Cutting & Construction (Fushimi Inari Taisha)

I remembered to capture a bit more of the process in this Japanese inspired painting of the Fushimi Inari Taisha. The cutting and placement of the raised layers are always a challenge. And for the blog it’s particularly difficult to show the different angles you get when viewing the piece up close (I love how it reveals itself as you lean in!). Here’s a little video, constructing the layers and trying to move the viewpoint around…


Those red Torii gates are so striking. They really do stand out against the black backing and frame. Read on for some more info on the Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社). An important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. Famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails leading into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.

It is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds.

The hiking trail starts with two dense, parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii (“thousands of torii gates”). The torii along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, with their name and date inscribed on the back of each gate.
Fushimi Inari Taisha - Illustration by Jonathan Chapman
Follow the #paperdiorama or #japan tag on the blog for more illustrations like ‘Fushimi Inari Taisha’. I’d love to hear more of your suggestions too. Drop me a line using the contact form or say hello online with facebooktwitter or instagram. This little painting has also been included on the artist support pledge tag (#artistsupportpledge).