“Haku, listen. I just remembered something from a long time ago, I think it may help you. Once, when I was little, I dropped my shoe into a river. When I tried to get it back I fell in. I thought I’d drown but the water carried me to shore. It finally came back to me. The river’s name was the Kohaku river. I think that was you, and your real name is Kohaku river.” 

- Chihiro Ogino 千と千尋の神隠しSpirited Away (2001)


I recently went with a small visit to Studio Ghibli. I was pleased to see Hayao Miyazaki well and hard at work but I was also excited to see all the beautiful hand-painted backgrounds and be able to talk to two art directors about their methods!

I was especially interested in the crayons / pastels they used for the backgrounds in “Ponyo” and the paper that they use. After a small shopping spree in Shinjuku’s Sekaido art supplies store, I went to paint my own thing over two days. This is an image from the private project I’m working on currently.

Technical stuff:

  • Paper: TMK Poster super-thick (sold in B1 sheets)
  • Colours: NICKER Poster colours
  • Details: Stabilo CarbOthello pencil pastels, Caran d’ache NEOCOLOR II pastels, Faber-Castell Polychroms colour pencils.
  • Line: STAEDTLER MarsLumograph 6B and 8B pencil

I’m not satisfied with the paper quality. I think it’s the same thing as used by Ghibli but I had a lot of problems with it especially when wet. Pending further investigation.




  • 紙: TMKポスター紙 特厚口  ほぼB4サイズ  
  • 色: ニッカー ポスターカラー
  • 細部の表現: スタビロ カーブオテロ (パステル色鉛筆)、カランダッシュ ネオカラー2 パステル、ポリクロモス油性色鉛筆
  • 線画: ステッドラー マルス ルモグラフ 6Bと8B


“Kodama Gardening 101”
Charcoal and White Pastel

Sharing another small piece that will be on display and for sale at a Miyazaki tribute Art show that will be on August 6-7th at the Mid-City Arthouse, LA.


this is the first time we haven’t talked in days and every day it has rained

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