Creativity tutorials

Illustration Tutorial: Ink Strokes And The Sumi-e Technique

Award-winning artist and illustrator Mika Takahashi shows us how to explore the possibilities of India ink by getting our hands dirty to learn how paint, water, and different papers react

Created over 2,000 years ago, India ink is made up of carbon nanoparticles that have a unique effect on paper. Illustrating with this material is more than a means of creative expression; the possibilities are endless and unpredictable.

In this tutorial, award-winning artist and illustrator Mika Takahashi shows us how to explore the possibilities of India ink to create mesmerizing marks:

How to create ink strokes with India ink on watercolor paper

To begin with, you will need a small bowl of water and a bowl of Indian ink, as well as watercolor paper. Choose some old clothes that can be stained. If necessary, protect the table and nearby furniture with an old cloth to keep it from getting dirty. However, one important rule: let yourself get dirty. Don’t hold back. It is precisely in the "messiness" that the creative potential of this technique lies.

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