Making Your First Illustration in Clip Studio Paint




Compatible with Clip Studio Paint Ver. 1.10.10


This tutorial explains how to make your first drawing in Clip Studio Paint.

It shows you each stage of the drawing process while explaining the functions of Clip Studio Paint.


This tutorial covers the following steps of creating an illustration.



For details on the basic operations of Clip Studio Paint, refer to “Before Drawing a Work in Clip Studio Paint”.


[1] Creating a canvas

After starting up Clip Studio Paint, let’s create a canvas for drawing an illustration.


① Click [New] at the upper left command bar.

For the smartphone version, tap [New] on the [Manage Works] screen.


(2) Select [Illustration] from [Use of work], and then select [UXGA (1600x1200)] from [Preset].



Please read the following TIPS to learn more about creating and setting up a canvas.


③ Click [OK] to create the canvas.



To learn more about each palette on the screen, refer to the following TIPS.


[2] Creating layers

■ What is a layer?


Layers are used to create art in digital drawing software.

Each layer acts like a transparent film. You can paint all your lines and colors on these transparent layers.


If you use different layers for lines and colors, and characters and backgrounds, it will be easier to make adjustments at later stages. You can also hide everything drawn a layer with a single click without deleting it.

Layers stack up in the order shown in the [Layer] palette. Parts drawn on upper layers will cover lower layers.




■ Adding a layer


When you create a new canvas, a “Paper” layer and a “Layer 1” layer will be created by default.


In this example, we’ll add two more layers: one for line art and one for colors.


① Click the [New Raster Layer] above the [Layer] palette to add layers. Click this icon twice to add two layers.



On tablets, tap the icon on the [Layer] palette to display the palette.


② Change the layer name to a simple explanation.

Double click “Layer 1” on the layer palette and change the layer name. In this example we’ll change it to “sketch”.


③ In the same way, we change “Layer 2” to “coloring”, and “Layer 3” to “line art”.


[3] Drawing sketch lines

Start drawing your rough sketch on the canvas. In this example, we’ll use the [Pencil] tool to draw the sketch.




■ Preparing the pencil tool


(1) Select the [Pencil] tool from the [Tool] palette, and then select [Pencil] or [Real pencil] from the [Sub tool] palette.

Note: Depending on the version you are using, one of the sub tools will be stored in the [Sub tool] palette.


② Adjust the brush size of the [Pencil] tool.

You can adjust this on the [Tool Property] palette or select a size from the [Brush size] palette.



For tutorials on how to use the drawing tools on tablets, refer to the following article.


③ To select black as the drawing color, open the [Color wheel] palette and click the very bottom.




■ Drawing the sketch


① On the [Layer] palette, select your sketch layer.


(2) Draw a rough sketch on the canvas with the [Pencil], then add some details.



When drawing detailed parts, adjust the zoom and position of the canvas to more easily draw. Please read the following TIPS to learn how to move and zoom the canvas.




■ Correcting lines


You can use the [Eraser] tool to edit the lines you have drawn.


① Select the [Eraser] tool from the [Tool] palette and select a sub tool. In this example, we’ll use the [Hard] eraser.

Note: In the smartphone version, you can switch to the eraser with the [Tool Switch] icon on the edit bar.


② Adjust the size of the [Eraser] tool.

Adjust the brush size of the tool either by adjusting the [Brush Size] slider on the [Tool Property] palette or by selecting a size on the [Brush size] palette.

Use a larger brush size you want to erase a large area, and make it smaller when you want to change little details.


Note: Correcting a line using [Undo]

You can undo your last action by pressing [Undo] on the [Toolbar]. Use [Undo] to completely redraw a line, and use the [Eraser] tool to correct part of a line or an area with many lines.

When using a touch-capable device, you can undo operations by tapping the canvas with two fingers.




■ Finishing the sketch


When you finish sketching, change the layer settings so you can more easily draw the clean lines.


① Change the line color to blue on the “sketch” layer.

If you click the [Layer color] button on the [Layer property] palette, the color of the sketch will turn blue.



On tablets, tap the [Layer property] palette icon to open the [Layer property] palette.


② Lower the [Opacity] on the [Layer] palette to 30% to lighten the color of the sketch.

By lowering the sketch opacity, it will be easier to see the clean line art.


Now, let’s move on to drawing the clean line art based on the original sketch.


[4] Drawing clean line art

In this step, we’ll draw the line art based on the sketch.




■ Drawing clean line art


① On the [Layer] palette, select the “line art” layer.


(2) Select the [Pencil] tool and draw on top of the blue sketch.



Although this example uses the [Pencil] for both line art and sketch, you can also use a pen tool if you prefer sharper lines.




