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Notebooks and More in Japanese Retail Stores

Notebooks with cover art and coloring page by Cecilie Okada, along with other products, are proving popular with Japanese shoppers looking for gifts inspired by colorful ocean creatures.

There’s nothing like nature’s own brush strokes to inspire colorful artwork. When I was requested by a Japanese gift shop company to create artwork based on sea creatures for notebooks, coasters and more I was delighted with the prospect of chasing these amazing, weird creatures in my sketchbook. I‘m perpetually inspired by the colorful world in the deep blue sea.  

The result of my efforts you can see in the picture series below. On the first page of the notebook, they have printed a black outline version of the cover illustration for coloring, whereas the rest of the pages are blank. Like all my licensed artwork here in Japan, the products are co-branded with Cecilie O., and so far Japanese consumers enjoy shopping for them. My client specializes in gifts decorated with all kinds of creatures, especially the ocean world. 

The creative process for this project started with a loose pencil drawing, aided by frequent use of an eraser to modify and adjust the composition. I further modified the composition in Photoshop once it was scanned, and then drew the black outlines. The final work was to color in the composition, which can be tricky with so many elements that need to form a harmonious whole. You can see some of this process work in the images below.

Process work for notebook cover art. Cecilie Okada
 

Notebook with sea creatures design. Cecilie Okada

Notebook with sea creatures design and coloring page. Cecilie Okada

Sketch for texile desgn. Cecilie Okada

Furoshiki textile with penguin design. Soft cotton. Cecilie Okada

 

Coaster with sea creatures design. Cecilie Okada

If you'd like to have some fun yourself and learn how to relax and play with watercolors, take a look at my art tutorials. Many of the tutorials come with a free download of printable line art that you can transfer onto watercolor paper. Then you don't need to worry about drawing, just enjoy experimenting with colors. 

Free download of line art, color schemes and more 

The image below is for sharing on Pinterest:

Notebooks with cover art and coloring page by Cecilie Okada in Japanese retail stores. Get creative yourself learning how to relax and have fun with watercolor. Click for step-by-step tutorials and free line art to trace! #notebooks #journal #coloring #illustration #sketchbook #lineart #ocean

Textile with artwork by Cecilie Okada, part of a product series of notebooks, coasters and more in Japanese retail stores. Download free line art PDF’s and get creative yourself! Learn how to relax and play with watercolor. #penguin #textile #furoshiki #illustration

Coasters with artwork by Cecilie Okada, part of a product series in Japanese retail stores. Learn how to relax and play with watercolor and get creative yourself. Click for free step-by-step tutorials and line art download! #coasters #decorative #accent #illustration