Musashi at the Scroll ( 1996 Donald R Ricker)MUSASHI AT THE SCROLL


Donald R Ricker

(8"x10" thermal wax print)

3D Kyusho set (VRML) or Finished painting

This digital study depicts Miyamoto Musashi awakened in the small hours of the night by his ghosts and beginning to dictate "The Book of Five Rings" to Teruo Nobuyuki.

Using a map of the island Kyusho and  surrounds as a template, the artist built up some virtual mountains and textured them with scanned vegetation.   With this very rough approximation, a virtual 'camera position' was selected to provide the view from a possible location of Reigendo, the cave for which Musashi abandoned the palace life. Individual characters and details were sketched, scanned, scaled and positioned, repeatedly.  Finally color is added and adjusted experimentally. When the composition is sufficiently developed, it is projected on the hardboard in order to outline the cartoon prior to underpainting.  The study is kept near the painting as a guide but the final painting is the product of the brush and pigment as applied by hand.  In this way I am able to use the 'short sword' of the computer and the 'long sword' of the fitch. 

The references to Water, Fire, Earth, Wind, and the Void are not hidden in the painting. The portrayal of Musashi's features is from a woodcut.  The artist hopes that viewers (especially Japanese) will forgive his blatant cultural miscues and accept his honest admiration for Musashi and his legend.  For  Musashi is a 'patron saint' to the brush wielding sign painter.  "When you take up the sword (brush), you must be intent on cutting" is a major asset in lettering with enamel, where each stroke must be graceful and precise.

  Musashi, Eiji Yoshikawa  Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi   

Next painting  |  Paintings page  |  Drawings page