Gareth Naylor

Atmospheric paintings of Japan

Marker drawing of a low Japanese table and chair by Gareth Naylor

My few remaining drawings from my earliest days in Japan 2000 to 2010

Nowadays, I do very little drawing and probably should do more.

But in my early days of living in Japan, between 2000 and 2010, I was drawing all the time. 

At that time, I had a strong desire to improve.

Most of these drawings I have since thrown away and now only a few remain.

Out of these few, the one above, which is of my wife’s working space, is my favorite. 

It was done with a marker. 

I much prefer to use a marker or a pen rather than a pencil as a marker or a pen gives a much stronger mark than a pencil and so it gives a much more powerful image. 

And although a pencil drawing can be nice it smudges so easily and I don’t like spraying my drawings with fixative in order to prevent smudging.

By the way, legless chairs like the one in this drawing used to be so popular in Japan. 

Although I like to sit on the floor I have never found these legless chairs to be very comfortable.

And here is a drawing of a stationary shop in a department store called Forus. 

I think this was on the seventh floor.

It was my favorite floor because it had a big bookstore too. 

Unlike nearly all the other bookstores in Japan, they had a lot of English novels and other kinds of books in English. 

I am a book lover and it was such a joy to look at and browse through these books. 

The book store has since relocated and sadly the only English books they show now are on learning English. 

A few years ago, around 2018 or 2019, I went with my family to the top floor of this new book store to look at the children’s books and the place was empty. 

It felt so lonely being there. 

Anyway, to continue, this department store which was about 8 floors high has been completely altered and reconverted into a 4 story building.

And here are some drawings of my family. 

I did a lot of drawings of them and that must have been a bit annoying for them at times especially as sometimes I even asked them to pose for me. 

I particularly liked drawing my children sleeping. 

When children sleep there is a beautiful look of peace upon their faces, and their posture is often very interesting as is the creased arrangement of the bed sheet draped across their form. 

At some point I’d like to do a watercolor painting series of children asleep. 

Drawing my children sleeping was also great for drawing practice as the subject rarely moved.

I think this drawing is of my wife but it could be my oldest daughter.

Here is a drawing of my oldest daughter and it looks like she is pretending to shoot me.

I think I asked her to hold that pose and she did. She was very tolerant.

And here is a drawing of my middle-daughter sleeping.

And this is a drawing done on sport’s day. 

You can see the tents and the finish flag. 

And behind this is the Rembrandt hotel which is probably the second best hotel in Oita city where I live and quite an interestingly shaped building. 

Sport’s day is a major, whole day event in Japan and mum’s get up in the early hours of the morning to prepare special meals for the family. 

Although this is changing rapidly and nowadays they sometimes opt for pizza delivery instead. 

And it isn’t just a sports’ event. They also have games, dancing and other performances.

And finally here is my bicycle. 

I have a fascination with bicycles because they are such interesting objects. 

At this time, I was drawing my bicycle a lot.

It was an enjoyable fascination.

Sadly I would sometimes do my best drawings on the thick cover of a sketchbook which became quite a problem when saving my work because I couldn’t put it neatly away inside a file along with all the other drawings.

That’s most of the drawings that I have left from this period though there might be one or two more hidden away somewhere in which case they will appear here at some point in the future.

So I will say adieu for now,

Gareth.