This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter ut be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
This time, I’m just going to make a list of all important elements I could dig up through my analyses so that when the second season starts, the readers can start interpreting on their own by using this handbook. Furthermore if you go through the list and pay attention to all the small details, then you’ll be able to savor each episode even more, since one chapter a week is not enough. They always seem to be too short, as Painter Of The Night is so addictive. So what did we discover? Based on my observations, I’ll give tips but at the same time develop theories for the second season.
- The characters and their clothes
First, if there is a new character, it is important to observe his clothes and manners. We still have to see the face of Yoon Seungho’s father and his favorite color. Based on one cloth, it is not enough, furthermore the color is difficult to discern: grey or khaki. We discovered that Byeonduck is very particular about the colors and the kind of clothes her figures are wearing. We already know what yellow, orange, black, red, burgundy, pink, green and blue mean. The clothing can give us clues about the person’s true personality. Besides, we have to observe if the headband will resurface again or not and if yes, under which condition, though I doubt it. Furthermore, I was always able to associate the figures to animals (Baek Na-Kyum as a lamb, Yoon Seungho as eagle, Min as magpie/crow and snake, Jung In-Hun as a chameleon, a peacock and a snake, Jihwa as pheasant). Since we will see the younger brother and his father more often, we should try to find the fitting animals. We should do the same for any new character. It helps to discern the person more correctly.
2. The behavior of the characters and their interactions with others
We noticed Yoon Seungho’s passivity as recurrent behavior because even in the final episode, he continues smoking in front of the window at the end of the first season. His inaction was reflected in his refusal to meddle in politics as well therefore he refused to follow Jung In-Hun to the capital. However, I anticipate that Jung In-Hun’s “career”, his brother’s decision to take the civil service examination and the failed attempt of assassination on Baek Na-Kyum will provoke a change. He will be forced to take matters into his own hands. This means that at some point, we won’t view the protagonist smoking like before. My theory is that the lord will become Baek Na-Kyum’s teacher and he could become a real sponsor for the painter encouraging to paint something else too. As for Baek Na-Kyum, we could see a change in his behavior through his hands. First, he touched the main lead on the shoulder with his hand
on his own volition (chapter 16). Remember the protagonist’s reaction, when Jung In-Hun attempted to do the same, he would have been killed if the painter had not intervened hence the latter grabbed the noble’s hand to pledge allegiance. Then during the sex marathon, he brushed the man’s stomach.
Each time, the painter’s hand was used to stop or restrain the master. However, the level of intimacy kept growing. First, the robe separated the physical contact. Then it was just the hand where the uke’s skin could rub the noble’s skin. Finally, it was the aristocrat’s body. However, in the chapter 42,
the artist finally grabs the master’s hand to put it on his stomach in order to encourage the lord to thrust even harder. In other words, while the level of intimacy increased all along, the nature of the gesture has changed. He is taking the initiative, encouraging more intimacy and physical contact. Will the painter take the initiative again at some point? I believe so, then we could compare this scene to the one from the chapter 41-42, where he perceived himself as a prostitute and observe the progression. This will reflect how the painter’s feelings for the master have deepened.
I have to say that their positions during their sexual encounters always reflected the nature of their relationship. When it was from behind, sex mattered more than love or feelings, however during their last sexual encounter, they are facing each other indicating that they have come closer. This represents the climax of their relationship: But here, the noble is taking the initiative again, attempting to show his feelings for the painter.
Concerning Jung In-Hun, I also observed homosexuality had entered his world. First he acted like a pimp and a whore at the same time. Striking is that he not only leads the painter to return to the mansion and as such allows him to become a sodomite officially, but also passes through the door himself. So does this mean that this door marks a turning point in Jung In-Hun’s life as well? Will the readers see him selling himself to an official for his own interests? I am inclined to believe so. Therefore pay attention to his gestures and his “lip service”. Will we see another progression where the teacher’s first sexual encounter symbolizes the climax of this evolution?
Then the readers should pay attention to the behavior of the servants. Will their relationship to the painter improve? We saw that thanks to the lord’s intervention, the domestics stopped gossiping about the artist and their master. Baek Na-Kyum could play a huge role as mediator so that the relationship between Yoon Seungho and the other servants improves. They finally accept him as their true master. Before they showed no respect and loyalty towards their lord (gossiping, the opening of the door of his bedroom, the expressed criticism from the maid in front of his loyal valet). Right now, they just fear him hence they are no longer talking about him behind his back.
