Continuing our theme of art of Japan and looking at the Great Wave by Hokusai, our next artwork will be a watercolour.


This drawing is broken up into three sections:

  • Foreground (first two waves)
  • Middle Ground (main wave)
  • Background (horizon line and Mt. Fuji)

The biggest wave should extend almost to the top of the paper. Once the main lines of the waves are drawn, the draw the whitecaps. This is easier than it looks. It is drawing  just scribbles just below the waves. They can be curly, wavy lines or a jagged look.

Next draw the stripes inside the break of the wave. This is part of what makes Hokusai’s woodcut unique.

Finally draw a horizon line and Mt. Fuji.

The sky and Mt Fuji are painted in warm colours, reds, browns, oranges and yellows and the waves are in cool colours, blues, purples and greens, with white for the sea foam and snow.

Finally we will splatter some white paint over our waves!


Did you know that Hokusai was inspired by the music of Claude Debussy, the French composer? Has music ever helped inspire or create your art?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *