Nue: The Nue

The Nue's true form: a monkey-headed, snake-tailed tiger monster.

This is the star of the show, the monster the play is named after: the Nue.  A creature from Japanese folklore, the Nue has the head of a monkey, the body of a tiger, and the tail of a snake.  As this is the shite or main character (the true form of the boatman), and a supernatural creature, I wanted to make him more colorful and stylized than the rest of the cast.  Somehow I knew from the very first that I wanted him to be wearing green.  I’m afraid the scan is particularly inaccurate as regards color this time.

This was one of those drawings where the rough sketch I made had a certain something which I found very hard to recapture, especially in the head and face.  I was afraid I was going to erase through the paper, I drew and redrew the face of the monster so many times.  And I still think the doodle is better.  Influenced by the prints of Tsukioka Kogyo, Kaneko Kazuma, and Dr. Zaius.

As this completes the cast I won’t be updating as much, I think, but I’ll be working on the set/backdrop pieces and variant puppets for the characters.  I’m pretty happy with these puppets, but they’re the easy part really, just costume drawings more or less.  The rest of it I feel less confident about.  I hope I can pull this off!


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