India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence

A course by Mika Takahashi
Visual artist and illustrator. São Paulo, Brazil.
Joined October 2019
, Visual artist and illustrator

Explore the possibilities of India ink through techniques inspired by Sumi-e, from the first lines to the finishing touches

  • Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (171)
  • 3805 students
India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence

Explore the possibilities of India ink through techniques inspired by Sumi-e, from the first lines to the finishing touches

Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 99% Positive reviews (171)
  • 3805 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Portuguese
  • Level: Beginner
  • 14 Lessons (1h 1m)
  • Available from the app
  • Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, Italian, French
  • Unlimited access forever

Illustrating with India ink is more than a creative medium of expression, it is a style that develops into a dialogue with other ancestral techniques and cultures. Award-winning artist and illustrator Mika Takahashi uses this technique, inspired by traditional Japanese methods such as Sumi-e and Shodo, to give life to truly expressive pieces.

In this course, Mika will guide you through the entire process to create a composition in India ink from start to finish, exploring all the potential this material has to offer. You will also learn how to paint with precision, create contrasts, light effects, and shadows to convey emotion through this ancient technique.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Wetting feet in ink
  • U2
    U2. Learning to swim
  • U3
    U3. Diving
  • U4
    U4. Returning to the surface
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Get to know Mika’s illustration career so far, how she discovered the technique behind India ink painting, her Japanese influences, and her major professional publications. See some of her most important references, whether it be for technique, a particular topic, or artistic sensibility.

Learn how to look for references to find a theme to develop in your illustration project. Mika shows you the materials you need to carry out your project and teaches you Japanese methods to achieve more precision when using your paintbrushes, such as a series of exercises the explore the possibilities of India ink.

Then, make a start on your illustration strokes, by putting into practice what you learned in the previous exercises. Establish the base of your composition, defining the narrative and hierarchy of your information.

Create your first India ink stains and see how to create light and shadow effects to establish an open feel. Mika teaches you how to do line and area fills with a fine paintbrush.

To finish the course, learn how to apply the final touches to your work manually, how to fix mistakes with white ink and then, how to do the final edits in Adobe Photoshop. Finish the course with a Japanese-influenced illustration that’s ready to print or share on social media.

What is this course's project?

Create an India ink painting with Japanese influence using memories, dreams, photos, or literature.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

For those interested in learning India ink techniques or for artists and illustrators looking for a new means of artistic expression.

What you need

Previous knowledge in illustrating with India ink is not necessary, just an eagerness to draw.

As for materials, you will need different types of paper (rice, cotton, bristol, and newspaper), ink (Sumi-e, ink bar, liquid ink, and gouache), Sumi-e or watercolor paintbrushes, a container, a cloth or paper towels, a pencil, an eraser, a scanner, and a computer with Adobe Photoshop for the final edits.


3805 Students
171 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
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Mika Takahashi

A course by Mika Takahashi

Visual artist and illustrator

Mika started her career working on animation production series, as well as illustrating books for editorials and magazines such as Biruta, Rocco, Melhoramentos, Lote 42, and V&R. In recent years, she has collaborated with independent publications such as A Samurai 1 and 2 by Mylle Silva, 312 Fast Comics Vol 2 by Felipe Cagno, and Selva Gráfica by Joel Lobo.

Her editorial work includes illustrations for comic book covers such as Um cara que caiu do Céu (e não conhecia a vida), Selva Gráfica Vol 2, and Realezas Urbanas. She has held various collective exhibitions such as Contínua (Clube dos Criadores) and Donas da Rua (ONU and Mauricio de Sousa), as well as individual exhibitions like Peças de um Quebra-Cabeças in the Galeria Hipotética. Her published books include Ink Stories and Além dos Trilhos.


  • U1

    Wetting feet in ink

    • Hello! Nice to meet you!
    • Influences
    • What will we do in the course?
  • U2

    Learning to swim

    • Influences on the choice of a theme
    • Materials
    • Line exercises
    • Stain exercises
  • U3


    • Composition
    • Final drawing
    • First spots
    • Contrast
    • Lines and fills
  • U4

    Returning to the surface

    • Manual editing
    • Digital Edition
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Nanjing with Japanese influence

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

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India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence. A Illustration course by Mika Takahashi

India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence

A course by Mika Takahashi
Visual artist and illustrator. São Paulo, Brazil.
Joined October 2019
  • 99% Positive reviews (171)
  • 3805 students