Digital Drawing Step-by-Step: From Create New to Export




Compatible with Clip Studio Paint Ver. 1.12.7


[1] Creating a new canvas

Launch Clip Studio Paint and begin by creating a new canvas for your illustration.


(1) Click the [New] button on the left side of the upper command bar.


(2) Select [Illustration] from [Use of work], and then select [UXGA (1600x1200)] from [Preset].

Note: If you have a precise canvas size in mind, enter the width, height and resolution values in [Canvas].


(3) Click [OK] to create the canvas.


Now that the canvas is ready, it’s time to draw!

By default, all drawing tools are placed on the left side of the screen.


1. [Tool] palette - An array of tools such as pens, pencils, brushes, etc.

2. [Sub Tool] palette - Sub tools for the tool selected in (1).

3. [Tool Property] palette - Settings of the sub tool selected in (2).

4. [Brush Size] palette - The size of pens and brushes.

5. [Color Wheel] palette - Color selection.



On the smartphone version, frequently used palettes are stored on the palette bar. For details, please see the following TIPS.



If you want to learn more about each palette, refer to the following TIPS.


If you want to import an hand-drawn line art, refer to the following TIPS.


[2] Choosing a drawing tool

In Clip Studio Paint, you select drawing tools with the following steps:


Select a tool icon from the [Tool] palette.

Choose a sub tool from the [Sub Tool] palette.


Note: The sub-tools listed in the [Sub Tool] palette will vary depending on the selected tool icon.


The following are frequently used when drawing.

The sub-tools palette offers a variety of different pens and brushes; try to find your favorite one!


[Pen], [Pencil], [Brush], [Airbrush], [Blend], [Eraser]


 Sub tools used for line drawing

The [Pencil] tool and [Pen] tool contain sub tools that are perfect for line work.

Some tools are sensitive to pen pressure, while others are coarse and feel like traditional mediums.

The [Pencil] tool contains sub tools that are very useful for sketching, such as pencils and chalk.


The [Pen] tool contains sub tools that are very useful for line drawing such as the dip pen and markers.


 Sub tools used for coloring

When painting, the [Brush] or [Airbrush] tool are mainly used.. Clip Studio Paint offers many sub tools with their own precise settings system, such as brushes that mix color or overlap color harmoniously, such as the watercolor tool, the thick paint tool, the circle brushes, and the flat brushes. Select the tool that best fits the job.


If you want to create a paper texture or a blurred look, we recommend using the [Brush] tool > [Thick paint] group.


 Tools for mixing and blurring color

We recommend the [Airbrush] tool and the [Blend] tool when creating smooth color changes and gradients.

You can create a smooth gradation with the [Airbrush] tool. The [Blend] tool allows you to blend the boundaries of the colors.


The detailed features of each tool and how to customize the settings will be introduced in the next section “Brush Adjustment and Customization".



We suggest beginners to test the pens and brushes, and edit the settings from the [Pen Pressure Settings] menu to adapt the different pens and brushes to their needs. The pen pressure settings will affect the software globally.

Note: Do not follow these steps if you have already configured your pressure settings.


To find settings that fit you, first try to draw as usual, and then increase/decrease pressure on the pen. Adjust the parameters according to the dialog box.


[File] menu > [Pen Pressure Settings]


Keep adjusting the settings until you find settings that suit you.


Additionally, individual pen pressure can be set in the [Tool Property] palettes of each pen and brush tool..


[3] Changing the brush size

Once you’ve chosen the brush type, continue by adjusting its size. You can change the brush size from the [Brush Size] palette or the [Tool Property] palette.

In the [Brush size] palette, the brush size can be changed by clicking on one of the tiles. You can also move the slider or enter a precise value in the [Tool Property] palette.

Note: On the smartphone version, you can adjust the [Brush Size] from the edit bar.


If you are using the keyboard, we recommend using the following shortcuts:


Reduce brush size : [

Increase brush size : ]

Change brush size : Ctrl + Alt + mouse drag


 Pen pressure and tilt

The brush size of many pens and brushes will change according to the amount of pressure applied to the tablet stylus.

Furthermore, the size of tools such as [Pencil] tool > [Design Pencil], [Brush], [Brush] tool > [Round Watercolor brush], and [Flat watercolor brush] will change according to the tilt of the stylus as well.

Note: To use pressure and tilt, you will need a tablet and stylus with these functions.


Pen pressure: Strong <-> Weak


Tilt: None <-> Tilted



The cursor shape displays the brush size as default, but can be changed via [File] menu > [Preferences] > [Cursor].


Note: For macOS and tablet versions (iPad/android), select Clip Studio Paint menu icon > [Preferences] > [Cursor].

Note: On the smartphone version, select the [Menu] button> [App Settings] > [Preferences] >[Cursor].


