Fantasy Costume using Clip Studio Paint's features




Hello! I'm meomeongungu. Today I'll show you how I design a fantasy female costume using CSP on iPad (the desktop and Mac version are the same).


This is what we will draw today:



This seems detailed, but actually very easy with Clip Studio Paint's features. So let's start!

Create a pose using 3D model

Drawing the right pose need times and practice. Fortunately we have 3D model to ease the part!


First create a new file to draw. Make sure it's big enough. I choose A5 paper with 300dpi.

Note: My workspace may seems different, because I draw on an iPad so I turn every command into icons on the left for easy access :D


Then choose a 3D model from the Material tab > 3D > Body type > Female figure. Drag and drop in into the Layer tab.

Now you get to choose a pose! You can go to Clip Studio Access for a lot of cool pose. For this tutorial, I use one of the default pose come equipped with CSP. Drag and drop the pose onto the 3D model layer on the Layer panel.

Perfect anatomy in mere seconds! Now rotate the 3D model a bit as you want and lower the layer's opacity so we can trace it.

I add a neutral grey background layer to see easier in later stage. While we're at it, let's add some fancy weapon too. I add the weapon on another layer.

Rotate and scale it as you want. You can untick the "Shadow" check in the "Tool properties" tab so it doesn't lag.

Create a costume concept

Now we get to the interesting part! I often choose some theme for the character to know what detail I'll draw. For this one I want:

  • A fantasy theme (of course!) -> the design can be anything imaginable!

  • Some steampunk elements -> a warmer color palette (red/brown), with gold trim as the emphasis. Add shiny metal, chain, zippers and belts for a more machinery look!

  • A bride. Ok I don't know why. I just like to mix and match. So flowers and a bridal veil (I mistakenly called it toile in this tutorial. Sorry.)

  • Lolita dress -> fluffy dress with a lot of bows and frills.


So we have a bridal huntress of sort. Perfect for a RPG game, don't you think?


After choosing the theme, I draft the basic shape of the costume on a new layer. Try different shapes and size on the 3D model, as if in a clothing store. I use a pencil brush, but you can use whatever you like.

I choose the one with the biggest dress because she looks more like a bride in that. Put everything in a sketch folder, you may want to use those discarded ideas later.

Add detail using CSP's ornament brushes and image materials

I create another sketch layer and lower the opacity of the sketch folder (yes I have a lot of "sketches". I try different details on it using the pencil. If you don't like anything, just undo or erase it.

We will be using the frill and chain brushes of CSP as draft too. It makes drawing them so much easier! You can get a lot of cute frill and cool chain on Clip Studio Asset. I'll just use the default one here.

And even image material can be used as draft! Resize, rotate and move it to the right place (on the neck).

Move everything to the sketch folder again. We have a draft of the full dress now.

The lineart drawing process

With the dress draft done, let's move onto the line drawing.


I create another sketch layer, to do sketch "on the fly" when drawing hard part, or draw guideline. This layer do not contain idea so feel free to erase everything here.


The actual line will be drawn on a vector layer, so that it can be rescale without quality loss AND can use the vector erase. I love the vector erase, it save so much time.


You can use any brush you like for the lineart. I use a pencil brush, but G-pen is nice too. I also turn on the stabilizer to the max for the smooth lineart; you may not need it.

I sketch the face on the sketch layer, then do the line on the vector layer. Erase overlapping line with the vector layer.


Create line art and color fill using ornament brush

The lace of the veil is super tedious to draw, so we will extract both lineart and color base from the brush we used earlier.

Use the lace brush to draw on a separate normal (non-vectored) layer. The line color must be black and the fill color must be white.

Duplicate the lace layer and hide it temporarily. Choose the newly duplicated layer, go to Edit > Convert brightness to opacity. The white fill will turn transparent, leaving the black outline on the layer. How awesome is that?

Turn on the original lace layer (now serves as the base color layer for the lace), put both layer into a folder, and add a mask on them (I use a shortcut button but you can go to Layer > Layer Mask > Mask > Mask Selection).

Click the mask, use a brush (I use the default G-pen) with "transparent" as the color, and draw over the unwanted part. We use a mask because we may need to unhide these parts later. If you need to unhide anything, draw on the mask with a black brush.

Draw the detail using ornament brushes and image materials as draft

The frills are not as hard to draw so we can just draw over them. That makes for some nice variations instead of the repetitive of the brush. (I hid the frill sketch layer in this screenshot, sorry.)

You can redraw the rose too.

Add details using brushes

The zipper is a pain to draw by hand, so I just create a new layer

I use a default brush for a simple and stylized look, but you can search for more fancy and realistic zipper brush on Clip Studio Asset. Erase unwanted part with both the vector eraser and normal eraser.

Create line art and color fill using pre-colored ornament brush

You can also redraw the chain for a more natural look, but I'm too lazy to do that. Unfortunately the default chain brush can't change the line and the fill color! What to do?


