1. Brush Settings & Rough Draft



▼ This is my finished illustration.

・ Artist profile: Na-ko


I create illustrations for books and social games.

Note: You can download the original brushes used in this lesson from CLIP STUDIO ASSETS.


Simply search for the artist’s name “na-ko” or “TIPSofficial” in the ASSETS search bar.


[1] Brush settings

I’ll start by setting up my brushes.

I select the [Brush] tool > [Watercolor] group > [Transparent watercolor] brush, then right-click and choose [Duplicate sub tool].

I customize the duplicated sub tool to make three brushes “No color mixing (blur)”, “No color mixing (circle) and “No color mixing (size change)”.

By right-clicking the duplicated sub tools and choosing “Settings of sub tool”, I can change the sub tool name and icon.

■ “No color mixing (circle)” (混色なし(円))

“No color mixing (circle)” is the main brush I use.

I open the [Sub Tool Detail] palette for my duplicated [Transparent watercolor] brush and turn off [Ink] > [Mix ground color].

Note: To display the sub tool detail palette, go to the [Window] menu and check [Sub Tool Detail].

■ “No color mixing (blur)” (混色なし(ぼかし))

Like “No color mixing (circle)”, [Mix ground color] is turned off for ”No color mixing (blur)”. I also changed the brush shape to a blurry stroke.

I use this when I want to add color without the edge standing out.

I chose the [Air brush] brush shape from the [Sub tool detail] palette.

■ “No color mixing (size change)” (混色なし(サイズ変化))

”No color mixture (size change)” is also based on the [Transparent watercolor] brush with [Mix ground color] turned off. I also changed the minimum value of [Pen pressure] to zero in the [Brush Size Effect source settings] so that I can draw fine lines by increasing or decreasing the pen pressure.

I use it for lines that require variation in size at the start and end of the line, such as the ends of the hair.

I change the brush size for different steps, so sometimes I change the pen pressure settings later.

[2] Creating the canvas for the rough drafts

Once I’ve set up, I’ll start drawing my rough drafts.

It can be hard to create a well-balanced illustration when the canvas is too large, so I start off with a small canvas that is easy to draw on.

From the [File] menu > [New], I create a new canvas at 1000 x 707 pixels and a resolution of 350 dpi.

Note: I check the aspect ratio so that I can change the canvas to A4 size later.

I personally find it easiest to decide the composition and the colors at different stages in order to get a good balance, so I make my rough drafts in black and white.

[3] Making the rough drafts

■ Rough drafts (Step 1)

For this illustration, I was asked to make a composition with two characters, so I first think about a few ideas that suit this.

Before thinking about the composition, I first decide the theme.

I decide on the theme of two boys spending time after school, and from there I come up with a few compositions.

① This depicts the main character in the foreground and the secondary character to the rear. You can see the beach behind them, so it creates a story of two boys cycling to spend time by the sea.

② Like ①, this also splits the characters into one main character and one secondary character. This is a playful scene, so I added a sense of movement.This is a playful scene, so I added a sense of movement.

③ This shows the two students spending time eating fast food. The composition has symmetry and both of the characters have equal importance.

■ Rough drafts (Step 2)

I decided on the fast food theme (③), then made two more sketches.

I build on the theme of two male students spending time eating fast food, and I decide on the two characters.

I want to make an illustration of an everyday scene that is sparkling, so I create some compositions from outside of the restaurant, with the reflection of the glass in the foreground.

■ Rough drafts (3)

I build on rough sketch 2 from the previous step.

I decide on the basic shadows at this stage.

Even when I make a mistake, I duplicate the layer and leave a copy, then gradually add more detail by layering up [Multiply] layers. When I’m done, I flatten the rough layers into one.

My rough draft looks like this.

Next, I’ll make the base painting.


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