Draw a bad-ass geisha

In this geisha illustration I wanted to capture a grungy, dark, urban vibe, laced with elegant traditional Japanese elements. I thought about how to draw people to make them as interesting as possible, and the idea that kept coming up again and again was to make her ‘bad-ass’. That’s the core essence of Geiko – she's a geisha turned self-serving samurai, a vigilante within a dangerous cyberpunk universe. I got the idea from a competition to design a geisha or samurai character.

Here, I’ll explain how I developed this Geiko illustration, and my whole thought process and approach to the character design. You’ll pick up tips on how to push your ideas forward and craft the final details. I want to leave you with concepts and art techniques you can adapt and use in your own work. So let’s start with the most crucial bit...

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Gennaro works as a freelance concept artist. He loves coffee and free chocolate, and spends his time chilling with his wife and dog Bruno.