Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Tools, Let Me Show You Them

Edit: I had no idea that this didn't post...*face palm

More sketches from my trip back to New York this summer, but first I wanted to talk about my tools.
I've often been asked what it is that I'm using to do these sketches, so I thought I would go ahead and show those who are reading the blog.

First of all, I change my tools and materials often in an effort to experiment. In particular, I try to use different formats and sizes for every new sketchbook that I use. As it stands, I've pretty much found what kind of things I like to use, but I'm still open to experimentation.

So, what I'm presenting to you is what I'm currently using to draw. It's my current "sketching kit."

If you aren't aware, I live in Japan at the moment, so I've been able to take advantage of an array of different types of pens that are hard to come by in the states. Some of these pens I was able to get in the states, but they were ridiculously expensive, so I'm glad that I'm here for that reason and will definitely stock up on a bunch of these before I eventually return to the states.
1. Kuretake Mannnennmouhitsu- This was a brush pen that I picked up while looking for the pen at the bottom. I thought it might be a suitable replacement for my favorite pen but it has a totally different feel from what I was used to. It is a lot more fluid, a bit messy, and the ink is different. What I like about it though is that the ink is non water-proof, so when mixed with the water pen, I can try to get different tones and effects.
2. Zeebra Sarasa Clip 0.5mm- Just a pen I picked up from a convenience store. It has a nice flow and "sharp" feel that I like. At about $1, it's also cheap.
3. Uni-ball Protech 0.5mm- This is a pen that I've loved for a long time. This pen is fairly easy to find in the states I think. It has much of the same feeling as the pen above except that the quality is a little more better. It says that the ink is water-based, but I don't really use it along with a water brush like the 1st pen.

4. Kuretake Mizufude Pen Medium Size- I believe this is also available in America, but it may be a bit difficult to find. I'm not terribly satisfied with this pen because it seems to clog and becomes useless pretty easily. However, it still is pretty convenient compared to bringing a water container and a real brush on the train. At first I started trying to do watercolor on trains, but for the sake of speed and efficiency I use it to get grey tones along with the brush pen at the top.
5. Pentel Pocket Brush Pen- I believe there is a small following for this pen in America. Deservedly so, because it is an awesome pen. It won't replace a a nice brush and good ink, but it's the next best thing especially on a rocky train. I'm so glad that I can get this pen here for about $7 US, as opposed to the around $14 I would pay at NY Central Art Supply...


Pentel TUFF 0.9mm mechanical pencil- I like a thick led so I can get more variation with my line, and I usually use 2B or B led.

The book I'm currently using is Fabriano Classic Artists Journal. I had to order this from America because unfortunately there is not a very good selection of sketchbooks in Japan. Most of the are ring bound which I just hate. They do have some good quality sketchbooks here, like moleskines, but they are incredibly expensive. It's slightly cheaper to just import the books from Blick Art Supplies in the U.S.A.
Anyway, I had gotten a multi-colored version of this before and I really liked how this worked with pencil. It really takes the led well, but unfortunately the pages are pretty thin so I can't go crazy with a lot of paint or water. But it serves my purposes well enough. Before I tried the 7X9in, now I have the 5X7in, and I prefer the larger size.
By the way, while searching for links for these pens/pencils, I found that I could find most of them from Jetpens. I don't know much of anything about them, but they seem to be a good source for those who are not in Japan.

Okay, sketches...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lock and Loll

A long overdue update.

I've been back in Japan for a little while now, working and getting a drawing or two in.
For some reason or another I've gotten busier than before, but not too busy that I'm not drawing anymore.

While I was in America, I filled my book with TONS of sketches, which was great.
For the most part I get most of my sketching done on the train, and since moving to a small town in the middle of Kyushu I hardly ride anymore. When I do ride the train, it's not one where I can see more than the back of someone's chair, much to my dismay.

So, I took every opportunity I could to fill the pages of my sketchbook while back in NYC. When I left I had just started a new sketchbook, and filled most of its 192pgs within three weeks. Ah, how I miss being able to sketch everyday on the train...

But I digress...

Here I am, to present you with new sketches from this book and more.

I've been thinking and racking my brain on what to do with this blog since coming back. My first step beyond what I've normally have been doing was to self-publish that book. Now, what's next?

Well, I would like to, and I believe that I should do more with this blog than just post my pictures with a thought or two.

When I first started this blog, I had thought I would be able to get some attention for my work and also connect with other subway sketchers like myself. I made a connection or two...but for the most part my plans fell apart in a big way and now I am here, posting by myself, and pretty distanced from the small group of sketchers that I was in contact with in the beginning. It is what it is, but I can't just let it be like that, can I?

So, here's what I would like to do. Make some promises, if not for anyone by my own self.

1. Update once a week no matter what. At least one sketch.
2. Write in Japanese in addition to English.
3. Respond to what few readers I have through these posts (FAQs, tutorials, etc.) In other words, give back to the community and people that support me more.

So, with that said, let's get started with this new, better direction for the blog.











1. せめて毎週1つのスケッチをはります。
2. 英語と日本語でも書きます。
3. 読者やファンの方に対してもっとこのブログから情報やサポートしていきたい。(よくある質問、チュートリアル)




Tosu bound-Kagoshima-line/鳥栖行き、鹿児島線

Taipei Airport/台北空港

Taipei Airport/台北空港 (Up until this point I forgot how fat Americans can be.日本人に慣れてきたので、アメリカ人はそんなに太っているのかとびっくりした。)

NYC- A-train

Monday, August 24, 2009

Left overs from Fukuoka-July '09

I'm back from the United States, and I'm still recovering from my second dose of jet-lag.
The trip all in all was pretty good, although a bit busy. The best part was that I successfully printed my first book, a collection of my skectches from NYC (mostly from the subway, but a few just from my time in NYC too.)

