My first backround in 2011.
I like doing portraits. And this illustration it’s a small watercolor in my Moleskine. It was, at first, a simple black and white drawing of a geisha and her Japanese parasol that I simply disliked. After some long months, I looked at some old Japanese photos, at random, and, out of nothing, I added this background based in some of those photos.
What I would normally use to sketch when I do watercolor is Sumi-e ink: a traditional black ink stick used in Japanese calligraphy and drawings. I personally like applying it directly on paper without pencil sketching. You get nice smooth grays with it, dries fast, and doesn’t blur if you layer it with more water or ink after drying. I bought mine in Ponto das Artes that comes in a mini-subcase kit of two (not professional) Japanese brushes, a little “spoon”, a ceramic godet, a worked stone and another stone to mix the water with the ink stick. I just bought it because it´s cute, but I really got used to it. In my opinion, it’s much better than black China ink.