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Japanese Tradition: Daisugi
Step-by-step plan

Japanese Tradition: Daisugi

To celebrate our Japanese brand Sakura’s 100th anniversary in 2021, we would like to show you how to paint a traditional Daisugi tree. Daisugi is a Japanese forestry technique that originated in Kyoto around the 14th century. Shoots from a type of cedar tree are carefully pruned so that multiple branches grow straight up from the base of the tree. This ancient tradition allows beautiful, straight logs to be harvested from the tree without having to cut it down at the base, which makes it a very sustainable forestry technique. The harvested logs are often used to build traditional tea houses.

The Daisugi technique gives forests a mysterious, outer-worldly look that we want to help you portray in this step-by-step plan. The finished artwork’s colours and style are inspired by Japanese woodblock prints called ukiyo-e. These prints are characterised by their large, bold-coloured areas and a notable absence of shading and perspective. The pigments used in these prints were often blue, brown and orange, but we decided to also add green for the forestry.

Step 1

Start by colouring in your background using three different shades of blue from the Koi Water Colors Sketch Box and let it dry completely.

Step 1

Step 2

Sketch the outline of the tree using the Sumo Grip mechanical pencil. You can choose to erase these lines later on in the process if you wish.

Step 2

Step 3

Accentuate the base of the cedar tree with darker lines using the Pigma Sensei and Pigma Graphic. Let your imagination run wild and make the lines as complicated as you like!

Step 3

Step 4

Draw the slender new branches that grow on top of the base of the tree with the Pigma Micron PN in blue black. This pen is perfect to draw fine, flowing lines to portray the fragility of the branches.

Step 4

Step 5

Before switching to water colours, make sure the ink of the Pigma pens has dried completely. Once dry, the ink lines will be water resistant and stand out beautifully under your water colours.

Step 5

Step 6

Colour in the tree using as many shades of the Koi Water Colors Sketch Box as you like! We decided to go for brown, blue and green for the base and add ochre and red to the branches. Of course, you can use any colour you feel suit your work best.

Step 6

Step 7

Add some finishing touches to your work using the white Gelly Roll pen. The opaque white lines will add an instant highlight to your branches and provide some contrast from the darker background.

This completes your Daisugi tree! We hope you enjoyed this step-by-step plan. If you make your own version, remember to share it with us using #RoyalTalens!

Step 7

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