Don't panic! Clip Studio Paint can fix that (to a degree though!)


First, create a new layer and draw the chain using the default chain brush.

Duplicate that chain layer, then lock the transparent pixels.

Using the G-pen with a very big brush size, draw white all over the layer so the chain turns into white color.

Then, on the Layer Property tab, turn on the "Border" effect and change the color of the border to black. I reduce the size of the border to 1.

Long-press on the layer (or right-click with Desktop users), choose Rasterize on the pop-up menu. (I wanted to keep the original chain so I made two copied chain layer, but you only need one copy plus the original)

Then go to Edit > Convert brightness to opacity, as with the lace. The white disappears, you get the black outline. Lock transparent pixel on the original chain and use a white brush to draw over it. You have the (out)line and the color fill of the chain.

Use the G-pen to redraw the parts needed on both color and fill layers.

Add details using the Merge layers technique

Sometimes it's confusing to draw details, even with the Vector eraser's help. You can simplify it by drawing the details on another layer, use the vector eraser/normal eraser to erase unwanted part on both the new and old layer, then finally merge them into one. Remember to draw on a vector layer.

Using this technique, you can easily adjust the details on the fly, such as with the weapon. I finished drawing it on a new vector layer but later decided I wanted it bigger and in a different position, so I moved it, resize it then redraw a bit + erase unwanted part to fit.

To merge layers, select the layers then long-press (right-click) > Merge selected layers.

Use the merge layers technique, I finish the lineart.

Color scheme and base colors

First I lay out the base color of the skin and hair. Since I used a pencil brush, the color bucket tool won't do very well here, so I have to take extra steps.


Create a new layer for the skin. Use the G-pen and a skin tone, draw closed lines along the edge of the skin areas. Then use the color bucket to fill these area, and G-pen to correct mistakes.

Do the same for the hair on a separate layer.

Afterward, I decide the color scheme of the costume. I created a color test layer and use the G-pen to try various color scheme. I settled on a white-red-black scheme, with a gold highlight.

I fill the base colors as with the skin, each color on its own layer. Although they have the same base color, the stocking, the underside of the dress and the veil each have a separate layer, because we will use a different shading technique for each.

Add gradient to the base colors

Use a soft airbrush, draw color gradient for each layer of base color. In my picture, light come from the left and above.


Tip: to choose a lighter color, pick the color of the base, then move it a bit to the upper left of the color wheel, and move the slider on the ring a bit upward. To choose a darker color, do the opposite: move to the right and down, the slider downward.

After adding gradients, the base now look like this:

Fine-tune the lineart

The colors look great already, but the black line pops out a bit too much. We'll change its color.


Because our line layer is vector, we can't just lock the transparent pixels and draw on it directly. Instead, I create a new normal layer and clip it onto the line layer. I change the line layer's mode to Multiply, then on the clipped layer, I draw a color that is darker than the base color. I use the default gouache brush so the line's color doesn't change abruptly.

Un-clipped, the line-color layer looks like this:



Remember to change the color for all the line layer! Here we still have to color the line of the chain, the lace and the zipper.

The line looks okay already, but still appear a bit rough. Put the line layer and line color layer into a folder, duplicate it and merge the copy into one layer.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur to apply blur on the line copy layer. (I use a shortcut button here)

Adjust opacity of the line folder and line blur layer as you wish. The line now blend well with the color!

Shadow and Highlight

Using the Gouache and Oil paint flat brush, I paint the shadow and highlight on a new layer clipped on the base layer. I blend them using the gouache blender.

If you feel unsure about choosing the color, a safe way is using the tip I mentioned above, to choose lighter and darker color.

Use texture to recreate the veil

The veil have a special texture. We'll mimic it using Clip Studio Paint's material.


Use the gouache brush, draw some shade of the hair and shoulder onto the veil, to show its transparency.

From the Material panel, pick a circle monochrome dot pattern. Drag-and-drop it onto the layer panel, and clip it onto the veil base, on top of the shade layer.

On the Layer Property panel, turn on Layer color effect, and choose an off-white for the layer color.

Continue coloring, I added some other detail like a 3rd chain, some pattern on the stocking, etc.

After a while, Congratulation on finishing this lengthy tutorial!

BONUS: Quick tarot-like background using image material

Duplicate the whole drawing and merge them into one layer. (there is a shortcut button to do just that, but of course you can group the layers into a folder and merge them the normal way)

On Layer property, turns on border effect and leave it white.

Drag-and-drop the Tarot frame image material onto the layer panel, behind the drawing. It's one of the default material.

I attempted to extract the lineart from it (see the chain above), but then I decide to just rasterize it > Lock transparent pixels and use the oil paint flat brush to drop some random color on it.

Use the Magic Wand tool, I select the inside of the Tarot frame and again paint some random colors.


If you like this tutorial, visit me at my pages! Let's have a chat:D

Happy drawing costumes for fantasy characters!



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