Starting on Clip Studio Paint with Small S! Part 6



Using Clip Studio Paint on Tablet PCs (Wacom MobileStudio Ed.)

Here, we’ll give the new and improved Clip Studio Paint another go, with a look at how to make your own illustrations with a variety of tablets.

You can always use a smartphone to illustrate, but working on the larger screen of a tablet is a totally different experience.

This time, we'll be using the Wacom MobileStudio tablet - a device boasting the same functions and pen compatibility as the pen tablets preferred by professional illustrators.

Conveniently portable in size and equipped with a Windows OS, the Wacom MobileStudio can also be used to surf the web and produce documents.

For those already using Clip Studio Paint on a desktop, or those just looking for a portable laptop solution, the Wacom MobileStudio is worth a look.

This time, artist Sakura Oriko joins us to introduce Clip Studio Paint functions that help you make the most of drawing and painting on a tablet.

Featured Artist for Part 6: Sakura Oriko

Illustrator living in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.

Oriko illustrates for children’s books, novels, manga and designs characters.

What you need to start creating on a tablet:

Wacom MobileStudio Pro13

Onboard OS: Windows 10 Home

Note: Requires Internet access

- Using Clip Studio Paint

If it's your first time with Clip Studio Paint, you’ll need to purchase the software

or download the free trial.

Install Clip Studio Paint to your Wacom MobileStudio.

What kind of stuff can I do when drawing on a tablet?

- A pro-level tablet wherever you go!

“One thing I’m concerned about with portable tablets is that I want to draw on them the same way I draw on my beloved home drawing tablet.” - Oriko

The Wacom MobileStudio is a product of the home drawing tablet manufacturer Wacom.

Pro creators agree: The drawing feel of the Wacom MobileStudio is great!

Wacom ProPen2 Included!

What’s important in a pen is the pen pressure sensitivity value.

The included Wacom ProPen2 comes with an amazing 8192 levels of pen pressure sensitivity.

You can draw accurate and smooth lines with a natural touch!

It also comes with a case suitable for storing and carrying such a delicate device.

- The power to rotate, change brush sizes and perform other operations in the palm of your hand!

You can perform operations by directly touching the LCD screen.

The Wacom MobileStudio is more than just a touch panel. You can assign actions to the buttons included on the side panel.

Your most frequently used functions can be assigned to easy-to-reach buttons.

The Wacom MobileStudio’s right and left-hand sides alike feature an array of useful buttons.

The long strips are action keys, with a central touch wheel between them.

Functions like Next, Return, and Change Brush Size can all be controlled with the single touch of a button.

- The convenience of a tablet that doubles as a laptop.

The MobileStudio is equipped with a Windows OS, so you can use it just like a laptop, in addition to drawing with it.

There may not be any other tablet on the market that can do both of these things well!

The model we sampled was the smaller of the two sizes available (13 in.).

Lined up next to an issue of Small S, it’s pretty compact, but the screen fills up most of the interior space for a lot of punch!

The tablet provides drawing space approximately the size of an A4 sheet of paper.

That’s the same amount of drawing space as any sketchbook - a real pleasure to work on!

Weighing in at about 1.4 kg, it weighs about as much as a standard laptop,

with size similar to a thick magazine; you can stow in a bag with no problems.

Next time you’re in the market for a laptop or a drawing tablet, this one’s certainly worth your consideration.

Recommended Functions - Use different brushes for visual interest

- My main brush

[Pencil] tool > [Darker pencil]

Primarily for line work.

This is the Clip Studio Paint default and gives a crisp, sharp effect.

Oriko uses custom starting and ending values.

[Brush] Tool > [Opaque watercolor]

This is my brush for coloring.

This lays down color better than the Transparent Watercolor brush, and gets full coverage in one pass.

Even with 100% opacity, the tablet’s pen pressure sensitivity allows for shading.

[Airbrush] tool > [Soft]

This is when I want to lay down soft, fuzzy colors, like the red in cheeks.

The line of the brush isn’t sharp, so it gives the impression of softness.

I also use this for changing colors in line drawings and making other small adjustments.

[Pen] Tool > [G-pen]

When I want to add clear colors, like when highlighting hair.

It’s opaque, so it’s good for touching up hair and clothes, and for the subtle glint in pupils and other places where transparency is undesirable.

- Downloadable brushes for characters and illustrations

The brush set downloaded for examples below is the Hand drawn brush / Snow brush set by 27pt (Content ID: 1727552)

Click [Search Downloaded Assets] at the top of the Materials palette.

Clip Studio will launch and display the Assets page.

There are lots of downloadable materials available here.