3. The locations and their meaning
The locations play a huge role. I pointed out that Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho always had consensual intercourse in Baek Na-Kyum’s chamber. The first time, both had the impression that it was like a dream had come true. The second time the painter was finally admitting his true sexual orientation but perceived himself as a prostitute. When they have sex again, where does it take place? In his chamber or in the master’s room? I am inclined to think that it will be in the commoner’s chamber. On the other hand, we know that Yoon Seungho would like to share his bed with the painter permanently, hence the appearance of the yellow and red bed is an indicator to see if their relationship has improved or not. My theory is that the place will change… at some point, the artist will be willing to do it in the master’s chamber. Besides, I am expecting that they will share a bed together again. Nevertheless, their position will be different. The climax would be that Yoon Seungho lays under the cover just like the painter so that there is no longer a master-servant relationship. In the picture above, there is still a gap between our protagonists. Consequently the cover as wall will disappear. Strictly speaking, look at the position of the cover.
Then the library became a terrible place for the artist who not only had to hear harsh words but also was abandoned there. I can imagine that the artist won’t connect this place with good memories. Besides, he was beaten and brainwashed in a similar place by the low noble Jung In-Hun hence I am quite sure that the low-born doesn’t connect books with good memories. This would explain why he dropped his lessons. However, I have already anticipated that Yoon Seungho will be the one who teaches the low-born how to read and write. So where will this happen? At the library or somewhere else?
The pavilion was important, because this is the location where Yoon Seungho liberated himself from his self-hatred and accepted his sexual orientation. There he saw himself in a different light that’s the reason why he asked the artist to meet him there after the hunt. Therefore the pavilion is linked to a bad memory for Baek Na-Kyum. Will this place appear again and have another symbolic meaning? I have the feeling that the pavilion could become the place where the master will teach the commoner. This would erase the event of the rape but at the same time, become the location of Baek Na-Kyum’s emancipation, just like it occurred to Yoon Seungho. The pavilion could symbolize the protagonists’ liberation in the end. And this would also help the servants to perceive their lord differently and even accept his relationship with the low-born. They would no longer judge him as a sodomite but as an open-minded and caring lord. Remember that he is a supporter for the education of commoners (chapter 6). This could be what he defends later, when he has to go to the capital…
Finally, we have to pay attention to the door and the window too because they are deeply connected to our main characters.
4. The drawings
Then the readers should analyze the images as they are quite important. Why do we see only Seungho’s mouth? If such a drawing appears more often, this indicates the opening up of our beloved seme. He is exteriorizing more and more his thoughts and feelings towards the artist. It is the same when Byeonduck focuses on the hand or Seungho’s gaze. What is the purpose of such images? By each zoom, the “manhwaphiles” should try to think about the meaning.
Then the “manhwaworms” have to pay attention to the chronology of the pictures. I can mention an example from the first season as illustration. At the tailor shop, we have the following sequence:
The author wanted to let the bibliophiles recognize the jealousy of the main lead. He doesn’t say anything but the zoom on the hand represented the lord’s vision. Hence for the second season, we have to question the chronology. Why is there a zoom on the hand in this moment? How about the gaze? Or will the focus on Baek Na-Kyum’s hand reveal another progression, like f. ex. he finally caresses the lord’s face or chest? So far, we never saw him caressing his face or his arms with such a tenderness, while we could observe the main lead kissing the low-born tenderly twice.
Let us not forget that Byeonduck paid attention to the perspective. That’s why we become a sort of voyeur in the chapter 28. We sometimes had the impression we had entered the character’s mind and were witnessing things through the character’s eyes. I could name the fellatio as example. Here we can understand the seme’s fascination for the painter’s gaze. He saw the acceptance in his eyes. But we also entered Jihwa’s mind too.
This is what Jihwa sees when he is awakened by his servant. This outlines how low Jihwa has become. The domestic has to look down on his master. The red-haired man is no longer acting like a noble, he is just a wreck and this could be another foreshadowing for Jihwa’s tragic outcome, the loss of his title as noble.
