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Drawing a Japanese beetle
Step-by-step plan

Drawing a Japanese beetle

When you think of Japanese rural life, one of the first things that comes to mind might be the abundance of bugs scurrying around. Japan is home to many bugs you can only find there, and while they might not be too present in big cities such as Tokyo or Kyoto, once you visit more rural areas, you’ll be sure to notice them!

Japanese children often grow up catching beetles and other bugs to study and collect them. Some children make them fight each other to see who has the strongest insects. You can even find bugs in stores as pets. This activity is called mushitori, which translates to bug catching. Did you know that Pokémon, an immensely popular Japanese series of comics, TV series, games and more, was based on bug catching? The creator of the Pokémon series loved catching bugs as a kid!

We prefer drawing bugs instead of catching them, though. In this step-by-step plan, we show you how you can draw your own Japanese rhinoceros beetle (also known as the Japanese horned beetle or kabutomushi (カブトムシ)). Let’s get started drawing this impressive bug!

Step 1

Sketch out your Japanese rhinoceros beetle using the Sumo Grip mechanical pencil. Since the bug is very detailed, we recommend using a reference photo of an actual bug.

TIP: If you’re not that good at sketching, you can trace it as well! Print a copy of the image and use a soft graphite pencil to colour in the entire back of your sheet of Manga paper. This creates carbon paper, which allows you to easily trace the lines of the image onto your paper.

Step 1

Step 2

Emphasise the lines of your drawing using the Pigma Micron fineliner. For a more dynamic effect, you can use different sizes of these fineliners and switch up the line thickness.

Step 2

Step 3

Create a nice surface to showcase your beetle on using the Koi Coloring Brush Pens in different colours. Use bright colours to make your bug stand out!

Step 3

Step 4

Colour in the beetle using the same Koi Coloring Brush Pens in different shades. These flexible brush pens allow you to mix and blend colours while colouring, so you can create seamless colour transitions. This really helps you to create a more life-like drawing!

What comes to your mind when you think of Japanese rural life? If you feel inspired, share your artwork online or join Sakura’s art contest! Sakura is celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2021 with an online art contest. July’s theme is Japanese rural life, so start working on your submission today!

Find out more

Step 4

Other step-by-step ideas