▼ 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.