The use of flashbacks was also relevant. It indicated for example Seungho’s pangs of conscience and Baek Na-Kyum’s repressed memories (the physical abuse) and sexual desires. The painter’s flashback in the chapter 40 mirrored the progression of his critical thinking and the increasing influence of Yoon Seungho. Here, he did listen to the lord’s remark and questions.
Byeonduck uses colors like pink to show the sexual desires and phantasms. Will we see it again and what does it mean?
5. The presence of the mirror
In the first season, the mirror had different functions. It served to reveal Jihwa’s personality (his vanity, superficiality), to foreshadow the future of our protagonists or reflect the painter’s natural desires or to liberate the uke from the coercive persuasion done by the vicious teacher.
Remember that I described the lord as someone who feared people’s gaze until he saw the artist’s first painting. However, we never saw the noble looking at his own image in the mirror alone. Even during the sex marathon, he could only see his gaze but the uke was in the middle, as if he was used as a shield. It would be interesting to witness this because this would mean that Seungho is finally able to accept his own identity and he no longer needs to perceive his own reflection in the painter’s gaze, he is longing for love and acceptance there.
Notice that till the end, the master is looking at the painter’s eyes. Sure, he would like to recognize the satisfaction and desire in the painter’s gaze, yet I feel that our aristocrat is still looking at his own reflection in the artist’s eyes. It is important for him to see acceptance and love in the partner’s gaze.
6. Baek Na-Kyum’s paintings
They revealed a lot about the low-born’s state of mind and his relationship with the lord. The last drawings we saw in the chapter 41 revealed that there was no deep feelings for the lord, he only painted automatically, like a machine. They were not detail-oriented, especially the artist’s facial expressions were still missing. So we have to pay attention to his future creations. They will serve as an indicator of his feelings for the lord. Simultaneously, the drawings will reflect an improvement in his self-esteem. So far, Baek Na-Kyum has a low self-esteem created by the teacher. That’s why there is no facial expression on his face and he stands far away from Jung In-Hun in the painting of his inauguration. His erotic paintings should ooze love and warmth as time passes on and maybe the artist will be encouraged by Seungho to draw something else. In other words, the readers should look carefully to the future paintings.
7. The language and names
The manhwaphiles should pay attention to the choice of words of the characters, especially concerning Jung In-Hun and Yoon Seungho. Although both are masters of deception, the powerful noble distinguishes himself from the low noble by his expertise, when it comes to words. He can be sarcastic (chapter 6/37) but behind the irony, we can detect his true thoughts. Through his ironical remarks, we might even discover more clues about his traumatic past. Moreover he often uses metaphors, like when he compares Min to a mouse and in the final chapter he spoke about “lip service” which was quite ambiguous. He loves teasing the painter. Savor the noble’s intelligence, sarcasm and his jokes.
Besides, remember how Baek Na-Kyum is called by the other characters: a charlatan, an ill-bred curs, a vermin, etc. Only the main lead called him in a positive way, either “Na-Kyum” or “boy” (chapter 31). Even there he didn’t insult the low-born despite his jealousy and anger.
The manhwaworms have to pay attention to the way the lord addresses to our painter. This will reflect if their relationship has progressed. It is the same for the artist. Till the end, he calls Yoon Seungho “my lord”, even when he moans. It would be really great to witness how the lord asks Baek Na-Kyum to call him by his name or a “nickname”. At some point, I had even envisaged that Baek Na-Kyum would call him “learned sir”, yet I have some doubt about it because it would be a constant reminder of the former teacher. Calling him by a nickname or his name would represent another step in the transformation of their relationship. They would no longer be master and servant.
I hope, I didn’t forget anything. If I did, then you are more than welcome to point out the missing elements so that I have to update the manual. I hope that my readers and followers will appreciate this manual and help them to have a better understanding of the story. Just like the main lead, I am encouraging my readers to critical thinking. Remember that Yoon Seungho triggered the painter’s critical thinking through questions, he never told him what to think.
As you can observe, I’m still acting like a teacher, even if I am writing these analyses. That’s why I described myself on twitter “teacher till the end”.
Feel free to comment or to give any suggestion for an analysis (topic, manhwas). If you enjoyed reading it, either retweet it or push the button “like” so that this writing doesn’t become pointless. My twitter/tumblr/instagram account is @bebebisous33. Thanks for the support.