■ Finishing the line art


Once you’ve finished drawing the clean lines, hide your sketch layer so that only the line art layer shows.


① Click the eye icon to the left of the “sketch" layer to hide the layer.


② This hides the “sketch" layer so only the line art is visible. The line art is now complete.

Unlike when drawing on paper, the sketch does not need to be erased. By using separate layers, you can automatically get rid of the sketch lines by hiding the sketch layer.


[5] Adding a paper texture

Before painting the color, we’ll change the canvas to a cream color and add a texture to create the effect of traditional paper.




1. Changing the [Paper] layer to a cream color.


The [Paper] layer on the [Layer] palette is set to white by default, but you can change it to any color you like.


① Double-click the [Paper] layer thumbnail.


② The [Color Setting] dialog box will appear. Adjust the paper color with the [Color slider] (A) and [Color Field] (B).


③ Click [OK] to change the color of the paper.




■2. Importing an image material (texture)


To make a soft effect like a traditional drawing, import an image (texture) to the canvas.


① Click the [Material] palette icon.


② From the [Material] palette, open the [Monochromatic pattern] > [Texture] folder.

On a smartphone, tap [Material] palette > [Change save folder for materials] to select a folder. Select [Texture] > [Monochromatic pattern] folder and tap [OK].


③ In this example, we select the “Fine textured” material and drag it onto the canvas.


④ The [Layer] palette now includes the “Fine textured” material.




■3. Creating a paper texture


We’ll use the “Fine textured” image to create a paper texture on the canvas.


① Select the “Fine textured” layer on the [Layer] palette, then open the [Layer property] palette and click the [Texture combine] icon.


② Lower the [Strength] to “20”.


③ The “Fine textured” texture is now combined with the canvas.



Drag to move the “Fine textured" layer so that it appears at the top of the [Layer] palette.


[6] Coloring

In order to make this illustration have a soft effect, we’ll use the [Watercolor] tool > [Running color edge watercolor] tool to paint the color.




■ Preparing the tool for coloring


(1) Select [Brush] tool from [Tool] palette, and select [Watercolor] group > [Round mixing brush] or [Running color edge watercolor].

Note: Depending on the version you are using, one of the sub tools will be stored in the [Sub tool] palette.


② Adjust the brush size of your tool.

You can adjust this on the [Tool Property] palette or select a size from the [Brush size] palette.




■ Selecting the color


Change the drawing color with the [Color Wheel] palette.

Use the circle on the outside (①) to select the hue, and use the square in the center (②) to adjust the luminosity and saturation.


For more details on how to use the color palette, refer to the following TIPS.




■ Coloring


Select the “coloring” layer on the [Layer] palette.


Use the [Watercolor] tool to apply color. The [Round mixing brush] and [Running color edge watercolor] will produce different shades of color depending on your brush pressure.


Reduce the brush size to paint the details.


In this example, the blush and clothing logos are first painted with [Watercolor] tool to paint the base color, and then filled in using the [Pencil] tool to add more color.


Note: Using transparent color

You can use the [Eraser] tool to get rid of parts going over the lines. However, you can also erase parts by simply changing the drawing color of the [Watercolor] tool to transparency.


[7] Changing the color of the line art

After coloring, you can change the color of the line art to create a more cohesive effect and make the lines blend in slightly. In this example, we’ll change the lines from black to brown.


① Select the “line art” layer on the [Layer] palette.


(2) Click [Layer Color] on the [Layer Property] palette, and click the color display to show the [Color Settings] screen.


③ Adjust the [Color Slider] (A) and [Color Field] (B) to choose your preferred color, then click [OK].


④ This changes the color of the line art.


[8] Finishing the illustration

Your illustration is now complete!


Finally, save the illustration data on your computer.



For more information on how to save and share your art on a tablet, refer to the following TIPS.


[9] Saving your work

If you save the work in Clip Studio format, the layer data will be saved.


① Open the [File] menu and select [Save].


② Name your artwork and choose a save location, then select [Save].

Note: For the Galaxy/Android/Chromebook and iPhone versions, it is saved in the [Clip Studio] app and displayed in [Manage works].


③ The work will saved in Clip Studio format (.clip).


[10] Exporting the work as an image

You can also export your finished drawing as an image that you can upload to the web or social media.


① Select [Export (Single Layer)] from the [File] menu and choose the export file format.

In this example, we’ll use the PNG file format (.png).


② Name your artwork and choose a save location, then select [Save].


③ The [PNG export setting] dialog box will appear. If you are happy with the default settings, select [OK]


③ This exports the work as a PNG file. You can publish this image online or print it.



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