Ink Drawing Techniques : Fast & Fun Creative Boost with Therapeutic Approach | Karina Eibatova | Skillshare

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Ink Drawing Techniques : Fast & Fun Creative Boost with Therapeutic Approach

teacher avatar Karina Eibatova, Use a pencil as a magic wand

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Join Me


    • 2.

      Materials & More


    • 3.

      Grind the Ink & Slow Down


    • 4.

      Inspiration / My Works


    • 5.

      What is Ensō?


    • 6.

      Choose Your Spirit Animal: One Line Challenge


    • 7.

      Therapeutic Tree: Family & Friends


    • 8.

      Cheap Brush? Yes, no, maybe.


    • 9.

      Flower as a Self-portrait


    • 10.

      Paint Your Planet


    • 11.

      Bamboo / Beyond Tradition


    • 12.

      Improvise! Ink & Watercolour


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About This Class

This class will guide you through various ink, brush pen, watercolour expressions and techniques.

We will use:

Rice paper

Black Ink

Coloured Ink

Asian Brushes


Brush Pens


We will work with free style abstract  and figurative shapes and objects.

Also you will see the process of grinding ink and I will show you some cool magical stamps which end each session in such an interesting manner.

In this class I will demonstrate how to make the most from the minimal movements of the brush.

Because of the specific of the materials used in the class, in one session we can make about 10 artworks easily. Sounds fun, isn’t it?

The only extra effort I encourage you to do is:

Try and Get a new set of asian materials.

We will be observing the flow of ink through the special asian brushes and understanding the energy of the line, it’s movement and density.

Any level of students are welcome, because:

We all can draw, at least a line. Thats enough!

In this class, there is no need for creating the magnificent outcome, the main focus here is the joy of creating something easy and fun, with absence of judgmental critics from the mind of the creator.

I encourage you to connect with  your own feelings and creative flow:

Make beautiful lines, funny twists, ugly shapes, aggressive strokes, monotone textures, put them in balance or make a complete mess, it does not really matter what you will do, just express your inner feelings.

The best outcome of the class is as much evidence of the expressed emotions, whichever they are.

Be yourself and do not afraid to use all paper in the block in order to feel as if you have said all you could say or shout out through this special  material.

Ink is a very good tool for making fast and easy statement of the mood. Get in the flow, create for yourself, not for someone else to like it, or to prove something to others or even don’t try to prove anything to yourself.

We keep so much stress inside ourselfs and sometimes we cannot access help of the psychotherapist or support of our loved ones, therefore

artistic expressions can be your free fun therapy where the paper will listen to everything you want to yell, whisper or tell about.

Be brave and take it easy!

We all can do it if we concentrate on what we have, rather then do not have and start .

One line is enough.

*If you ( actually ) cannot find online or offline any materials I am showing in the class, then you are welcome to use watercolors and basic paper.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Karina Eibatova

Use a pencil as a magic wand


I am Karina Eibatova, illustrator & artist born in St.Petersburg, Russia.

I have been fortunate enough to make a living solely from my artworks.

& I am grateful to share the creative process and reveal some of my favourite tips on Skillshare.





I specialise in:

drawing painting illustration murals video typography

My portfolio reveals colourful surrealist explorations as well as more traditional approaches. 

You are welcome to follow me on instagram & Facebook.




