Doodlewash by Naoko Ebihara - watercolor sketch and painting of roses

Doodlewash by Naoko Ebihara - watercolor sketch and painting of animals, calendar page from Japan in JapaneseMy name is Naoko Ebihara and I’m from Tokyo, Japan (follow me on Instagram!I actually enjoyed doodlewashing in my teens, more than 30 years ago. The image of many animals is the spread of a picture book I made at the age of 14. I sketched various live animals at the zoo, drew them on a paper at one go, and put some watercolors. I simply loved to do so.

Doodlewash by Naoko Ebihara - watercolor sketch and painting of cherry blossomsI never thought of art as my career, and went on in my life away from drawing. Although I’ve always tried to carry a sketchbook, it never filled up.

Doodlewash by Naoko Ebihara - watercolor sketch and painting of ceramic pot vaseThen after many years, I had the chance to stay in Sydney, Australia for several years. I had good time to alter my path to study graphic design at school. There I met Murray Zanoni (passed away in 2004) who was a lecturer of watercolor. I was struggling to make fine paintings, but one day he pointed out my pen doodles and said, ‘Do this. Make it happen! You can do.’ He also taught me about the master Paul Hogarth. This wonderful encounter has encouraged me to love my own way, going back to the simple lines and wash, just as I enjoyed in my teens!

Doodlewash by Naoko Ebihara - watercolor sketch and painting of broccoliMy old story was like that. Now I enjoy drawing everyday things, at my own pace. I like to draw with positive lines at one go. I never erase or redo my lines however they may look wrong or imperfect. I use waterproof fine liners, such as Pigma Micron or Pilot Drawing pens. When I prefer to see the flow of the ink, I use Rotring Artpen or Lamy Safari to fill with waterproof inks, such as Daler Rowney Calli, or Sailor pigment inks. They also have some colors. I used green ink for my broccoli doodlewash.

As for watercolors, I’ve used 24 colors of Pelican for years. Those vivid colors are just fine to make my lines look alive. I recently started to use Leuchtturm1917 sketchbook whose clean white surface is nice for inks and light wash. I also have a shop page at Tokyu Hands (a huge Japanese stationery shop). Though the site is in Japanese and the products are only sold in Japan, you can see images of my greeting cards I designed by clicking here. It’s always fun to try, and keep on doing!

Naoko Ebihara
Shop on Tokyu Hands

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  1. M. L. Kappa 6 years ago

    Good stuff! Pleased to meet you, thanks to Charlie! X, Marina

  2. Jessica Seacrest 6 years ago

    Hi Naoko, I love what you said here- “I never erase or redo my lines however they may look wrong or imperfect.” To me, there is something very beautiful in that practice. I also love the colors you use. your work is instantly identifiable by them.

  3. YesterdayAfter 6 years ago

    Very nice to discover your beautiful work Naoko! I love your loose colors and fast way to paint! And that you don’t erase lines make it more precious! I wish you all the best keep doodling! <3

  4. Sharon Mann 6 years ago

    Beautiful watercolor Naoko, I love your subject matter. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Thank you Charlie.

  5. memadtwo 6 years ago

    Wonderful colors! so fresh and clean. (K)

  6. Naoko (@penandblue) 6 years ago

    Thank you so much everyone, so nice of you! So glad to meet you all!
    Many thanks again to Charlie for inviting me here 🙂 Will keep on doodling!

  7. Kari 6 years ago

    Beautiful watercolor work, Naoko-san! I love the sketchy look of the animals. Will look for you on IG!

  8. artandmoondreams 6 years ago

    Beautiful ink and watercolor paintings. Love that she found ‘her own way’, her happiness shows in her art…really love the animals and whimsy of the story book painting. Great feature, inspired by the art…thank you Charlie and Naoko.

  9. ngfayeng 6 years ago

    Love, love, love the colours! Such an inspiration!

  10. jmnowak 6 years ago

    I’m glad Murray encouraged you. I like your style.

    • Naoko (@penandblue) 6 years ago

      Thank you so much. Murray was a very quiet artist, so his words meant a lot to me.

  11. wendymuldon 6 years ago

    Looks simply awesome. One can learn quite a lot from the plasticity of doodles, that sometimes we forget to apply to other works!

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