These days, the term nihon-ga can be used as a catch-all term for “Japanese paintings”, but it more often is used to specify Japanese illustrations that use traditional materials and conventions such as sumi ink, washi paper, mineral pigments, and even added touches such as gold leaves. Miwa Hiduki, based in Kyoto, is a talented and accomplished nihon-ga artist, and her gorgeous paintings are steeped in techniques keeping the tradition alive.
While many of her paintings are gorgeous renditions of animals and nature, she recently tried her hand at painting Final Fantasy 7 protagonist Cloud, applying her mastered nihon-ga artistic methods and materials to his aesthetic in the FF7 Remake. The result is gorgeous.
Here in a “making of” video, you can watch how she applies her craft. Please note that the video will no longer be public from May 20th, so watch while you can!
The drawing itself is impressive enough, but Hiduki then begins using sumi ink and brushing pigments and chalk to bring Cloud to life.
More pigments flesh Cloud out, and golden leaves are stamped onto the painting to really make the Buster Sword-wielding hero shine.
Finally, she tops off the illustration with iwa-enogu, paint made of pulverized rock and minerals, one of the main materials used in nihon-ga.