10. Interview



About siro’s creative activities

Q: What do you use to make your art?

・ Windows 7 Home Premium

・ Cintiq 24 HD pen tablet

・ G13 Advanced Gameboard

Q: When did you start drawing? And when did you start drawing digitally?

I’ve loved drawing since I was a child. I started drawing in earnest after I entered high school. At that time I was making oil paintings.

I started making art digitally around 2004. I received a pen tablet with bundled Photoshop Elements as a birthday present, so I started using it to draw picture digitally.

Q: When you first started drawing digitally, how did you feel it was different from traditional art?

At the time, graphics software didn’t have pen stabilization, so I couldn’t draw lines exactly as I wanted with the pen tablet. Unlike traditional art, you can redraw a line over and over again, so there were times when I didn’t know when to stop.

Q: How did you overcome the difference between digital and traditional drawing?

I was never that good at line art anyway, so I searched for a method that looks beautiful as it is without needing perfect lines. I arrived at the method of thick painting.

I’m still thinking about how much I should draw in each picture, as sometimes it can look too busy when zoomed out. Therefore, I look at the overall piece as close as possible to the actual size, and try not to add unnecessary details. I adjust the overall piece and then add extra details where they are needed.

Q: Has there been anything that’s changed your art or your approach to drawing illustrations?

When I was a student, a teacher leant me a copy of “Drawing the Head and Figure” by Jack Hamm. There weren’t very many books on drawing technique at the time, so it had a big impact on me. From that point I started to become aware of drawing more thoughtfully and trying not to overwork my pieces.

Then when I started using the Internet and I saw the different styles of artists from other countries, I was shocked by the thick style of painting different from typical Japanese illustrations. I really wanted to learn to paint like that, so I went through a lot of trial and error.

Q: What do you focus on when making an illustration?

· Decide a clear theme, no matter how small, before drawing

· Don’t try to draw perfectly

· Complete it as a cohesive work, even if I don’t like some parts

For a while, my expectations were too high and I couldn’t finish anything. At this time I didn’t enjoying drawing at all. I would look at other illustrations and listen to advice, and think that my own work wasn’t good enough. No matter how long I spent fixing up an illustration, I was convinced that I would never be as good as other artists.

Then, I changed my approach. I realized that I can’t make a perfect piece of art, and that’s okay. Instead, I try to make as many finished pieces as I can, and then learn from those so that I can get better and better. I want to keep learning more and more while seeing other artist’s works too.

About Clip Studio Paint

Q: Why did you first start using Clip Studio Paint?

I had to paint a very large picture for work, but my usual software couldn’t cope with the size and kept freezing. I switched to Clip Studio Paint because it can handle large images, and the brushes are quite similar to what I was using before. I also thought that the ruler tools would be useful.

Q: What were your first impressions of Clip Studio Paint?

To begin with, I was a bit confused because the brush settings were slightly different to the previous software I was using. Once I got used to it, I was really happy that I chose this software because I can customize the settings in a lot of detail and make my own brushes. I want to keep on customizing the tools and trying the different functions.

Q: What are your favorite features in Clip Studio Paint?

My favorite features are all of the rulers, especially the perspective ruler, the fact that "clipping" can be applied to entire folders, the fact that you can instantly change a layer color in the Layer Property palette, and that it supports CMYK display when I want to make illustrations for print.

I also love the brush customization, the “Convert brightness to transparency” feature to extract traditionally-drawn lines, and “Tonal correction”. It’s an extremely thorough software with all the functions I need.

Q: What do you use Clip Studio Assets for?

I study brush settings on brushes made by other people, and I download any interesting brushes I see to try them out.

There are quite a lot of lace materials, so I often use these when I feel that there’s something lacking in my illustration.

Last thoughts

Q: Are there any themes you want to explore in the future?

I often draw with themes such as Japanese or Western style fantasy, and compositions of a character and background, so there are plenty of other themes I would like to draw, such as stylish designs or modern themes.

Other than themes, I'd also like to try painting illustrations with a watercolor-inspired style.

Q: Any last thoughts on making this tutorial?

This time I was able to use any theme I like, so it was very fun to make.

There are still a lot of things for me to learn, so I’m a bit worried about my explanations, but making the tutorial itself was a good way for me to reflect on and learn more about my own art style.

I’m still trying to work out a more efficient way of painting, but this is my method at the moment. I really hope that this tutorial can be a good reference for everyone who reads it!

Thank you, siro!



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