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Shallow Water - Crabs and Shrimps

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings

Course Description

About this lesson

Some living creatures, like shrimps and crabs, may not look as sophisticated, or as beautiful as other animals. Our challenge in these lessons is to find and bring out the beauty and quality that is within them.

In this course, you will learn to translate the shapes and form of these creatures into brush strokes to create a finished painting. The first section of this ink painting course focuses on step-by-step learning of how to paint shrimps and crabs in their natural surroundings, creating your first composition in black ink. While the second section of the course provides opportunity to experiment with using colour to paint dragon shrimps and larger crabs.

You will also learn to paint water plants, water pebbles and clam shells to accompany your shrimps and crabs.

In this lesson, you will:

  • Learn how to prepare your workspace

  • Learn how to hold the brush and make your own ink

  • Exercise the brush to make fluent lines

  • Learn step-by-step how to paint small and larger shrimps

  • Add water plants to your composition

  • Learn step-by-step how to paint small and larger crabs

  • Add clam shells and watermarks to your composition

  • Learn to paint playful crabs

  • Create your very own beautiful ink and colour paintings

  • Deepen your experience of the meditative nature of ink painting

The lesson also includes:

  • Tools and materials check-list

  • Downloadable PDF worksheet to accompany each lesson

Bonus material:

  • Additional compositions for you to practice in your own time

  • A short art history essay on an 18th C. crab woodblock print

Upon completion of your lesson you will achieve at least two new composition of shrimps and crabs. You will become more confident using the Japanese ink and watercolour. You will further your understanding of this practice, and discover an open gate to further your own creative journey.

This lesson is for you if:

  • You want to learn how to paint shrimps and crabs using traditional Japanese brushes, ink, colour and paper.

  • You may not have previous experience, but are excited to explore and learn a new way of painting.

  • You love the way of Japanese ink painting and wish to practice further, explore and develop your skills and abilities.


Highlights of what you will paint

Learn how to paint Shallow Water Crabs and Shrimps

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings


Meet your teacher

Talia Lehavi is an artist, a practitioner and a teacher of traditional Japanese ink painting. Following years of teaching, her love and passion for this artistic medium has now prompted her to create ArtBrush - online school for the studies of Japanese ink painting. The school is designed for students of all levels, from around the world, who are excited to learn, explore and discover the joy of ink painting and its many facets.

Talia Lehavi Headshot - ArtBrush Japanese Ink Brush Painting Instructor - Artist - London Mallorca Zichron


What our students say about their experience

Holly - ArtBrush Student

As a beginner in Japanese Ink Painting, Talia's approach to teaching made me feel completely comfortable. I have learnt so much about the history, processes and application of Ink Painting and cannot wait to continue pursuing my newfound skill set even further. I would recommend ArtBrush to everyone, no matter of capability, it's a truly unique school which allows for dedicated and encouraging learning.

—  Holly G. Artist

Olympia - ArtBrush Student

Very detailed and informative course ! I have always been an admirer of Asian traditional painting and this course provided me of an insider's look of this magic world. With the help of Talia and the ARTBRUSH online courses, I have managed to learn, exercise and master special brushwork techniques otherwise unaccesible to me. I also got an overall understanding of the aesthetics around this beautiful world of ink painting.

I totally recommend this!

—  Olympia T. Artist & Writer


Included in this lesson

Welcome to your course

  1. Promo (0:30)

  2. Welcome (1:27)

  3. Your workspace (1:54)

  4. Tools & materials - The four treasures (5:09)

  5. Making ink & How to hold the brush (3:21)

  6. Your check list (1:03)

  7. Sources for your tools and materials

Painting Shrimps エビ 'ebi'

  1. Promo - Small shrimps (0:24)

  2. Introduction on painting shrimps (1:36)

  3. Brush practices - 'Fine-middle-thick line' (2:25)

  4. Painting a small shrimp (2:09)

  5. Painting water plants and water pebbles (3:06)

  6. Shrimps - Ink composition I (5:13)

  7. Promo -Dragon shrimps (0:24)

  8. Painting dragon shrimps in colour (4:30)

  9. Dragon shrimps - Ink and colour composition II (5:10)

  10. Soul meditation - About the nature of softness and hardness (0:37)

  11. Shrimps lesson - Outro (0:54)

Painting Crabs カニ 'kani'

  1. Promo (0:25)

  2. Introduction (1:53)

  3. 2 Brush practices - 'Side brush' / 'pause-move-pause' (3:09)

  4. Painting a small crab (2:26)

  5. Create your own painting - Composition I (4:51)

  6. Painting big crabs and clam shells (10:44)

  7. Create your own painting - composition II - Ink & Colour (8:02)

  8. Soul meditation - About the nature of waiting (0:43)

  9. Playful crabs - Composition III (4:29)

  10. Crabs lesson - Outro (1:00)

Outro to your course

  1. Shallow water - Outro (1:39)

Bonus Material

  1. Two additional shrimps compositions

  2. Three additional crabs compositions 

  3. Looking at an 18th C., surimono woodblock print of a crab

  4. Four more compositions for you

  5. Review and ArtBrush students gallery

Music by Matthew Halsall

Learn how to paint Shallow Water Crabs and Shrimps

Step-by-step how to create beautiful Japanese ink paintings


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course – you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling and as long as ArtBrush is live online, you have unlimited access to the course across any devices you own for as long as you like.

I am a complete beginner. Is this for me?

Yes! The course is designed with beginners and intermediate students in mind, as well as, those who are keen to deepen their knowledge of the field. There are many step-by-step videos that are perfect for anyone just getting started. No previous experience in art or ink painting is required. The course is for mixed-level abilities.

I am a professional artist. Is this for me?

Absolutely! Many professional artists and designers have been studying with Talia and have benefited from the Japanese art and practice aesthetics. The courses offer new ways of observing nature and understanding painting composition and space in a way unique to Japanese ink painting.

How do I enrol on a course?

To enrol on one of the ArtBrush courses, click on any "Enrol" button on this page and complete your purchase. You will need to create an account with us to purchase and access the course. If you already have an account, log in to complete your purchase. Then, you'll have access to the course, and your purchase details will be emailed to you.

Would I need any special tools and materials?

Yes! Please view the short 'check list' video and PDF inside the course for help in setting up your workspace and for preparing your tool-set for the courses. You can choose from a selection of three comprehensive sets of tools and materials available via ArtBrush.

You can do this via the school on:

These sets were all made in Japan and curated by Talia for the school. Each set is of high quality and designed to last a lifetime. Expect up to 2 weeks for delivery, local taxes are not included. Alternatively, depending upon where you are based around the globe, you may get individual tools and materials at your local Japanese/Chinese art supply shop or at some general art supply shops. You can also find online a variety of budget sets. Once you learn and understand about your toolkit, you will be able to easily sort out what you need.

What software do I need to access the course?

Please simply ensure that you have updated your internet browser to the latest version. If you run into any technical issues, we advise to clear your cache, cookies and browsing history. For any further technical enquiries please contact:

What if I wish to cancel?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

How can I get further help and ask a question?

At any time, our team will help you at:

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