A series of ten watercolor illustrations portraying night Tokyo streets that I started painting in 2017. Painting in between other projects and commissions it took me more than a year to finish this project.

Instead of going for the obvious - cool looking, new built high rise offices I wanted to depict the night scenes of Tokyo that are not so widely seen - back streets, empty alleys, tall buildings and empty parking lots. Mostly brightly lit (even the sky is never just black) with no people, those places have a weird eerie atmosphere that I wanted to recreate.

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This series follows a path from Kudanshita to Waseda through Kagurazaka.

Here are all the spots on a Google map, and on Stroly.com (thanks Gio!) if you want to explore by yourself:

See the Google map » See the map on Stroly.com »

We walk a lot with Kana - especially in the late evenings when it’s cooler and we finished the day’s work. I took a lot of reference photos of interesting night scenes when we were still living in Tokyo’s Waseda and used them to make this series of paintings.

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This series is accompanied by making-of videos available on my YouTube channel showing the painting process and the tools I used. Here is an example one:

See the whole playlist here:

Making-of playlist »

Technical details:

  • Paper: HOLBEIN Waterford natural 300g/m cotton paper
  • Sketch: Mitsu-bishi Hi-Uni pencil grade HB
  • Line: COPIC Multiliner SP 0.5mm
  • Colors: my main Schmincke set (see the tools section)

Additionally, I used the airbrush in some of the later pieces to get some additional depth and shadows. I’m showing more about this technique in the making-of videos.

All the illustrations from this series are available as prints on my Society6 store in multiple sizes and with some additional options (frames, printing on canvas etc.).

Buy prints on Society6 »     Buy prints on TicTail »