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Delicately Detailed Illustrative Paintings by Goto Atsuko

A painting of a woman with green hair among red flowersAsobi No Tochu, cotton cloth, glue, pigments, gum arabic, ink, lapis lazuli

Japanese artist Goto Atsuko creates delicately detailed illustrative paintings, often featuring somber-looking female faces. Using a pale, desaturated color scheme and great attention to fine details, the artist builds up cold, ethereal beauty.


A painting of a human face wrapped in vines and other foliageDream Monster V, cotton cloth, glue, pigments, gum arabic, ink, lapis lazuli

Atsuko uses an interesting range of media to create these works. Cotton cloth forms the base while glue, pigments and inks are built up over top, lending to the slightly ghostly, translucent appearance of the figures. I really love the way that Atsuko’s faces seem to peek out from lush thickets of foliage – sometimes flower petals or even butterflies act as a veil, concealing any other elements of the figure. These dense backgrounds remind of the work of Hannah Yata


Looking at these works up close, it’s incredible especially to see how the artist renders eyes – each eyelash is painted individually, while highlights and a slight red tint surrounding the eye makes these figures seem warm and alive, if imbued with a certain sadness. 


A painting of a pale girl and a white catTag, cotton cloth, glue, pigments, gum arabic, ink, lapis lazuli

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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