Best seller

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

  • Best seller Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 97% positive reviews (277)
  • 5590 students

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
  • 97% positive reviews (277)
  • 5590 students
  • 14 lessons (1h 1m)
  • 25 additional resources (11 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Portuguese
  • Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • 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.

What will you learn in this online 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 this online course for?

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

Requirements and materials

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.


5590 Students
277 Reviews
97% Positive ratings

Mika Takahashi

A course by Mika Takahashi

Teacher Plus
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

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific 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 teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence. Illustration course by Mika Takahashi Best seller

India Ink Illustration with Japanese Influence

A course by Mika Takahashi
Visual artist and illustrator. São Paulo, Brazil.
Joined October 2019
  • 97% positive reviews (277)
  • 5590 students