Using Clip Studio Paint on the iPad
Starting on the new and improved Clip Studio Paint! We’ll be showing you the best parts of drawing on the iPad using Clip Studio Paint EX. This digital drawing software was released in 2017 and comes with a 6-month free trial!
There are many apps that let you draw on smartphones, but tablets are much closer to drawing on a computer because of the larger screen size.
Drawing directly on the screen makes you feel like a professional because feels like drawing on a screen tablet.
Many artists who do most of their work on computers also enjoy working on tablets because of their portability. We’ll be spending the next four articles introducing the joys of drawing on the tablet for newcomers, and benefits of the tablet for those familiar with the PC version.
With these tutorials, you’ll be drawing with your tablet and Clip Studio Paint like it’s your personal digital sketchbook!
Artists for Part 5: Supika
This tutorial from illustrator Supika (すぴか) explains how to create art using Clip Studio Paint for iPad.
Supika (すぴか) / Illustrator and fashion model. Supika usually publishes illustrations at Japanese comics event “Comitia”.
Common themes in her art are cute girls, animals, sweets, or a combination of the three!
The illustration for this tutorial is also full of berries, jewels, and many other adorable fairy-tale motifs.
OS: iOS11 or iOS12
2GB of free disk space is required.
Note: An internet connection is required when purchasing Clip Studio Paint.
・ Apple Pencil (1st generation)
iPad Pro or iPad (6th Gen)
Note: Wacom’s Bamboo Sketch (for iPad) and Bamboo Fineline 3 (for iPad) are popular alternatives to your iPad’s default stylus pen.
● How do I use Clip Studio Paint EX for iPad?
(1) Download the app from the App Store to your iPad.
Note: You cannot use a PC license (Windows/Mac) on the iPad version.
(2) Launch Clip Studio Paint.
When the App Store dialog box appears, check that the plan is EX monthly subscription and confirm payment details. There is a 6-month free trial period after applying.
On Your First Startup
(1) Select the Clip Studio Paint icon, then select “Purchase app / Change grade or payment plan” from the menu.
(2) On the selection screen, select “EX Monthly plan”.
Note: The 6-moonth free trial period is only for those who have subscribed to the EX Monthly plan.
What can I do with a tablet?
● Draw in any direction you like!
Often, your work will look small when drawing in portrait using digital methods.
With the iPad, you only have to rotate your device to fix that problem. Use your iPad’s portrait orientation to draw portraits and landscape orientation for landscapes!
You can also move the palettes wherever you want.
Supika says: “I’m right-handed, so I place the canvas on the right and the palettes on the left.” That way, you don’t accidentally touch the palettes with your right hand too.
●Transform your finger into the eyedropper tool!
You can use the eyedropper tool with a single press-and-hold.
Note: This is only available if [Use different tools with fingers and pen] is turned on.
Supika says: “I can see what colors get picked because it selects an area just above my finger. It’s very simple!”
In the iPad version, every finger’s a painter’s tool.
You can assign other commands as well, such as Eraser, Auto select, and Gradient.
Where are the modifier keys?
Modifier keys are often used in many commands on the PC. On the iPad version, you can find them on the right and left edges of the screen.
You can use them anytime by swiping from the edge of the screen towards the center.
Note: For more details on the edge keyboard for the iPad version, please refer to the following article.
● As intuitive as using your smartphone!
You might wonder if it’s difficult to draw on a tablet.
Definitely not! You can intuitively touch, slide, and swipe away to draw illustrations and add effects on pictures!
You can configure different commands for different multitouch gestures!
Go to the left of the [Command Bar], and from the finger button, select [Touch gesture settings] to adjust their settings.
Don’t forget these handy touch gestures!
Two-finger tap: Undo
Three-finger tap: Redo
How to Prevent Accidentally Touching the Screen
By using single swipe or long press then selecting [Don’t use tools with fingers], the tools will only respond to pen input.
● Supika’s brush
Supika usually uses the G-pen to color. She adjusts the [Tool Property] palette’s [Brush Size] and [Opacity] to color without changing the type of tool.
Supika says: “I usually go for a middle ground between a thick paint and watercolor effect.” I keep my brush crisp and adjust the opacity to change the darkness of the color.
● Drawing the Girl
(1) Drawing a “Hansel and Gretel” themed piece of work
I use the [Selection area] > [Lasso] sub tool to enclose an area around the girl, then copy and paste this on a different layer. This picks out the draft that I was planning to draw on.
