No, not that type of cock! Get your filthy minds out of the gutter. This is not that type of blog! Oh wait, it is. But still, this it not that type of cock. Cock as in fowl, or rooster. Cock as in Hiroshige’s Cock, Umbrella, and Morning Glories on plate 20 of the book “Hiroshige Birds and Flowers”. I scanned the image, but the picture was too long for my scanner (click to enlarge):
I felt very inspired and wanted to see if I could render this via water colors. I of course simplified it considerably into just a wash and the cock and here is the result:
It is the only Hiroshige bird that I feel I did a good job with at all. It still needs to be framed and matted and would probably benefit from some tight matting at the sides to make it look narrower and taller. I particularly like the black tail feathers and the feet. Your comments are welcome.
The date I did this piece is now in dispute. The signature date is 1983, but the copyright on the book I used is 1989 and I distinctly remember buying the book in San Francisco in 1989. So, maybe I did the drawing in 1993 and the signature date is incorrect? I also remember being a new koi owner at that time and that didn’t happen until we moved which was in 1986. Okay, I’m glad I cleared that up in my head. The actual date I did this drawing is 1993, not 1983 as indicated on the drawing.
The drawing was inspired by the inside photo from this wonderful Tetra Encyclopedia of Koi which I first spied in San Francisco and bought on the spot. Since then I have used it as a guide to my koi keeping and breeding. Anyhow, as soon as I saw the photo of young koi on the inside of the hard cover, I just had to draw them. So I got out my Pentel color pens and had at it.
This was the result. Unfortunately, I really liked the drawing lots and hung it in my office at work where it got lots of natural light. Thus, the reds and oranges have faded terribly as has the blue that I used as a background.
Click to enlarge
So, everything that looks yellow now was red or orange at one time. The piece is just really less spectacular than it was but you get the idea. As a medium, Pentel color pens and pointillism were not the way to go for drawing koi because of the color fading and the time required. I had to find another medium to capture them.