🐺 Being able to summon (𝑑𝑟𝑎𝑤) beautiful and horrifying creatures is part and parcel of summoner's (𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡'𝑠) development. That's why with this September tutorial, I will show you how it's done.
This tutorial will cover Clip Studio Tips with a stunning imagining of the benevolent creatures fused together to show you our infinite methods (creative developments). I will explain the creature form and a plethora of summoners debate how they depict a monster's appearance. But there's more...
🔰 I dish out some sage advice to top-and-coming summoners (newbie artists) - well worth a read. Even I will treat you to my very distinct worldview and let you take a peak into my secret scrolls (techniques) on how to tame some nasty creatures' look.
Last but not least, you will get fantastic experiences in the class; I will reveal not just secret scrolls but you'll have a chance to embark on a fantastic journey to collect (paint) ultra rare monster relics, furs, and so much more.
So what are you waiting for? Now summon your own fantasy creature!!
㊀ : Finding Inspiration
💡 Inspiration is a funny old thing. You can go looking for it, but more often than not it finds you - although you might not realize it at the time. Surround yourself with interesting 🧩 objects, 📚 books, 🎨 arts, and 👪 people. Take 📒 notes while you're out and about; inspiration can be in any, and every, thing.
💬 Think of as many details as you can because it will be the solid foundation/reason for every creations or creatures which exist in and from your world.
"𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑎 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑟 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑠𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛, 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑦 (𝑙𝑎𝑚𝑏) 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑎 ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑎𝑡𝑜𝑟 (𝑤𝑜𝑙𝑓)."
▲ For this tutorial, I scanned my A4 𝑠𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑙 𝑑𝑟𝑎𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑔 which I did on August; drag and drop into into a new document. Automatically with my scanner setting: I put my 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 with 300 dpi for standard print. And type my File name with: Fantasy Creatures.
I wish my digital art to go beyond the literal interpretation:
"𝐼'𝑑 𝑟𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑢𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡'𝑠 𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑎𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑎 𝑡𝑒𝑐ℎ𝑛𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑢𝑛𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡'𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑑𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑛 𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔."
㊁ : Traditional Media to Digital Ink
The first thing you should consider moving from traditional scanned image to digital inking is the final output will NOT be the same as your first initial idea on paper. Honestly, I imagine to create a tutorial with monsters and fighting scenes, but ended up doing poster-like illustration. 😅 So, by any means...
💡 Always keep a copy of your sketch and keep looking back at it. It's easy to lose energy (motivation) as the piece develops to a wrong turn. Take aspects of the piece back to the sketch stage and figure out why it looks more alive.
▲ Using new layers on top of 75% Opacity with white 𝐂𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 layer, I use 𝐏𝐞𝐧 (𝐌𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐏𝐞𝐧) to outline original sketch with smooth and clean lines.
I separate 𝐎𝐮𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 layer with 𝐄𝐲𝐞𝐬 & 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐬 layer because I need to remove some parts using masking tool. I rarely separating layers like this, but for this time; I want to add splash color to the eyes conveniently without being disturbed by the hair in front of it.
💬 Note: some of the lines 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐝𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭: wolf's eyes, teeth, as well as the forehead gemstone and necklace is on Outline layer not Eyes & eyebrows layer.
💕 I suggest to take a look for tutorial link below to find the 𝐦𝐢𝐝𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 as well as applying 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐫:
▲ After done with all the clean lines, usually I'll start my work with 100% opacity of Covering layer. By doing that; it enables me to focus on my current digital inked artwork. Erasing here and there, revise some unnecessary details, etc.
💬 Note: sometimes (𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑚𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑡) I add some splash of color on the Eyes & eyebrows layer with 𝐿𝑜𝑐𝑘 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑦 mode to mark specific area: lips with pink from my example above. Just for the sake of... Pleasing my eyes.
㊂ : Painting in Grayscale
Let's assume you're really good at shading in black and white (𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑐𝑜𝑎𝑙 𝑜𝑟 𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑝ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒) and would prefer to start your paintings like that because it's easier for you and lets you concentrate purely on what you're painting or drawing, rather than having to keep color theory in mind at the same time.