I've sold and given away, all together, about 50 books, and have 50 more here that I will be selling/trading, mostly in Japan. However, I will sell/trade to anyone outside of Japan if they're willing to pay for shipping.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that all these books that I have on person have been/will be signed so to the lucky few that got one directly from me, if I happen to one day become famous/infamous you have yourself a collector's item.

Otherwise, if you're in the US/Canada it would be cheaper to have it printed and shipped directly from

...and here is the link. Just click on the button below and you can get it shipped directly to you.

If you would like to buy directly from me, please contact me at one of the following e-mail addresses:

Anyway, I'm quite content with this book and am glad that I finally got around to doing it. Though, I know it isn't perfect and I've already learned what I could improve on.

I also wish that this could've been the group book that I originally wanted to do, but my plans to keep this blog as a group showcase of sketches fell through a very long time ago (not any one person's fault by the way...).

With that said, the next one will be much better and I'll be studying more about self-publishing to improve on the quality and presentation of it all. So, look forward to the next edition, which I plan to finish towards the beginning of 2010.

Alright, on to the sketches. These are just some leftover sketches that I did before I left Fukuoka for NYC at the end of July. While in NYC I did a TON of sketches (over 100 or so) so I have plenty to post from now on, and I'll continue to draw when I can in Fukuoka.

Oh, and one more thing, I can never say thank you enough to everyone who views this blog and especially those who bought/ will buy book.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NYC Subsketch #1

Hello everyone, great news!

I finally self-published a little book of my sketches stretching from 2005-2008.
I really should have done this a long time ago, and I'm not sure while I waited until now, ...but here it is.

I published through and have 100 copies that I ordered, here with me in NYC.
So, if you order through me, you will get a signed copy.
However, signed books are limited to the 100 I have here and shipping is only $1.90 until Monday, as I have to go back to Japan on Tuesday, obviously upping the shipping price to the United States.

So, here's the link!

$12+$1.90 S&H

Edit: I removed the link because I've returned to Japan. So, no more signed copies unless you want to pay for shipping from Japan.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return to city

These are a few more of the last bit of sketches from the current sketchbook I got May/June. I've started a new one, going back to a variety of the Fabriano Artist's Journals which I love.

Other than that I have two announcements...

* As the title states I will bill returning to New York City. Unfortunately, it will be temporary, as I'm still working in Japan until next year. I will have a decent stay though...about 3 weeks. So, from July 31st-August 18, I expect to get a lot of sketches done.

*A BIG thing (for me, at least) is that I actually got around to making a small collection of my sketches and I'm in the process of publishing it through Lulu. I just ordered the proof and should be receiving it in New York sometime next week. If it looks alright, I'll be selling a 90pg book with a selection of sketches that I drew in New York from 2005-2008. This will be a series that will continue for as long as I'm drawing, and I already have enough for the next volume, which will be all sketches from Japan (all of 2009). So, look out for that soon.

On to the sketches...

Ok, I'll post the last few when I get into the city after my 24hrs (X_X) of jetsetting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coming to America

Been busy finishing up school recently, but now I am free...well sorta.
I'm actually on "standby" until the end of the month, then I'll have three weeks off.
So, at the end of this month I will leaving on a jet to New York City via Taiwan.
It'll be good to get back on the subway and fill my sketchbook with a load of drawings.

Anyway, here are some more sketches that I've done recently. I just about finished one of the new sketchbooks that I got from America a little over a month ago (2pgs left). So, when I'm in America I'll start a new one.

I think there will be one more post with a special announcement before I leave in less than two weeks, stay tuned.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update 6.14.09

Just some more updates. Now we're finally moving into my newest sketchbook, which I had to order from the US (Thank you Blick Art Supplies). It's surprisingly hard to find nice sketchbooks that don't cost an arm and a leg here. Most sketchbooks in Japan seem to be spiral bound...which I hate.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Update 5.29.09

Here are some sketches from my watercolor moleskine that I never got around to scanning until now. They are also from Osaka, the first two from when I was living there and the last one from when I had to go back to take care of some issues with my previous apartment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

End of Osaka Blackbook

New updates. This is the end of another sketch book, and is approaching the end of my time in Osaka. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I have some 'splainin to do

So I haven't posted in a while...
Well, what happened was I had to finish up my last job in Osaka, and move to newer digs in Kyushu, Japan.

Needless to say it was very hectic and stressful, and I didn't have much of a chance to scan and post stuff.

But I'm doing it now, so better late than never.

Before I go on to the pictures, I will have to say one thing though.
Although I didn't update as frequently as I would have liked to before, from now on my postings will probably be less so.

The reason is that I've moved to a smaller city in Japan, and there is only one train which I only take to go to the big city every once in a while. In addition to this, even when I do take that train, it's impossible to get drawings done because everything is facing forward...

However, this isn't the end of my subway/train sketching adventures, because whenever I do go into the city, I make sure to take the available subway and get as many drawings in as I can.
So, if I'm lucky, I'll still be able to get one or two drawings a week, but it's a far cry from sketching just about everyday.

It saddens me, but the upside concerning my new surroundings is that I have a lot more time on my hands and a lot less stress. So, hopefully I'll be able to turn that into something creative that I can post on this or one of my other blogs.

Ok, on to the sketches...

These are from some of my last days in Osaka. Osaka subway system, you will be missed...

More to come, I'm posting 4 sketches at a time, and I still have quite a few pics left.