How to Make: Smooth and Thin Lineart


Hello everyone, it's me, Yaantii!

One of the things I admire the most about manga artists and illustration artists is their ability to create smooth, thin, and delicate lines. Meanwhile, I always found that mine were thick, wobbly and clunky.

In this tutorial, I will show you how I fixed my linework habits using Clip Studio Paint.

Step 1: Use Vector Layers

Vector layers allow you to have crisp, high-quality beautiful linework that you can adjust and thicken/thin later on.

Step 2: Pen Size and Settings

The specific pen isn't extremely important, but the size and settings of the pen are super important. For this example, I'll be using the standard and unedited 'Turnip Pen'.

Depending on the size of your pen, your line width (as well as its maximum and minimum width) will be a little different. Smaller brush sizes give you thinner lines.

(Personally, I find super thin lines a bit hard to see and hard to control, so I'll choose a medium one and adjust later)

Step 3: Stabilization

This is possibly the most important part! Under Tool Property, you'll be able to find a stabilization setting. Stabilization slows down the pen strokes, and smooths/corrects the lines that you draw, giving you a much smoother overall look.

I usually use 20-100 Stabilization, adjusting as needed.

Images without stabilization can look like this:

Left: Stabilization, Right: No Stabilization.

Step 4: Outline First

Using my medium 10pt brush size, I go around outlining the thick outer lines first. Here, I'm less concerned about the lines being very thick, as they can be adjusted later. This gives a guideline on where to add details later.

Step 5: Detail Lines

Using a smaller brush 7-10px, I then go fill out the smaller details. I like to use a smaller brush for: the inside of ears, eyes and eyelids, hair strands, and clothing detail.

Step 6: Adjustments

Once I'm done with the outlines, it's time to adjust the linework! Under vector tools, find 'Correct Line Width' This will allow us to thicken/thin lineart - a neat trick to getting thin lines.

I usually put the setting at 0.1 or 0.2, as to have the most control.

I find that this technique works extremely well with Vector Layers; it also works with Raster Layers but the effect is less predictable.

Using a large 'Correct Line Width', I run over the entire drawing a few times.
Then, switching to a smaller brush, I fix up the lines by either thickening or thinning them further.

Step 7: Completion!

The image is now complete and ready for colouring/toning!

That's all for today! I hope you've found my quick tutorial on lineart to be helpful!

- Yaantii

Draw with me live!


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