Started by Nelson Failing

This challenge is open to all artists, whatever your medium.

Please post your finished artwork in this discussion thread.

We're looking forward to seeing the diversity in art created by one reference/inspiration photo!

For copyright reasons, we are supplying a link below of the reference photo.


In the early stages of Japanese history, there were female entertainers: saburuko (serving girls) were mostly wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s.[6] Some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings. After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyō (Kyoto) in 794 the conditions that would form Japanese Geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite.[6] Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyōshi dancers, thrived.

Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights (it is not a Shinto taboo) and men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives. The ideal wife was a modest mother and manager of the home; by Confucian custom love had secondary importance. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to their wives, but to courtesans. Walled-in pleasure quarters known as yūkaku (遊廓、遊郭?) were built in the 16th century,[7] and in 1617 the shogunate designated "pleasure quarters", outside of which prostitution would be illegal,[8] and within which "yūjo" ("play women") would be classified and licensed. The highest yūjo class was the Geisha's predecessor, called "Oiran", a combination of actress and prostitute, originally playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, and this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning "to be wild and outrageous". The dances were called "kabuki," and this was the beginning of kabuki theater.[8]

These pleasure quarters quickly became glamorous entertainment centers, offering more than sex. The highly accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing, singing, and playing music. Some were renowned poets and calligraphers. Gradually, they all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose. It was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the pleasure quarters, called geisha, appeared. The first geishas were men, entertaining customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans (oiran).[8]

The forerunners of the female geisha were the teenage odoriko ("dancing girls"):[9] expensively trained as chaste dancers-for-hire. In the 1680s, they were popular paid entertainers in the private homes of upper-class samurai,[10] though many had turned to prostitution by the early 18th century. Those who were no longer teenagers (and could no longer style themselves odoriko[11]) adopted other names—one being "geisha", after the male entertainers. The first woman known to have called herself geisha was a Fukagawa prostitute, in about 1750.[12] She was a skilled singer and shamisen-player named Kikuya who was an immediate success, making female geisha extremely popular in 1750s Fukagawa.[13] As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers (rather than prostitutes) often in the same establishments as male geisha.[14]

Views: 2240

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Georgette this is absolutely stunning!...Pinning!!!
cheekyjane said:

she is fab Georgette,,,,love her....xx

Georgette Livingston said:

My entry into the 'Geisha' challenge.  Love all that have been posted!  Super idea, Mr. Nelson!  ♥  Her name is Plum Blossom ~~~ Acrylic 5 x 7 on Canson Mi-teintes French art paper.

Beautiful Jane!...pinning!

cheekyjane said:

You all have done such a beautiful job on this Geisha girls, might have to try this one.

It's Nike Mz Pat...and Wray, this is awesome...I don't think I have the patience to do did good girl!
Jo Flockton said:

Pat,I believe there's a sports company that says "Just do it" lol!

Pat said:

Nice job Wray......I bought scratch boards months ago and haven't touched them yet...guess I'm a little

Wraymona Low said:

Oh My. So many nice and different looks. I like all of them. Well, I'll add mine, but it's very obvious I have a lot of practice coming with this scratch board art. I will persevere :-) Wray♥

I don't think I could do scratchboard myself...looks too time consuming for
Wraymona Low said:

I used the acrylics on her head dress and the white of her face. The facial features and lines of her kimono, I used ultra fine tipped sharpies. I'm not sure I'm gonna try this again. I was frustrated in while doing it. I didn't really have the best tools. I'll give it more thought and preparation before attempting it again. 

Wray, this is wonderful, most especially on scratchboard.  But good no matter what it's on!

Wraymona Low said:

Oh My. So many nice and different looks. I like all of them. Well, I'll add mine, but it's very obvious I have a lot of practice coming with this scratch board art. I will persevere :-) Wray♥

Geisha Girl 1 - Ballpoint Pen on Vellum. 


wow everyone is such an artist.I ike them all

beautiful Daryl.

Daryll Geddes said:

Geisha Girl 1 - Ballpoint Pen on Vellum. 

Very nice Daryll!

Daryll Geddes said:

Geisha Girl 1 - Ballpoint Pen on Vellum. 

Very nice Mr Nelson....I didn't even start mine
Nelson Failing said:


Reply to Discussion



New to the site? Check out our Guide to Getting Started.

Please take a moment to read our Member Guidelines. Thanks!

Need help?

If you need assistance with this site, please visit the Site Help forum where the moderators and/or other members will assist you.


The Art Colony is a fun online art community for artists of all abilities working in painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture and handicrafts! Join us and share your art, ask questions, receive tips, and make new friends!


It is 100% FREE to join the Art Colony and always will be!


Artist and Owner of The Art Colony                      

The Art Colony is co-run by a fabulous team of enthusiastic moderators:






© 2019   Created by Jane Miles. All Rights Reserved.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service