You can narrow down your search if you have something specific in mind.

See something you like? Go ahead and download! 

(A fee is associated with some items)

Just drag the brush you want to add and easily boost your brush options.

Here, we’ll add to [Decoration] You can also add to [Eraser] and other tools.

You’ll have immediate access to anything you’ve added. You can customize other brushes just like this.

If you adjust [Tool Property], you can create different touches for all kinds of brushes.

Example using the [Decoration] Brush

Ribbon Decoration

Rhombus shapes and flowers, paired with zig-zagging lines.

The rigid shapes impart an impression of snow and cold seasons.

Winter Beanie Decoration

Trees and snow drawn from dots. Decorative Crosses

Stretching patterns over curved edges is one use of the [Decoration] tool.

Decorative Background

A brush that can draw uniform lines. Here used for a decorative background.

You can draw lots of lines all at once to save time.

Illustration Tutorial 1) Sketching, Flatting, Line drawing - Painting

- Sketching, Flatting and Line Drawing

1) Sketching an outline of a wintery image using cool colors and winter accessories

We’ll limit the color palette to about five colors.

2) Before flatting, we’ll fill the character in a bold color.

This way, you can check to see if anything’s been left unpainted.

Using a gray color fill makes it easier to spot uncolored areas, and improves efficiency by letting you fill later with your primary color.

3) Now, we’ll change the line art to match the colors of the various parts.

We’ll make a new layer and clip it to the line art layer, then paint a different color at the top using [Airbrush] tool > [Soft]

Oriko: “Separate the colors into different layers, rather than the parts, so you don’t end up with too many layers.”

- Painting Skin

1) Add red lines to the cheeks using the [Darker pencil] tool.

We can easily adjust the intensity of the lines by placing the character’s main lines on a different layer.

2) Use [Soft] to apply a gentle red coloration to the cheeks, then [Opaque watercolor] to draw crisp shadows from the bangs

Oriko: “There are three layers of color to the shadow of the bangs, but just one for the red of the cheeks.”

3) We’ll draw a line just around the border of the light and dark shadows of the bangs.

This adds crispness to the shape of the shadow to emphasize it and add some variation.

Oriko: “The shadows on the skin are split into three layers.” 1) Light shadows 2) Dark shadows 3) Lines around the border

The line is drawn using the [Eyedropper] tool to grab the color of the dark shadow, then the [Darker pencil]

Recommended Function - A feature of digital! Let’s try changing the colors as we see fit.

1. Taking a look at the variations of similar colors.

1) Grab the color you want to paint a similar color to with the [Eyedropper] tool.

2) Double click [Drawing color], displayed in the [Tool] palette.

3) Click the [Color settings] dialogue box and select the color you want to change the drawing color.

If you’re not sure about the shadow color to use, move the base color in the direction of the arrow and choose a color

Types of color settings

The [Default] screen - great for when you want to change between similar colors.

With the [Color wheel], you can conveniently see the color tones at the same time.

[Color set] displays registered color sets.

2. When you want to make major color changes

1) Oriko changes colors after initially painting them out.

2) With [Edit] menu > [Color correction], you can adjust colors by color layer.

3) You can search for your preferred color, change color tone and more here.

Types of Tonal Correction

With [Level correction], you can make adjustments to strong colors, intermediate colors and bright colors.

In the [Hue/Saturation/Luminosity] section, there’s a particularly wide range of Hue values.

With [Color balance], you can choose and adjust specific colors.

Illustration Tutorial - 2) Coloring hair - Adding details

- Coloring Hair

1) First shadow layer We’ll choose a color just a little darker than the base color and paint while paying attention to the tufts of hair.

2) We’ll grab the skin color with the [Eyedropper] and use [Soft] to apply gently. We’ve made things just a bit brighter.

Oriko: “I largely stick to the areas closest to the hair.” This blends well with the hair for a gentle impression.

3) Adding shine to hair.

Go with a color slightly lighter than the base, and border it at top and bottom with a darker color.

Adding these dark areas gives a crisp impression and shape to the shine.

4) Adding the flow of the hair to the sheen with [Darker pencil]

This adds randomness to increase the impression of a natural reflection.

Oriko: “I want to add a crisp, thin line, so I’ll use the [Darker pencil] we used in the line art.”

- Details - Hair

1) After completing the hair in general, we’ll add details to give the work visual interest. This makes the tufts of hair appear thinner and overlapping for a three-dimensional effect.

2) Add details on a new layer.

We’ll add some strands of silver hair with the [G-pen] We’ll increase the brush size and draw a line.

Oriko: “The [G-pen] doesn’t allow the colors below to show through and draws nice, crisp lines, so I use it for detail work.”