See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Join Me: Hello. I'm Karina Eibatova. I'm well-known around the world, and mostly, I specialize in the fields of graphics. I have studied in multiple art institutions and I worked for numerous companies and locations. My work is always dedicated to nature and I really love graphics in more or less contemporary way. This class has an aim to create a spark in the creativity process, to let go of the fears, and to enjoy an easy-going process of creating ink drawings. This class will be interesting for all levels, and I believe that art should be used as therapy, and in this class, I will demonstrate how to have fun while creating fast and simple artworks in the Asian style. I will also share with you my love for Japan and Asian tools. I'm sure this class will help you to create a less controlled way to understand yourself better and to enjoy the speed of doing your first ink artwork, which could then decorate your window. Believe me, drawing or painting skill is something you won't learn in the cutting edge contemporary art institutions. The most important is the ability to show your expressions, thoughts, concepts, and to be in the flow of innovative ideas. Nowadays, you don't need to be able to draw or paint in the traditional way in order to become an artist. In contemporary art institutions, I was taught to let go the idea of making perfect picture, to step away from skill and overdoing with work. Join the class to learn something new, relax, have fan, and bring your statement out there. 2. Materials & More: Hello, welcome to my studio. Here I have some bamboo plants in the glasses. My favorite Leo dino and a rose quartz. A lovely Japanese cup with Geisha, and everything else for making some cool ink drawings. First of all, it is important to get a rice paper. Rice paper is the main type of paper used for sumi-e and calligraphy. I have here in a roll and in a pack. Then I will be working with Asian brushes. But if you are a beginner, you can go with watercolor brushes they're easier to use. I have three different sizes here. All is made from real hair: Goat and horse. Here are the precious ink in colors which we will grind and use. What's so magical do I have here? This beautiful bug in the box is actually also ink. Imagine, look. But I keep it only for inspirational purposes. It's way too gorgeous to grind it. It is a black ink and actually not golden as it looks like. Here is the Chinese ink for multiple purposes. This one is just basic cheap ink. We will use mostly ready-made ink, but let me show you how to grind the ink from the solid shape. This stone is for the beginners. There are more advanced versions of the ink-grinding stone. It comes in the rectangle shape. Of course, it will be great if you find some stamps, the best, of course, the one with your name craved on it. This one is my favorite. Let me demonstrate how to use it right now. It is so big and detailed. I guess it wouldn't be used in traditional sumi-e ink drawings, but since we are going beyond tradition in this class, why not using a geisha stamp? It adds life into the image. Suddenly there is a person walking with umbrella. Now I'm going to draw around it. So the stamp was rather a starting point than ending as it usually is. Also, we're going to use calligraphy ink pens. It's good if you can find different sizes of the pen brushes. I'm using a smaller brush pen with nice warm yellow rain here. If you can find anything that looks like a marker with a brush point, go for it, and a little cloud. She has an umbrella for a reason, right? I have to say that in Japan people love umbrellas so much. We need rice paper which comes sized and in rolls. If you cannot get it please use a watercolor paper. Preferable, Asian brushes, and maybe some watercolors. Ink, at least one black color and maybe other colors as well. 3. Grind the Ink & Slow Down: Ink for Japanese calligraphy usually comes not in liquid form. As you can see it is a solid stick. A compressed mixture of vegetable soup with glue that the calligrapher grinds with some water on a special ink stone to produce liquid ink. Let's try it. Pour some water in the ink stone and take the stick and keep it upright and start making circular movements. Just continued doing it again and again. It's a very meditative practices. Imagine that up until recently, Chinese and Japanese calligraphers never had liquid ink. They always had to make it themselves from scratch. Red in Japan is a very important color and it is usually called as aka in Japanese. Imagine that in Japanese culture, sand has a red color. The national flag called Nisshōki has a red circle on a white background, meaning the sun Circle, or the Land of the Rising Sun. Really love this color, it's bright, fresh red. This is why I have chosen this color first to show you how to grind, and then we'll try some other colors. It is ready now. We just need to pour it in the special ink plate. But you can also use any small plate or a jar. This is how the ink stick looks now after two and a half minutes of grinding. I didn't make much of the ink though. I bought these in Qlik official in Malaysia and it was really cheap. It's nice to have few of them for different colors. You can also mix ink and get different shades. Let's try to see what kind of green we can extract from the solid ink stick. It's quite exciting because you don't really know what