“Let’s overcome these barriers” say Shibasaki, who could that be? everyone’s nice and cool Japanese art uncle.
They say it’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but what if you’re a poor artist in the sense that you just don’t have a lot of money to spend on art supplies? You may find yourself looking for the cheapest pigments you can find, and that search may lead you to: daiso, the largest 100 yen retail chain in Japan.
Daiso, as we all know by now, sells everything, sure enough, you can find colored pencils there. What’s more, they offer a nice chic looking box with 12 metallic and fluorescent colors, all for their standard price of just 100 yen (US$0.92). But while Daiso selling crayons was a foregone conclusion, the real question is whether you can make beautiful art with it, and here with an answer is Harumichi Shibasaki.
Shibasaki may not be someone you know, but his YouTube channel, Watercolor by Shibasaki, will make you feel instantly welcome. An experienced art instructor with a career spanning over 40 yearsShibasaki has a warm, soft personality, and watching his videos might make you wonder if the performer is actually a good-hearted, laid-back Japanese uncle you never knew you had.
In the video below (with English subtitles that can be turned on in the settings), Shibasaki tries to create an image using the Daiso crayons. He doesn’t say what he’s going to draw, but asks if you can guess before it’s done, but at the very beginning he drops hints that it is a large animal native to Africa.
Shibasaki recognizes that using metallic and neon colors to paint wildlife is an unusual choice, and the way he handles the process is also surprising. After a few quick body contours, he begins to work his way through the fluorescent colors one at a time, adding wide areas of color to test their look and feel of the crayons. None of this, however, will be cut or wasted; it’s all going to be part of the final photo.
He soon finds out that there are some compromises that come with such budget-friendly essentials. The crayons leave behind a lot of powdery particles that need to be periodically wiped off the paper, and in some cases they don’t give as much color as expected for a stroke, although the problems can be alleviated by pressing more forcefully when drawing. Shibasaki’s biggest credits for the fluorescent colors are for the yellow and green crayons, with the latter, he says, really helping to bring out more of the matte red crayon color through the contrast it creates.
However, the metal crayons don’t do very well. Shibasaki’s intent was to use them to draw the animal’s body, but they don’t leave enough color on the paper to add the desired detail, leaving him wondering if they don’t have enough base pigment. So to finish the piece, Shibasaki switches to something more expensive Pentel colored pencils, whose fluorescent colors also provide a smoother layering than Daiso’s.
In the end, Shibasaki’s African animal comes out incredibly well, and his decision to mix fluorescent colors and wildlife has a soothing retro vibe, like something you might see hanging on a cafe wall in 1987.
As for his thoughts on Daiso’s crayons? He has mixed feelings and says: “The fluorescent colors are pretty good! But the metallic effect I was expecting didn’t show up at all. The fluorescent effects are really fun and amazing.” That doesn’t mean he regrets using them though, and he muses throughout the video “But I feel more driven when I face such difficulties. Let’s overcome these barriers.”
So they may not be professional quality, but if you believe that art should be fun, you should be able to get some artistic pleasure from Daiso’s crayons (remember having fun with Daiso’s Light Up Poop Stick is still prohibited ).
Related: Watercolor by Shibasaki YouTube Channel
Source: YouTube / Watercolor by Shibasaki via Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube/Watercolor by Shibasaki
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!