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Japanese painting tutorial by ShadeofShinon Japanese painting tutorial by ShadeofShinon
Huge file ahoy!

As i promised some time ago, here's a tutorial on Japanese painting. I was very surprised how many people wanted to see a tutorial. I hope I haven't disappointed you. I'm not very good at making tutorials and I have a feeling I may have forgotten to include something important. I tried to share some tips and do a clear step-by-step tutorial but I'm not sure if it's any good.
Also, I'm sorry some of the pictures are so blurry. :/
Oh well, I'll be happy if at least someone finds it useful. :> If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them.

Here's the finished picture: :

Pokemon c Nintendo Gamefreak
Art c =ShadeofShinon
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsal0506:
sal0506 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
This is an amazing tutorial; I've been looking for something similar to this for a while now. Your art is wonderful, as well. <3
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:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you found it useful. :>
Reply
:iconpomnabo:
pomnabo Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for this tutorial!! :D
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! :D
Reply
:iconazumaokami95:
AzumaOkami95 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm impressed with this art piece I really thought it was made by an art program but after seeing this tutorial I was in aw.  You good sir/mam are very good.
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:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconnodnal99:
Nodnal99 Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Wow this should help me lots thanks
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! I'm glad you found it helpful. :>
Reply
:iconzephyrift:
Zephyrift Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Student Artist
Cool! Very clear.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'm glad if you found it helpful. :>
Reply
:iconzephyrift:
Zephyrift Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Student Artist
I may get some watercolour paper and watercolours for myself and a brush pen to try this, thanks for inspiring me!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! I'm glad to hear I inspired you. ^^
Reply
:iconmijaafa:
Mijaafa Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very clear and useful tutorial, thank you! :D I usually use tea instead of coffee when dying my paper because I really dislike the smell of coffee, but this probably won't make a (huge) difference xD
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:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome! I'm glad if you find it useful. :>
Tea is as good as coffee in my opinion. I use coffee because I think it's easier to get strong enough.
Reply
:iconthephantomwolf:
ThePhantomWolf Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student General Artist
It's absolutely beautiful! And I understand a lot more about the art style and how to work in that style, so thank you for putting this up!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm really glad you found it useful. :>
Reply
:iconadmx:
admx Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Thank you SO much for this :heart:
also, I have a question, what if one makes the lineart/borders in the end? or make them twice so there is no colour overlapping or something like that?
I've always loved this style, and right now I'm starting to try out watercolours :aww:
thanks again, and amazing gallery, keep it up!

:heart:
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem at all! I'm glad to hear you found it useful. :>
As for the lineart, in my opinion it doesn't matter whether you do the lineart before or after the colours, it's more about personal preference. I find it easier to do the lineart first and I don't mind the colour overlapping the lines. You can do whatever suits you best. :>
Thank you very much! :heart:
Reply
:iconadmx:
admx Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
Thanks again :heart:
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. :>
Reply
:icontiakaneko:
tiakaneko Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
While this is already EXTREMELY helpful on its own, might I ask for some more tips from you? As in, what are the elements common in Japanese paintings that makes them fit the style? What shapes or themes are prominent? :3
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry for taking so long to reply! I was thinking about your question and then I forgot to reply at all. :I
Anyway, I'm really glad to hear it's helpful!
Hmm, I'll try to make this short and cut the pondering. I'm still trying to study the Japanese art more, but I have learnt something. There are many different styles and techniques in Japanese art, as well as themes. Nature and the beauty of it seems to be very prominent. In most woodcuts, nature plays the biggest part even if there are humans and/or buildings in them. There is often a big landscape, a mountain or something like that. Animals are very common, too, from what I've seen there are a lot of birds in Japanese art. A lot of woodcuts seem to be illustrations of people, a scene or scenery, whereas (ink) paintings seem to be more focused on nature. There is often a very serene atmosphere in those pictures, especially on folding screens and sliding doors. I suppose they were meant to create a certain atmosphere in a room, maybe bring the beauty of nature indoors.
As for techniques, woodblocks are very detailed, defined and sharp. Paintings are more flowing. You can actually see the brush strokes clearly, but there can be a great variety of brush usage, everything from bold strokes to larger painted areas. Anyway, the brush is something I consider very prominent in Japanese art. Also, what I've noticed is that there are a lot of blank spaces in Japanese art. For example, backgrounds can often be depicted with a few vague lines and shapes without getting into detail.
I hope that wasn't too long or vague. Here is a very nice bit about the spirit in Japanese art, I think it might be helpful (and explain things better than I did): [link]
Reply
:icontiakaneko:
tiakaneko Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
AHMG that's quite alright! Hahaha, this is all very interesting and useful, as well! Thank you ever so much! 8'D
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:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem at all. :> That's good to hear.
Reply
:icondevine-consciousness:
devine-consciousness Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
wow this made water coloring alot simpler for me ..thank you i always overwhelm my self with not being able to do something but when you make it in steps and do out lining first it call makes more sense thanks again!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! I'm glad it was useful for you. ^^
Reply
:icondano-ag:
DaNo-AG Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
gracias por el tutorial!!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
De nada!
Reply
:iconmaxwillustration:
MaxWIllustration Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Very helpful tutorial, and amazing artwork done from it! :D
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I'm glad you found it useful. ^^
Reply
:iconcatburglar002:
Catburglar002 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanx for making an awesome tutorial! :D
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem! I'm glad to hear you liked it. :>
Reply
:iconequilonic:
Equilonic Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, that actually made me want to colour with watercolours :D (not my speciality, but I strive to learn).
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's nice to hear! :>
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:iconchercitia:
Chercitia Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist
I've been looking for ways to incorporate a kind of more East Asian style into my art, thanks a lot for this tutorial 8) The coffee is a neat idea, I'll be sure to try it out!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm glad to hear you liked it. :>
Reply
:iconlightingashley25:
LightingAshley25 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
fantastic!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icontimewarpgirl:
timewarpgirl Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
Thank you very much for posting this lovely tutorial.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem at all! I'm glad you liked it. :>
Reply
:iconchrishankhah:
Chrishankhah Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the way you give legendary pokemon such a classy, "ancient" look. Very nice work, and great tutorial! =D
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much! :D I'm glad to hear you like it.
Reply
:iconmegami-mizuno:
megami-mizuno Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Super cute tutorial~ I'll have to try this next time I can get my hands on some watercolors. Where did you buy your colored inks and papers from, though? I find it really interesting that you used coffee to dye the paper. I've also read that you can achieve a similar affect with tea, but the color is a little more brown... The watercolor technique you've developed is really cool, though. >.<