kind of color you will get until you grind it in water. You might have tried different colors in the Western ink bottles already but this Asian approach with the colored ink has a very different quality and colors and vibrancy. Wow, such a beautiful color, I didn't expect it to be so bright and so cool like little bit of pastel touch. I like this green. After a while, the ink becomes brighter and thicker. You can add some more water during the grinding process, if necessary. Grind the ink stick until the ink is thick and dense so you actually see the color. But the practice, you will learn to determine the perfect thickness of the ink that you want. It is best to store it in a box until the next time you want to use it. The quality of this ink depends on the type of wood and the kind of vegetable oils used in the production process. There are a few factors that will define the process. The type of paper you use, the brash, the pressure you make on the paper, and even the weather. 4. Inspiration / My Works: Let's see what I've done with ink and get inspired. This piece is done in combination of ink and watercolor. The stamp here makes the whole composition alive. He is walking down the yellow line into nowhere. This Greek piece was created at my workshop. The stamp means hard work will be rewarded. Many Japanese people work 11 hours a day. Here, I have Zen circle. In Dan tradition, [inaudible] means a circle like that. This one is from my workshop where I was introducing drawing into contemporary dance class. We had to move as a line, one color for one line, one movement. I like dancing. A G-shaped straight line was easy. This blue ball was just something like jumping as a bouncing ball. Here, I used the pattern background with little brown dots, that creates an atmosphere. The frames on the bottom and top. I'm using this trick a lot like here I used the silver paint and the frame was silver. I used blue watercolor, silver plus the color made in Japan. Here I have a repeated element, a red oval with a small burgundy color dot, creating a pattern which balance the composition. In this drawing, I was expressing my feelings without much of the concern how the lines look like. This is what you should definitely try doing if you don't want to hold all the anger in you and you don't know how to express your confusion, frustration, anger, etc. This one is just cute and looks like it means something. Here, at first I created a wet shape and then filled it with ink after I added some lines with brush pen. This one is probably a smiling potato, why not? It's dancing and it's happy. Here I used one fat brush and added four strokes with medium brush. Rice paper in fact, has a miraculous absorbency. It requires a firm and experienced brush handling. Fast movements of the brush, so it is a slow practice with fast moves. For creating vivid, energetic and vibrant brush strokes, we have to master a bit of moisture control. Otherwise, ink and watercolors will run and this is very tricky indeed. Don't be upset if it won't work from the first time. Luckily, this paper is cheap and usually comes in a pack. Just grab a new sheet of paper, if you are not satisfied with the results you have. Try to be as non economical here as you can. For example, you can do the same line until you're satisfied. Just be in a creative flow, do it again and again over and over. Like [inaudible] exercises, you don't expect to get into the right state of mind after just one move. You have to practice the same movement over and over again to reach the result. It's the same here. Art takes practice. 5. What is Ensō?: Let's make a Zen Circle, it is the symbol of Buddhist enlightenment. In Zen tradition, enso is a Japanese word meaning circle. It is always hand-drawn in one or two, and inhibit brush strokes to express a moment when the mind is free but focused and relaxed, and it lets the body create. Try making a few circles until you're satisfied. I decided to add a red circle to support my main enso. In the Buddhist tradition, enlightenment was compared to the bright full moon or a great round mirror. Actually, it is the most common object in Japanese calligraphy. Despite being a symbol and not an ideogram, you probably have seen it everywhere. This symbol refers to the beginning and end of all things, the circle of life and the connection of existence. It also can't symbolize emptiness or fullness, presence or absence, quite a dualistic symbol. Enso is the symbol of strength, elegance, the universe, the unique mindset, and actually the artist's state of mind at the time of creation, and the acceptance of imperfection as perfect. This is what I would like you to appropriate from this class. Enso is the manifestation of the present moment and expression of absolute complete enlightenment. Enso can also represent the reflection of the moon in the water. It is a representation of our attentive and intimate self. Enso stands for a lot of things. Like all symbols, you can find many other meanings for enso. An interesting fact that it is both full and empty. Here is my circle, and I'm quite happy with it. 6. Choose Your Spirit Animal: One Line Challenge: This is rice paper and Chinese ink plus Chinese or Japanese brushes. This is a task in which I'm drawing a snake. I will start with one simple stroke. It is interesting to try making the shape in just one line and then go with the details around it. It is very important