Cutting out background parts
I’ll start to work on the background. I copy the rough layer and roughly cut out the shape of the castle.
The reason I cut out the castle here is because I start painting from the furthest back part, which is the sky in this case.
By cutting out the castle and placing it on top of the sky layer, I don’t have to worry about accidentally painting over it.
I do the same for other parts that will be on top of the sky.
Now I’ll paint the sky. This is not a usual blue sky, but also has some colorful greens and yellows to make the fantasy feeling stronger. I paint the background with my "Rough Watercolor Brush”.
This brush usually mixes with lower colors, but picking up too much color from the rough background can create a muddy effect. To avoid this, I use colors from the color set as much as possible and paint them on top.
I check the colors against the rough version in the [Sub View] palette.
(This is especially useful when there are a lot of characters or items in the illustration.)
Next I’ll paint the flags waving in the background. I add a new layer and paint them on this.
I create a checkered pattern for the flags.
I make one square with the [Figure] tool > [Rectangle], then copy the squares so that they are arranged side-by-side. (You create a perfect square by holding down Shift while using the [Rectangle] tool.)
Then, I use the [Mesh Transformation], my favorite feature in Clip Studio Paint, to change the shape of the pattern to the flags.
Not only does this feature let me transform the checkered pattern that I made, but I can also freely adjust the number of mesh points in Clip Studio Paint, which is really useful.
This time I’ll use it for a simple, flat fabric, but it is also very useful for making patterns on clothing naturally follow the shape of the fabric, for example where there are complex folds.
① I combine my copied checkered pattern pieces into a single layer, then copy that layer.
② I select the checkered pattern layer and use [Edit] menu > [Transform] > [Mesh Transformation].
③ I move the handles according to the shape of the flags to deform the pattern.
I blend the pattern neatly.
After transforming the pattern, I lock transparent pixels to keep the sense of atmosphere, then add a faint gradation with the color of the sky. I add a thin border to finish off the flags.
Now I’ll move on to the next stage.