(2) Using the [Layer] palette, I hide everything but the layer of the girl that I made in (1). I then delete any excess lines that I copied over. I’ll be drawing on this layer.
(3) I use a brush with 50–70% opacity to color her eyes light blue and her cheeks orange.
Since it’s a little transparent, the colors will gradually darken with every stroke.
Supika says: “I try to complete the face on this step because expressions are important.”
(4) I use a brush with 50% opacity. After taking the skin color with the [Eyedropper] tool, I paint some skin color in the bangs to give it a lighter feel.
I also take the color of the brown draft lines and use this to draw the final lines. I paint with semi-transparent colors, draw lines, then rinse and repeat.
(5) I use a yellowish brown (the transition color between the color of the main lines and the base color) and add lines to express the flow of the hair.
Adding a light color near the edges of the strands (the red areas) creates a three-dimensional look.
(6) I create a new layer, then set the blending mode to [Overlay] before coloring.
I use a brighter color for the top parts of the hair. The color looks like orange on the Overlay layer, but I’m actually using the dark blue color from the top right of the drawing.
Note: Things to keep in mind when using the [Overlay] blending mode
You can make warm colors more vivid by adding dark blue with the [Overlay] blending mode.
Make sure to paint the base layer underneath the [Overlay] layer with an opaque color.
The drawing on the left here had a transparent base layer, so the dark blue color was visible. When the lower layer is opaque, it becomes a nice reddish color like the drawing on the right.
(7) I return to the original layer, then add details in the eyes. The colors stand out more because the opacity of the pen is 75%.
(8) I create a new layer for the highlights of the hair, and add detailed lighting with thin lines.
(9) I paint the hood. At this stage, I also paint some of the hair that falls by the hood. I draw in the outlines using brown as it slowly takes shape.
(10) I add lights and shadows to the hood. I add light colors to the edges of the hood and smooth out the differences between the dark and light parts using transition colors.
(11) I take the highlights from the orange hair with the [Eyedropper] tool and add details. Because it’s a detailed area, I zoom in and take my time painting.
(12) I add wrinkles to the hood
Spica says: “I usually draw wrinkles without thinking too much about them. If they look balanced from far away, then it’s perfect.”
(13) I draw the eyebrows. After drawing them over the bangs in a light brown color, I outline the eyebrows with a light color to make their shape stand out.
(14) I add decorations to the hood.
I suddenly felt like adding a ribbon, so I did. After drawing the silhouette of the ribbon in white, I trace the outline with light brown.
(15) I take the dark brown from the main lines with the [Eyedropper] tool, then use it to color the large ribbon on her chest.
It’s easy to pick colors because the eyedropper tool shows exactly what color will be taken.
(16) I paint the skirt. First, I make a pink silhouette using the pen. Once I’m satisfied with the shape, I add contrast using dark colors.
Note: Write down important things on your work!
Supika likes to write down ideas and reminders directly on the canvas.
You can easily erase them later when working digitally, so it’s very convenient.
(17) I draw the arm that got covered up while coloring the clothes I also drew a bag as an accessory for that arm.
(18) I add depth to the brown ribbon I zoom out of the canvas so I can see the big picture, then adjust to fit the rest of the character.
(19) I add decorations to the vest and sleeves. I express the thickness of the fabric by adding colors on the frills of the sleeves.
(20) This is the finished version of the hood. It’s now a cute design of a white fabric with a red stripe and frills.
●Drawing the Boy
(1) I start drawing the boy after finishing step (17) of the girl’s process.
I divide the character into the rough lines and the colors, just like how I did with the girl.
(2) I use the [Navigator] palette to flip the canvas horizontally to the direction I feel more comfortable drawing the character. With the [Navigator] palette, you can also flip the canvas vertically and rotate the canvas.
(3) I draw the facial expression for the boy as well. I drew in closed eyes this time. Adding redness to the cheeks helps express a gentle feel.
(4) I decide the length of the bangs, and the shape of the hat. I also filled the hat with dark colors and added outlines.
(5) I add highlights and depth to the wrinkles on the hat. I place the highlights and shadows where I feel for a natural shape.
(6) I add gloss to the hair. I pick up the orange highlight color from the girl and use it to paint the boy.