I love the way you put your signature in a traditional Japanese style. It looks almost like one of those signature stamps they use~ There is technically no one way to write Shinon in Kanji. Most names can be written with a few different combinations of kanji, so there isn't one way to write them. What you'd want to do is figure out what you want Shinon to mean, and then try and find some kanji with the pronunciation you like. Here's a few I found, that you might like: 幸穏 (happiness/blessing/fortune & calm/quiet/moderation) and 心温(or 心暖) (the warm feelings of the heart). There's a few ways you can write it with the kanji for poetry or song, but I wasn't sure if music or writing were something you were into. ^^;; I personally think the second one I suggested had the most interesting kanji combo but it's up to you, really.
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry for my late reply!
Thank you very much! I'm glad to hear you liked the tutorial. :>
I bought the paper from Italy because while local art stores in Finland do have Cartiera Magnani watercolour paper, they don't have precisely this paper. I think you can order it online, too, but I got mine from Italy. As for coloured inks, I suggest you to check regular art stores or books stores that have artist supplies as well. I use Winsor and Newton coloured inks, they're pretty good.
And yeah, tea is another option for dyeing paper. I haven't tried it myself but I guess there are a few differences.

And thank you very much for the kanji suggestions! I knew you could use kanji combinations to write names but I haven't studied Japanese nearly enough to even think about combining kanji. ^^' I need to consider using one of those combinations in the future, they look pretty neat and the meanings are nice as well. Oh, and I do like music and writing, too.
Thank you again! I need to write those down. :>
Reply
:iconqzkills:
qzkills Featured By Owner May 2, 2012   Digital Artist
This is just what I needed! I went out and bought all the stuff for this to try it out... hoping it'll be a good investment. Never thought watercolors could be so expensive! You're amazing for writing all of this out. Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! I'm really glad to hear you found it useful! :heart:
Reply
:iconneqqu:
Neqqu Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist
Siis, käytätkö noissa vesivärejä vai peitevärejä? Kun mun englannintaidot ei ihan riittäny :D
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:iconshadeofshinon:
ShadeofShinon Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ihan vesivärejä käytän. :> Peitevärit ei oikein oo mun juttu, tykkään läpikuultavuudesta ja vedellä läträämisestä.
Reply
:iconsilas-gnmx:
silas-gnmx Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
finee....
Reply
:iconpassifloracaerulea:
PassifloraCaerulea Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012
This is awesome - easy to understand and with good pictures! The result looks great.
I'm now using it as a reference to draw a picture for my mums birthday :3 Hope it will be as good as yours...
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