[4] Choosing the color

While there are many ways to select colors in Clip Studio Paint, the following is the most straight forward.




● Select from the [Color Wheel] palette


You can select colors from the [Color Wheel] palette at the bottom left of the screen.

(1) Choose the hue from the outer circle.

(2) Adjust the saturation and luminosity from the square.

Click on the icon at the bottom right to toggle between [HSV Color Space] and [HLS Color Space].


Behind the [Color Wheel] palette, you can find other palettes as well.

Note: Toggle the tabs from the [Window] menu if you cannot see them.




● Selecting colors from the [Color Set] palette


For the quickest way to select colors, use the [Color Set] palette.

You can switch between various color sets from the pull-down menu above.




● Selecting colors from the [Color Slider] palette


This color palette is useful if you want to choose a color using specific RGB, CMYK, etc. values.



On the tablet and smartphone versions, both the [Color Wheel] palette and the [Color Set] palette can be displayed by tapping their icons.




● Extracting colors with the [Eyedropper] tool


If you need to use new colors that you find by blending colors, you can extract them directly from the canvas.

You can extract colors from the canvas by clicking with the [Eyedropper] tool in the [Tool] palette.

A circle will appear around the cursor area and will display the newly sampled color on top and the original drawing color on the bottom.


You can turn the circle on and off from the [Tool Property] palette when using the [Eyedropper] from the Pen tool. When using it though touch the circle will always appear.


We recommend you remember the shortcut/touch gesture for the [Eyedropper] tool.


When using it from a Pen: When using the drawing tool you are able to switch to the eyedropper by using the [Alt] key.


When using it by touch: If you have [Use different tools with fingers and pen] set then you can sample a color by a long press on the canvas.




● Selecting colors from the [Color History] palette


If you want to use the same color again, you can find it in the [Color History] palette. Click a color tile to use it as a drawing color.


Note: Only for PC versions

Select [Edit] menu > [Obtain screen color] to select colors directly from images in your browser or other apps.


[5] Undo, Redo, Erase

If you want to erase a specific area of your artwork, use the [Eraser] tool.

Make sure to select the eraser that best fits the job.


Note: Master transparent color!

In Clip Studio Paint, any drawing tool can be used as an eraser by setting the drawing color to transparent.

You can select the transparent color from the bottom of the [Tool] palette or select the checkerboard pattern tile on a color palette.


Additionally, you can easily undo an action in a digital space, Click the icon on the upper command bar, or use the shortcut key.


On PC:

Undo shortcut key: Ctrl + Z

Redo shortcut key: Ctrl + Y


On touch-capable devices: *While [Use different tools with fingers and pen] is active

Undo: Tap with two fingers

Redo: Tap with three fingers


[6] Let’s Draw!

In sections 2-5, you learned the many features of digital drawing. With this knowledge, enjoy experimenting with your canvas!

The difference in mediums may confuse you at first, but you will get the hang of it soon enough. Please take your time, and enjoy each tool.


It is entirely possible to draw only using the pens and brushes introduced here. However, with something like the artwork below, you can be more efficient and reach new heights by using digital features such as layers and selection areas.


Once you are used to digital drawing, please try out some new features.

For more details, please refer to "Basic Layer Techniques for Digital Drawing".


[7] Saving & Exporting

Once you are done, save and export your artwork in a generic image format.




● Saving your work


Artworks saved as a Clip Studio Format file retain layer data.


Select [File] menu > [Save] and choose the save destination.

Then, set the type of file to “Clip Studio Format” or “Photoshop Document”.

Note: For the Galaxy/Android/Chromebook and iPhone versions, it is saved in the [Clip Studio] app and displayed in [Manage works].



The .psd format also retains layers as well. However, some features such as vector layers and text layers will be converted into raster layers. If you want to save the file as a .psd file, first save it in a Clip Studio Format, and then save a duplicate of the file as a .psd file from [File] menu > [Save Duplicate].




● Exporting your artwork


To export the finished illustration, select [File] menu > [Export (Single Layer)]. If you want to upload to the internet, .jpg and .png formats are recommended.

Note: On smartphones, select [Menu] > [File] > [Export (Single Layer)].


Select the saving destination, input the file name and click [Save]. Click [OK] on the [Export Settings] dialog box to save the image.

Note: In the Galaxy/Android/Chromebook versions, select [Flatten and save to device storage] to select the file destination.


For more details on the [Export Settings] dialog box, please refer to the following page.


Adding a watermark to your artwork (Ver. 2.2 and later)

By checking Add a watermark at the bottom of the Export dialog, you can add a watermark to your exported image.


Choose the watermark to be added in the Watermark settings dialog. You can load any image from File and use the handles on the preview screen to specify the placement, size, and angle, as well as change the watermark opacity and blending mode.

Watermark settings are saved in the app, so you can apply the same settings when exporting other projects.



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