Sketch Now, Think Later: An Interview with Mike Daikubara

Mike Daikubara

by Brenda Murray

Studio 56 is working in collaboration with urban sketcher, Mike Daikubara"It's not so much a system as a philosophy," urban sketcher and artist Mike Daikubara explained of his book Sketch Now, Think Later. It's about time savings and keeping things simple. Mike loves to sketch. He also loves spending time with his wife Kana and their friends. Mike realized he had to get a lot faster if he wanted to squeeze in a quick sketch while not inconveniencing anyone. So over the years he developed habits that allowed him to sketch more quickly and he shares his tips and tricks in his book, Sketch Now Think Later.

The first step to speeding things up was to pare things down. Mike pared down the equipment he carries to only what he needs. No more wasted time digging through his bag for the perfect sketching tool. He keeps everything he really needs in a small sketching kit. With a limited selection of tools, Mike recommends just getting better at using the ones you have. Even his sketching bag was carefully selected for convenience.  

The sketch above called "Fancy That" was made in the Fancy That Tea House in Walpole, MA. Mike and his wife and a friend decided to give themselves the royal treatment with a high tea. The tea things were so pretty and the food so beautiful--it was a view that had to be sketched. Mike scrambled to finish the sketch as quickly as possible going straight in with pen.

Studio 56 is working in collaboration with urban sketcher Mike Daikubara

Mike avoids the pencil presketch. No more time-consuming erasing. Instead, he goes straight to ink. Not just any ink either. Like so many urban sketchers, Mike prefers the Fude fountain pen with its bent nib manufactured by Sailor. It allows sketchers to get fat and skinny lines by flipping it over and drawing with it upside down.  

Mike recommends jumping right into the sketch. Don't overthink it. Just do it. Focus your time and attention on the main attraction and add in elements surrounding the main attraction later if you have time.

Mike also rocks the waterbrush which means no more worries about carrying a water jar--it's all contained in the waterbrush. Cleaning a waterbrush is quick and easy. There are lots of brands and styles of waterbrush available and they're all quite inexpensive saving you time and money. 

Mike Daikubara Products

Click here to see Mike's Fancy That collection of products

Click here to see Mike's Japanese Friendship Garden collection of products



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  • Maureen on

    What is the make of the sketch bag shown in Mike Daikubara’s book? I have been trying to find one like it without success.

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