USK Workshop – Wink, Squint & Appreciate

Kumi Matsukawa is inviting you to her workshop Wink, Squint and Appreciate on December 18th in Amakusa City, Japan.


This is a basic course to learn how to compose your subject quickly in your sketchbook with correct proportion, and to learn the way how to apply convincing watercolor wash that gives your drawings believable depth and dramas. Moreover, you will be encouraged to write text such as date, autograph, short stories or information in the page to make the drawing more appreciative journal to both viewers and yourself (the artist).

Subscribe to this workshop by filling in this form.

Workshop description:

In the first half time you learn measuring method, and how to draw thumbnails.

To draw correct proportion, understanding how to measure relative ratio is a must thing. We will practice how to measure relative ratio of the objects using the rear end of a pencil. The key is to wink to find the relative ratio of a certain object.

At the beginning, simplifying the subject is helpful. Drawing thumbnails makes you see structure simplified manner, and you can plan how to proceed your drawing with this simulation beforehand.

Next, you learn how to apply watercolor wash on the thumbnail drawing. The concept is try not to pick the local color you see and smear such color on the drawing, instead, try focusing on contrast in value. The key is to squint when you try to judge how dark / light one part is against the area next to it. When you paint value-wise correct tones, your drawing has much convincing appearance. So in this moment don’t worry about accuracy of local colors.

In the last half time, you’ll draw one sketch in accordance with the way practiced on the thumbnails.

Example of the exercises.

Underdrawing using colored pencil : Try to keep paying attention about relative ratio, keep one eye closing, students draw under drawing using colored pencil. Don’t use an eraser.

The colored pencil lines won’t spoil the drawing once applied watercolor wash on them.
Painting method and hint: 
  • Apply wash from large and distant area ( such as sky, ground surface) first, then go on to middle ground, and forground objects.
  • Every now and then, compare tonal value by squinting. Ask yourself which is darker/ lighter than the area next it.
  • You’ll see the center of interest in the foreground usually has strong darks and lights. So emphasize this will works.

Final touch: Write dates, autograph, things you thought, learned, questioned things like that. Ready to share.

Learning goals:

  • You will attain basic skills to capture relatively accurate proportions and learn to express smooth transition of value in the painting.
  • Moreover, you’ll learn the fun final touch (by adding text) that give more information and a unique touch to their drawings, which elevate the final sketch from meme plain air to sketch journaling.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Workshop Schedule:

Morning (9:00-12:00) Afternoon (13:30-16:30)

Location: Amakusa City, Japan

Supply List:

Watercolor, water brush or ordinary brushes in different sizes, colored pencil, pen, ballpoint pen stool, sketchbook that is suitable for watercolor use


40 attendees maximum, 10 minimum

Registration fee:

3000 Yen, cash collected on location

Subscribe to the workshop by filling in this form.


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