▲ I drew the highlights for the hair on a layer with the [Overlay] blending mode for the girl. You can achieve the same effect on a normal layer by taking this orange with an eyedropper.
(7) I lighten the edges of the hair and hat by adding light blue. Now there’s a good contrast in depth and color.
Supika freely changes the posture and shape of the picture, as there is no line art. It’s much easier to express the joy of drawing by being free, without any strict procedures.
● The Position of the Boy’s Hands
He had a tea cup in the rough draft, but I decide to change this. He’s now tilting his hat. It matches his closed eyes.
● The Position of the Girl’s Legs.
I thought up two different positions for the legs. In the end I decided to stretch out her legs because the boy is in a sitting position.
● Colors of Accessories and Decorations
I was originally going to color the boy’s bow tie brown, but I changed it to pink to match the girl.
● Rough Draft of the Background
(1) Since I’m pretty much done with the characters, it’s time to work on the background. After drawing a rough draft, I add in different motifs using dark brown.
▲ By creating a background layer below the character, I can draw the background without having to draw around the character.
(2) I also decide on the background colors. I added a chair under the boy. (This chair will be replaced with a macaron later)
Note: What should I choose for colors?
Supika says: “I tend to consider how it looks on screen as well as the color chart.
For example, I use gray mixed with light blue when trying to color light blue. This looks much better for me than any pale color.
The screen itself is already a warm color, so desaturating it and using lighter colors will fit with the screen better.
● Drawing the Macarons
(1) I draw a macaron on a new layer. I draw round, light pink silhouettes regardless of where it is.
▲I draw wherever I want with whatever size I wish, because the characters are on another layer and it won’t overlap.
(2) I use a slightly darker pink to outline what I made in process (1) and to add wavy details to the edges of the macarons.
(3) I add depth to the overall background. I use pink as the base color and color the entire macaron using this color while slowly changing its darkness.
(4) Done! I gave a three-dimensional feel to the macarons by making the edges lighter.
I register this macaron as a material, then place several more in the background.
Note: Registering an image as a material
Select the layer of the image you want to register with the [Layer] palette.
From the [Material] palette’s top left menu, select [Register Image as Material] to show the registration window.
A [Material property] dialog box will appear. Enter [Material name] and [Location to save material], then press [OK].
This is all you need to convert your drawing into a material. You can even register the tip shape of your brush!
Your registered materials will be added to the location you selected in [Location to save material].
If you want to use your materials, all you have to do is drag and drop from the [Material] palette!
Supika says: “When making an illustration book with a single theme, these registered materials help a lot when making designs and decorations.”
● Cleaning Up the Screen
(1) From the [Layer property] palette’s [Border effect], I select [Edge] to add edges to my drawing.
▲ White dots will appear when I place a layer with dark colors at the bottom.
(2) I erase the white dots with the eraser tool, along with the edges. This method highlights all the unnecessary spots and lines, improving the overall quality of your work.
(1) I first select the area that I want to add textures to. I make a new layer and set its blending mode to [Overlay]. From the [Layer property] palette, I select [Border effect] > [Border of watercolor], then use [Watercolor] to add navy blue to different places.
(2) This gives a unique coloring to my work. I avoid applying this on faces and tend to use it more where the colors are dark.
Sharing Your Illustration.
I go to [File] > [Export (Single Layer)] > File format (PNG) to export my illustration.
Go to [File] > [File operation/Share], then select the exported file and click [Share]. This will bring up a list of icons of apps to share to.
All you have to do then is to select where you want to share, and your work is published!
Supika’s “Why tablet PCs?”
I used to draw on the computer using Clip Studio Paint.
I wanted to draw during my spare time outside my home, so I was planning to buy an iPad. It was around that time when Clip Studio Paint for iPad came out.
It didn’t feel difficult at all because I was already using the software at home. In fact, it even felt comfortable because I didn’t have to sit in front of the computer for so long. I was relieved from headaches and bad backs, and it felt refreshing to draw outside of the home.
I also like the fact that I can draw with both hands.
What is “Small S”? (スモールエス)
“Small S” is a Japanese illustration magazine first published in 2005. With the slogan “A magazine for tutorials and submissions,” it features special articles with step-by-step tutorial guides for illustration making, alongside many illustrations submitted by readers. It includes artworks made both traditionally and digitally. Readers can submit their illustrations online.