In this article, I’ll show you how to paint flames in a decorative way with a Japanese style.
Use it to fill in the gaps and give it a strong vibe!


Preparation before drawing Applying the law of concentration lines

Use the “Law of Concentration Lines” that can be applied to all drawing tasks.
For more information, see “The Rule of Concentrated Linework! How to draw water splashes with a Japanese brush“.

Now, let’s prepare an illustration to draw the flames.
You can get it from the Internet, or if you don’t have it, you can use a plain background as an exercise.
In this case, I used this one.


Step 1: Underdraw the clouds

Avoid the main part of the illustration and underdraw the cloud shape where you want to add the flames.
You can use a pen tool to draw it in an easily recognizable color other than black.
Don’t get hung up on the details, just draw quickly.

(The background color has been changed for clarity.


Step 2: Transform the clouds

Change the tool to “Fingertip”.
If it’s not in the brush tool, add it from “Add Brush” and “Save”.
Trace a few places as shown in the picture and draw a swirling pattern on the clouds.
It’s easier to do this if you increase the size of the “fingertips”.


Next, take the edge of the cloud and pull it upwards, making it flickering and steamy.
This will create a flickering flame.


Step 3: Make a line drawing with an ink brush

Replace the tool with a “brush (ink)”.
If you don’t have it, you can “save” it by step 2.
Change the color to black, and adjust the size, rotation, drawing interval, etc. to your liking.
It’s good to try to draw a few times.

After setting up the image, create a new layer, and draw thick lines around the swirling parts of the clouds and curves.
As in the case of calligraphy, apply pressure to the beginning, middle, and end of the line.

Draw quickly, not slowly, and follow the flow quickly.
(I’ve hidden the person layer once to make it easier to draw).


Add more flickering flames.
Reduce the size of the black brush and trace the lines, keeping in mind the soft lines.


Drawing a small, moderate “slice of flame” will add to the reality of the situation….



Now, the three steps are complete.
Here’s a colored layer underneath this line drawing layer, and then a layer of the original image.

What do you think?
I could easily draw a Japanese style flame!
In this illustration, the coloring is done with a watercolor brush to give it a more Japanese feel.


If you want to focus on the flames, try making the background a contrasting or dark color.

You can use it more and more to express weirdness, passion, and character!
Please practice and improve your skills…