You would do exactly that-using the default brushes and methods we discussed from my other tutorials-only you'd do it all in black and white for the lady's horns. ▼
㊃ : Portraying Emotion
In this current digital art industry, the concern over how we paint has always been bigger than the concern over what we paint. We tend to battle over which tools (𝑜𝑟 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑜𝑓𝑡𝑤𝑎𝑟𝑒) we should use or discuss which texturing techniques we ought to apply.
💡 Under pressure to constantly improve techniques, we sometimes forget about the reason that made us turn to painting in the first place: that we need to 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲.
My approach to skin is much the same as those principle of value, I limit my choice of colors with selected tones. In order to get semi-realistic anime style; always remember the form, observe the opacity, translucency and reflections as well as drop shadows and you're going to be on the right track.
👉 Color theory, as we saw, can be very complex. But if only there was a way to do it in a monochromatic color scheme in the traditional painting (𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑠 𝑓𝑖𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑠 𝑖𝑡 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑞𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑏𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒) and then make the colors magically appears...
So let's do that experiment with the hair...
Using default 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐡, highlight with 𝐦𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐞𝐧, you can see how it turns.
▲ Once you finished the black and white version of the hair, create a new layer on top of it, then apply clipping mask. I would suggest to choose 𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐥𝐚𝐲 (makes dark colors darker and light ones lighter, also intensifying white) then paint the color directly onto your existing layers NOT the black and white layer.
I use those type of bluish and purplish to pop up colors, of course as my habit; I keep using 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐭 as my choice of 'limitation'.
🔮 The result of Overlay layer mode will be like image below! Magically appears!
💡 Tips: you can add an adjustment layer (𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟) to help you turn ON and OFF your RGB (𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑙𝑎𝑦𝑒𝑟𝑠) into black and white version by going to:
Layer 🡢 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐋𝐚𝐲𝐞𝐫 🡢 𝐇𝐮𝐞/𝐒𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧/𝐋𝐮𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲
💬 Note: I like to have a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer floating at the top of my layers palette, with the Saturation slider all the way down to 0% ▼
㊄ : Rendering Relics
Copper is the metal of ornamental rings my creatures hold into its special power. It has many variety with the metal's surface; from a smooth reflective finish to a tarnished look, it can seem both aged yet modern, almost devoid of color at certain angles while reflecting beautifully deep orange/brown from other angles.
💡 If metals were people, I imagine copper as an aging aristocrat. Still able bodied, but with a lot of character.
💬 Note: personally, I would suggest you to go over my previous tutorial about rendering metal surface with basic knowledge using GIF images on link below:
㊅ : Fur
Painting fur can seem like a daunting task, particularly when you look closely at how many thousands of strands there can be in a small area. But if you apply some basic principles it can be fairly comfortable to deal with.
Similar to painting hair (or feathers), painting fur should be done in a procedural way, keep it 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐞 will save you a lot of time and stress. Now the question is, which brushes should we use?
To save yourself more time, I found brushes created by Clip Studio Paint awesome community from these two links below:
★ 𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫 ★
▲ Using a new layer on top of my value (Furs) layer, I create a color variation of green (near forehead gemstone), red, blue, even purple to fill out the area of furs (Furs Colors).
💬 Note: with 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤 tool, I can freely add so much colors which I desire with default 𝐀𝐢𝐫 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐡 (see the left image) then after I think it's good enough, I change the layer mode from Normal to 𝐒𝐨𝐟𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 and achieve the look on the right image.
▼ You can see the details below.
㊆ : Eye for an Eye!
👀 The first and foremost thing to reminder (it is very obvious and yet constantly forgotten) is that the eye is spherical. It's a common mistake made by rookie summoners (newbie artists); they render the eyeball within the socket and it looks round enough with the highlight and the shadow fall off, but when they run the eyelid across the eye it obviously doesn't follow the same contour as the eyeball itself.
➊ Using standard 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐡 and additional blending method with 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲 from watercolor sets will be my starting point to have it nice and loosely.
➋ With big brush size while using 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥, from 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 brush; I create mid-tone of the eyeball. The grain textures will be useful while rendering some kind of fuzzy and killer stare for demonic types of creature/monster. Additional 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 can also help to blend or smooth entire surface with subtle details.