3) We’ll pick out the silver hair strands with the same color as the main line.

We’ll get natural-looking strands using pen strokes, rather than first drawing outlines.

Oriko: “When outlining the strands, I sometimes draw a line over areas where the hair intersects.”

- Details - Clothes

1) Adding shadows and wrinkles to the clothes.

We have three types of shades: Light, dark and blue-ish.

A. We’ve added slightly warm colors along light shadows, wrinkles and the line of the arm.

B. We blend into the color of the clothing using dark, slightly blue-ish shadows.

C. We add blue-ish shade to the darkest areas. The strong colors create nice variation.

2) Adding ornamental details. We’ve added some fine lace and flower details to the clothes and the ribbon for a more resplendent look.

Oriko: “There’s something nice about it feeling hand-drawn, so I went free-form on the ornamental features of the clothes. But there are also times when it’s better to use a brush.”

1) Adding wrinkles to the wrist. The peaks and valleys are emphasized for a 3D, frilled effect.

2) Now we’ve added even more volume and thickness to the frills. There’ve also been some fine touches added to the ribbon.

Oriko: “For the roughly drawn lace, I use the [G-pen] to add details while erasing the underlying line drawing. The frill takes on a 3D effect, adding weight for a more gorgeous image.”

Recommended Function - Adjusting colors for added atmosphere and a more completed feel

This will be achieved with blending modes.

Pictured below are the blending modes available in Clip Studio Paint. It’s got many uses, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

The blending mode you’re currently using is displayed above the layer so it’s easy to understand.

Fine-tuning colors with blending modes

Oriko uses multiple blending modes in the process of completing a work.

One is the [Linear burn], which makes the layer below more transparent while also boosting contrast.

Here, we’ve applied [Linear burn] to the skin color to give the character a yellowish hue. Now the image feels more unified.

Oriko: “it’s a slight difference but adjusting the cool colors really warms everything up.”

2. Using gradient maps

Gradient maps are a type of tonal correction that replaces a color with a gradient matching the intensity of the color displayed on the screen.

The level of gradient can be adjusted to your liking. It’s an easy way to add some interesting effects.

Oriko: “I use gradient maps a lot. It’s useful when you want to make the colors feel more unified.”

If you clip to the layer, you can adjust the colors in portions.

You can make the image monotone for checking luminosity, too. Another fun aspect: You can custom-make your own gradients!

Different Effects with Gradient Maps

[Sepia] Great for a sepia tone photo feel, or for applying to furniture.

[Somber Shade (green)] is good for bringing a range of luminosities and saturation to similar colors.

[Sunrise (Purple)] creates a complex mix of blues, reds, purples and yellows.


If you want to directly change the color of the layer, choose [Edit] menu > [Tonal correction] > [Gradient map]

If you want to directly change the color of the whole illustration, choose [Layer] menu > [New correction layer] > [Gradient map]

Illustration Tutorial - 3) Detailing Eyes - Changing Colors - Completion

Detailing and Coloring Eyes

1) Light blues and yellows have been added to the iris. The white of the eye is also painted, and a gray shadow from the eyelid added.

2) In the area outlined in red, we’ve placed a line drawing of an intermediate color between light and dark blue. This aids in transition between the colors above and below.

3) We’ll add highlights, and circular blue and yellow details. This gives the eye clearer shape and more impact.

4) Matching the colors of the eye and decorations. We’ve added color to the [Hue] layer and adjusted opacity.

Finishing Touches, Adjusting Line Drawing Colors, Adding a White Light Source

Oriko: "I want to make the line drawing just a bit softer, so I stacked with a navy blue-colored layer using the [Lighten] blending mode. This changes the line drawing to just thick, deep-blue lines. This is a convenient blending mode."

Oriko: “We’ll put a white light source around the character. We’ll choose the [Add (Glow)] blending mode and lay down some white around the outlines of the ribbon, hair, hat, etc. The effect is a bit too strong at 100% opacity, so we’ll adjust that down.”

This is the finished illustration!

Why Oriko recommends a Wacom MobileStudio tablet

“This is the first time I’ve used the Wacom Mobile Studio tablet PC, but I was really happy that I could use my existing desktop Clip Studio Paint account on the tablet right away.

And, while I’m usually using an LCD pen tablet, with the Wacom MobileStudio I can touch the screen directly to shrink, expand and rotate, and it’s got function keys built in just like my pen tablet. It’s easy to use!

You can also easily carry it around, so it seems like it’d be perfect for whipping up some art at a cafe or wherever you happen to go!”

What’s Small S?

“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.


Related articles


New Official Articles