Using Decoration Brushes with Monochrome Backgrounds (Part 1)



The decoration brush tools are often used to draw decorations and effects such as sparkling light. However, they are also excellent for drawing backgrounds, depending on their settings..

In this lesson, I will show you how I made the following monochrome illustration of fields and trees using decoration brushes.

In this first part, I will explain how I created the grass brush for the foreground and middleground. In the second part, I will explain the brushes for the trees, wooden fences, and clouds.

To learn the basic way to create a decoration brush, please refer to the following article.

The brushes used in this lesson are available for free on Clip Studio ASSETS. Please use these settings as a reference.

Read the following article to learn how to download and use materials.

[1] Making the brushes

■1. Size of canvas and the size of the brush tip image

The size of the brush image should be about the same size that you actually intend to use it.

This is especially important for a brushes with line art.

When you draw larger or smaller than the brush image, the lines become thicker or thinner.

Bear this in mind while creating the image.

The example illustration in this lesson covers about 2/3 of A4 paper size (B5 finished) with a resolution of 600 dpi, representing the frame size of an actual comic.

■2. Expression color of the brush

When creating a brush for a monochrome manuscript, use a layer with a monochrome expression color to create the material.

I will cover this in the second part of this lesson, but you can also use the screentone function to use materials created in grayscale or color for monochrome works.

Note: Please refer to the following article to learn about expression colors when registering materials.

■3. Multi brush

A multi brush is a brush made of several registered images.

You can set the angle, size, and the order of appearance of the registered images to create a natural brush with some variation.

All the brushes in this lesson are multi brushes.

Note: For detailed information, please refer to the following article.

[2] Drawing grass in the background and middleground

I’ll create a brush for drawing small to medium grass.

I prepare four slightly different brushes so I can change the density and size of the grass depending on the distance.

■1. Drawing the image

First, I create an image to use for a medium-size grass brush named “Grass (medium)”.

I create a layer with the [Monochrome] expression color and use the pen tool to draw lines going outward. This image is 13 mm × 19 mm at 600 dpi.

After I finish the line art, I fill the inner part in white.

Note: In the following image, the canvas background color has been changed to gray to make it easier to see the parts painted white.

This would make a monotonous brush with only one brush tip type, so I draw several other images on new layers.

The “Grass (medium)” brush consists of the following three images and their inverse for a total of six images.

I register these images as a material and set them as the tip shape of the new sub tool “Grass (medium)”.

Note: Please read the following to learn how to register materials.

■2. Setting options

I set the brush options in the [Sub Tool Detail] palette.

I can use this brush without any changes because I registered multiple images, but I want to add one more effect.

(1) Using the pen parameters

I set the effect source of the brush size to “Pen pressure” and the direction to “Direction of line”.

I will be drawing on an angle, which is why I set the direction to “Direction of line”.

Now the pen pressure controls the brush size, and the direction that I draw will change the direction of the images.

The following image shows the stroke before (above) and the stroke after applying these settings (below).

(2) Using random settings for a natural effect

I set the effect source of [Thickness], [Gap], and [Repeat method] to random.

The random settings create a natural variation.

■3. Making other grass brushes in the same way

I create other grass brushes using the same method. I made each brush with the following images and settings.

・ “Grass (lines)” brush

・ “Grass (small A)” brush

・ “Grass (small B)” brush

I created each brush image around the following sizes.

“Grass (lines)” = 6 mm×2 mm, “Grass (small A)” = 4 mm×3 mm, “Grass (small B)” = 6 mm×6.5 mm

■4. Drawing with the grass brushes

I create a new layer and draw with the grass brushes.

Generally, I use smaller brushes for distant places and the medium brush for closer places, but I also consider the density of the grass.

Because the direction of the grass brush is set to [Direction of line], my strokes need to be from left to right. Otherwise, the images will be upside down.

[3] Drawing grass and flowers in the foreground

Next, I create a brush for drawing tall grass and flowers.

I create two brushes; a “weeds” brush of only grass, and a “grass and flowers” brush with a combination of grass and flowers.

I create the brushes using the same method as the four grass brushes above.

■1. Creating the brushes

I made each brush with the following images and settings.

・ “Weeds” brush

・ “Grass and flowers” brush

I created each brush image around the following sizes.

“Weeds” = 20 mm×23 mm, “Grass and flowers” = 26 mm×40 mm

■2. Drawing with the brushes

I create a new layer and draw with the brushes.

One quick stroke creates densely packed grass and flowers, which would take a lot of effort to draw by hand.

I drew this grassy field using the four grass brushes, the “weeds” brush, and the “grass and flowers” brush.

In the next lesson, I will teach you how to create and use brushes for trees, wooden fences, and clouds.


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