women in serene, often wistful poses, in which the patterns of their clothing and surrounding textiles as as important within the compositions as the stylized design work of Mucha or Klimt.
Though his approach is modern, Yasunari works in tools and techniques from the traditional Nihonga style, painting on linen cloth with a Menso brush, using mineral pigments and soot ink (comparable to Lamp Black in European artistic tradition).
The artist’s website is divided into brief series consisting of paintings of individual models, most of which can be read as portraits.
Yasunari’s delicate line, bold patterns and superb contrast of detail areas and “empty” shapes, make his compositions extraordinarily strong.
His color schemes are almost monochromatic, but with areas complementary colors, usually reds contrasted with greens. Unlike the most common uses of complementary pairs, however, Yasunari restrains the chroma of all of his colors, applying them in delicate balance with the other elements of his composition. The result is a subtle, but striking harmony.