to be really present for making one line drawing. Here is the body and I'm going to add a tongue with red watercolor. I'm just finishing the head, smoothing it out. I will make a little bit of the snake skin with a simple cross lined pattern. It's almost ready, just making it look smoother. Now I'm going to add something, I decided to go with the frame using red watercolor. I'm adding the line in the bottom too. Red lines really make it strong, you can try it out and see how the picture is more finished. The last step, it has a magical box in it and a special Chinese stem made from the stone. I bought this set in calligraphy Chinese shop in Penang, Malaysia. The sentence was translated to me as something like, hard work will be rewarded. That's true. Hard work will be rewarded. I use the special paint for stamping. It's thick and super bright red. It makes it look really finished. But wait, look what I bought when I was in Italy during Venice Biennale in 2019. By the way, check it out online and one is coming in 2021. It's a grand event. It is a handmade glass dip pen from Venice. Did you know that the glass dip pen is one of the oldest types of writing instruments? This looks like a magical wand in my tool set collection. It has the individual glass pattern, each pen is unique. Easy, simple and fun. 7. Therapeutic Tree: Family & Friends: Now we're going to paint a tree. I'm choosing a bonsai tree. I have found this one, which I really like. I'm fond of bonsai trees. It is a Japanese art form which is around 1,000 years old. You're welcome to choose any tree you like. First, I would like you to try using pen brush. Just look at this chosen picture, I'm trying to mimic the nature of lines. We don't need to draw it realistically, so try just grasping the curves of the lines. Try also tune it into the flow and make it freely and fast. Now I'm fitting it with chaotic lines. Doing it fast. I'm almost drawing clumps. Bonsai branches are very wavy and curvy. If you have also chosen the bonsai tree, try making the lines as the waves in the sea. It has a lot of branches which are like curly hair, curving and spreading all over. Bonsai is cultivation of small and cute tiny trees that mimic the shape and scale of full-size trees. That's what makes them so special. The proportions of the tree is pretty much the same. I have seen bonsai trees all around Asia. Some of them are just epic, although small. Now after making the first lines of the branches, I'm adding the additional lines for making the shapes more real. Well, now it looks more like a tree, then curl the leaves. Now I'm taking the brush and adding some shades with ink. Filling in the rest of the texture. Don't forget about the scars of the branches that has fallen off. Creating this round shapes will make it look more real, like an old, cute, tiny bonsai tree. Now we're getting to the most interesting part. I'm using the green pen brush from Japan. I encourage you to dedicate each leaf to one person. Think about him or her and draw a leaf. Let's try and remember all people around us who were around at some point and who are by our side at this moment. Now I'm taking the blue marker with a border color in it. You can use watercolors if you don't have a colored marker. The Japanese style and painting the sky; simple, rough, and fast. As simple as that. After adding water into the paper, the shape is spreading out creating beautiful shapes. I decided while waiting till it's dry to use the time and put a stamp on it. The stamp means the fragrance of ink. Remembering everybody is an interesting experience. It takes time before you remember someone and draw a leaf. Make as much leaves as you want. Remember as many people as you wish. It is your family and friends tree. You'll look at it and know that you're not alone actually, even if it feels like that sometimes. Remember, we all feel alone every now and then. But we are all together in this world and in this loneliness. Be grateful for what you have and what you had as well. Honor those who made an impact on you, who made you smile, helped to grow, opened your heart or your mind. Honor those who were just there next to you. A little bit of greens on the tree. There is always growing something on the tree. Now I'm adding some greens in the bottom. Tree isn't growing alone just in Asia. Since bonsai is an Asian tree, you're welcome to add these non greens on the tree. I hope your tree is as rich as you needed to be rich. Well, here's my tree. I'm very proud of it, and I see that I'm not alone. This has a therapeutic effect on me. Please share your family and friends tree. Let's make a bonsai garden together. 8. Cheap Brush? Yes, no, maybe.: Now I'm going to demonstrate how to use a brush. I will be using a very, very cheap brush. I would recommend to buy a medium or expensive one, but you can also work with a cheap brush if you just want to try it out. First, you soak the brush in water, then dry it off with a paper napkin. Now when the brush is still wet, you get some ink and you don't need to immerse the brush entirely. Because as hair, the wet brush goal will soak the ink and be loaded with it. Let's give it a try. Okay, I already can feel that it is hard to control the line. To manage the density and width of the line is really hard with a cheap brush. Yeah, the quality is not as good. But maybe you will have a better luck with cheap Asian brushes. Anyway, in this particular class, try to take it easy. I want to demonstrate the quality of its lines so you understand why it is important to buy a decent brush. 