Rough Sketch

First, I do a pencil sketch on colored paper. In my experience, when I get to the next step which involves the lightbox, it's much easier to see the lines separate from the above white piece of paper. I'm very loose, not really caring about details, but more the general form. I tend to carry this on to the proceeding steps


I use an usuzumi (diluted sumi ink) brush pen to outline the lines I want to keep from the sketch. As I detailed before, I use a lightbox to help me with this more complex composition, but sometimes I completely forego the rough sketch portion and just sketch with the usuzumi brush


I add the linework and blacks with a medium sized black brush pen. The finer lines and blotches of black are fun to draw. With this technique, I'm not trying to use as many lines as possible to convey form, but giving the viewer enough information to let their imagination take over the rest.


Here, we fill in some portions with colored ink in the places that might need it. I keep my color palette limited for each piece. In this one, I want yellow, light orange, blue and shuzumi (red-orange sumi.)


Once that's all done, I use a waterpen to dilute some of the blue ink from the Sky Blue brush pen to coat the background with a nice gradation. I make sure to test the dilution of the ink on a separate piece of scrap paper as to not screw up the drawing. Safety first, after all.


And that's it! A finished piece! These generally take me 10 or 15 minutes. I try not to spend any more time on them because I'll pick at them forever.