➌ Final touch with 𝐏𝐞𝐧 tool; I'm using 𝐓𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐞𝐧 to add some details with the yellow-devilish eye and add some redness with a bit of yellow strokes to the corners; depicting areas where the blood is near to the surface; at this point any further rendering takes a significant amount portion of time as you will be working on smaller details.
Some people paint eyes very carefully, which makes sense as we're so accustomed to looking at eyes that we can immediately tell if something is off. That being said, I enjoy painting creature's eyes which is freehand and fantasy-like. So if something seems odd, just get over it; it's a fantasy being!
💎 Also, below is the forehead gemstone; another 'third-eye' that glows to attract viewer's attention rather than the red ones from the creature itself.
It's pretty basic for the gemstone rendering, all you need is the understanding and knowledge of how the reflective sides appear on the surface. And find where the light source coming from, for my gem; I'd like to think the shiny part will be on upper left.
Up there is my recommendation of brushes you need. It's all basic, from Clip Studio Paint default brushes with all the following function:
💎 𝐎𝐢𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐥𝐚𝐭 𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐡 for initial blocking and blending at the same time.
💎 𝐎𝐢𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐥 for smoothing result after blocking with oil paint flat.
💎 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 for extra textures while doing color variation.
💎 𝐒𝐨𝐟𝐭 brush for adding highlights, especially with Blending mode: 𝐀𝐝𝐝 (𝐆𝐥𝐨𝐰).
💎 𝐓𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐧 to emphasize extra details without blend, hard edge reflection.
Only practice can develop your artistic skills for such a glowing and hard-surface texturing. I will always look at some reference first to achieve the results I desired the most. Take a look at below image, it's what I've come up with years of summoning (painting) creatures over centuries (past 20 years of my artistic journey).
💬 Note: if you'd like to learn more glowing techniques with various elements such as
🔥Fire, 🌊Water, ⚡Lightning, and 🌏Earth; look at my secret scrolls (VFX tutorial) below:
㊇ : Bloody Background
➊ Using standard 𝐒𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐡, 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐈𝐧𝐤 brush with pressure control, gradually blocking some parts of the gore - mostly the dark area or top of it. Keep in mind the overall mood, drop shadow and boldness of blood by its nature.
➋ With 𝐃𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐝, from 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚 𝐈𝐧𝐤 brush; I create mid-tone of the gore elements. I love the 'texture' of watercolor bleed and it suits its name for the bleeding of a blood!
➌ Final touch with 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 tool; I'm using 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 and 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐥 to add some fairly amount of graininess to give richer details with light values of scarlet red. Using various of default brushes gives you the flexibility to add and blend some parts according to your creativity needs.
💖 Obviously I did the bloody background below the fur layer, this allows me to paint freely without worry about getting the fur blended with blood of the innocence.
㊈ : Final Touch
▲ Once I finish a painting, I like to let it sit for a day if I can. However, I find that I come back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy. In this case, I see that my colors have been too saturated and are stealing focus away.
So a few little airbrush with yellow and blue to add highlights on the relics (ornamental necklace and rings), defining the furs with rich details (but not too much) here and there. ▼
㊉ : Afterword from the Nether World
Now that you know how to summon an illustration with emotional impact on your creatures, you might wonder when will these techniques should be used or what's good for? Truth be told, there are no golden rules nor answer! Generally, if you want a striking monster painting; you might want to use better composition with lots of dynamic angles and even battle.
If you prefer an ambiguous image, you might want to use a limited number of techniques, or even stick to single one. It is all a matter of the personal taste of the summoner (artist) and the strength of the depicted mood.
With this tutorial, after all we're talking about emotions mostly; not just the techniques. So do not ponder too long on this, use the means that come naturally to you and remember that 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 of your monster or creature digital paintings is equally as important as your techniques.
"𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔! 𝐴𝑙𝑠𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑘 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝐺𝑒𝑡 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑦 𝑙𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑎𝑛𝑡."
🚩 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐬: use this link below if you'd like to add emojis or any other ASCII characters into your Clip Studio Paint Tutorial!
💬 Note: some unique characters will not shown on phone or any old-not-updated browsers.