1. Rough Draft





[1] Sketching ideas

When deciding a theme, it’s best to have several main and secondary themes in mind.

By setting a broad theme, it is easier to come up with ideas.


For this drawing, I chose the themes of a bus (main) that is underwater (sub) to take someone to school (sub), which I had wanted to draw for a while.


[2] Making a concept draft

I solidified my concept by drawing several different compositions in my sketchbook.

Rather than drawing well, it’s important to draw what you enjoy.


Although you can’t directly use it in the illustration, I also recommend writing a little bit about the story you imagine to help you create a solid concept.


As I was drawing my compositions, I thought of a story of a girl taking the school bus from the bottom of the sea to land.


Once I’ve settled on my concept, I scan the sketch and add some rough colors.


This is what my finished concept draft looks like.


[3] Rough sketch

Based on my composition draft, I drew my illustration using a mechanical pencil (0.3 mm) on 157 gsm Kent paper in A3 size.


First, I used a ruler to draw horizontal and vertical lines as guidelines.

Then I drew freehand to give the illustration a hand-drawn feeling.


In my concept draft, the bus had landed on the ground. However, I changed this so that the bus was floating down through the water, as I thought this would create a more lively and fun effect.


I also added several other animals waiting at the bus stop, and drew a mysterious bus conductor. While imagining a little story in my head, I just had fun drawing while adding to and adjusting the illustration.

I thought of a lot of new ideas while I was drawing, so the final version ended up being very different from the concept draft, which was just a reference.


I add small details at the inking stage, so once the rough draft is good enough as a reference, it’s finished.


In the next part, I’ll show you how I inked and stippled by hand.


Artist profile: kamakilimai

Mai lives in Tokyo. She often participates in art events and exhibitions related to illustration and animation in the Kanto region.



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