9. Flower as a Self-portrait: Let's try using this ink and make drawing of the orchid. When I was transporting it to the studio from home, I have lost the flower on the way, it broke. This one is from the supermarket. But an interesting fact that another branch with orchids appeared while I was editing the class. This is so beautiful now. I'm starting with leaves, the rice paper is really transparent and easy to mark. The remainings of the blank ink on the surface are going through the paper. I decided to let it go, I like this texture and [inaudible] It's very good to use a real flower while painting because you can see where each line goes, and it makes more sense for you. You understand the shape better when looking at the object in real life, you study the physics of it. I can even go to the jungles and find one there, but somehow it is easier to film in the studio, so we are here. Now it is time to use the handmade red ink. First, I'm outlining the contour of the flower, just trying to repeat the natural lines of the petals. I think it would be better if I left it like that. But then I decided to fill in the shapes. I like class now, but if it's just a tryout, and anyway, we're doing floral paintings for the sake of connection with nature. 10. Paint Your Planet: Here I would like to demonstrate the mixed technique of watercolors and ink. This time, let's start with pale skin watercolors. Do you have those? If not, you can use white, a little bit of yellow and pink. Now, we're continuing painting on it when the surface of the paper is really wet. I like this process because you never get really tired from the image, it's so fast. Just keep on expressing yourselves on the paper without thinking much of what you are doing, of what you are going to paint, and whether you like it or not. Of course, we all want to like what we're doing. But it also important to just express yourself with abstract whatever and keep it simple in non-judgmental way. I'm taking the dry brush now, to bring the contrast between painting wet-on-wet technique and simple dry one lines strokes. I'm adding a bit of bright yellow color in a [inaudible] manner. This reminds me a bit of a leopard pattern. I love painting circles. Also, I love adding small details in the end. We are used to please our eyes with balanced and beautiful stuff. But in the contemporary art museums, people learn that art is an expression and it can be any expression created in basically, any shape, form, or existence. It is a language and one cannot learn the language without grasping one word after another, so seeing other people's artwork is essential. Adding lines so they are parallel to each other will help creating a harmonious pattern, so keep that in mind. This Japanese brush can make really thin lines. Finally, it's time for a very special to lady. I bought this stamp in Malaysia in their store where they mainly sell art tools from Korea and Japan. This stamp makes all drawings alive, of course. Now, it looks like a planet or something. I also love the red color, so I decided to add a bit of red to support the Japanese lady in kimono and umbrella. Also, I'm adding a little bit of red dots inside the circle, so this red is somehow connecting the planet and the lady. Now it's finished. 11. Bamboo / Beyond Tradition: Bamboo. This one is not done in traditional Sumi-e manner, but still looks Asian. I would like for you to try that. Take an object such as bamboo or whatever. Draw it somehow figurative, realistic, and then turn it into some more abstract stuff. Why is it so popular in traditional ink Sumi-e paintings? Bamboo. I guess because we see it in Asia everywhere. Also because the Asian brush has a perfect shape for making the lines of the leaves and the trunk, and often the brush itself is made from bamboo itself. It is best to see the object in real life and have kind of a still life. Now I'm turning this into more expressionist style of work, and also remember, we are here for creating the not perfect image and not traditional image, but to have a relaxing fun process. This is not just beautiful words, we're trying hard to not judge ourselves. Remember, you create the rules. It is your practice and you can make it as weird as you like. 12. Improvise! Ink & Watercolour : Now we're going to make some more abstract art. Isn't it cool? Take the brush, load it with water and make a stroke, just clean water. Now we can fill the brush with ink and we can start making these very random, unexpected fittings with ink in our wet shape. Just follow the flow and let your thoughts pass by, but be very present. Just be here with the line, inhale deeply and exhale through the move. Transport the energy through your breath onto the paper. Don't think much, just improvise. Just express yourself and take as much time and paper as you need. Now we're going to add a bit of color. Choose one color in the watercolor set, or maybe a colored ink, and continue making random expressions that bring the balance to the picture or take the balance away. Remember it is not above making the picture perfect, it's about the process. Final step as a ritual of closing the session, making a stamp feels really satisfying, believe me. Try to feel that real love. This one translated from Chinese as fragrance of ink.