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!