Draw a strip with CLIP STUDIO PAINT




[1] About this course.

Today Instagram has become one of the most used social networks in the world. Many artists use it as their main dissemination platform for their work. If you are here, it is surely asking yourself: why not me? In this lesson, I will guide you step by step so that you can produce your first comic book with CLIP STUDIO PAINT and distribute it on social networks.

To draw a strip, you must first take care of the script. A strip is a short comic strip intended to make people laugh. A comicstrip or strip can be defined as follows: a few boxes that present a situation ending in a fall. The strip must be effective, without concession.

Bulle 1 : « So, what did you get for Christmas ? »

Bulle 2 : « A Buzz Lightyear ! »

Bulle 3 : « My… precious… »

[2] Presentation of the steps to draw a strip.

The summary for drawing a strip is "Preparatory drawings> Sketch of boxes> Draw in boxes> Inking> Lettering> Export".

So I'm going to explain this process in that order.


Brushes and tools used

Brushes: [Drawing pencil], [Darker pencil], [Plume G] and [Plume Maru].


[Drawing pencil]

I use the [Drawing pencil] tool to make the first drawings in the boxes. I choose a pencil size large enough to force me not to draw the details at first. I don't touch opacity, this pencil will only be used to lay the construction lines of my drawings.

For an image with a dimension of 1080 by 1080 pixels with a resolution of 350 DPI, I set the size of the brush to 8.

Tool location: [Pencil] tool> [Pencil]> [Drawing pencil]> [Darker pencil]

I use this brush to place the finer elements of my drawing. With this tool I can draw the details. I also don't touch opacity and I set the brush size to 5.

[Feather G]

I use this brush while inking. I use it to draw almost all the elements. Here I set the opacity to the maximum and the size to 5. For a project of this dimension and in this resolution, I like that the line is quite thick. As I plan to publish this work on the internet and it will be mainly consulted on smartphones mainly, the lines must be thick enough to be clearly visible.

Tool location: [Pen]> [Pen]> [Nib G] tool

[Maru feather]

To finish, the [Plume Maru] is very useful for me to draw the last details like the folds of the clothes, the eyes, the hair and some elements of the decoration if there are any. The opacity is always set to the maximum and the size remains at 5.

Tool location: [Pen] tool> [Pen]> [Maru nib]

[3] Preparatory sketches

To offer a quality strip, it is imperative to master the design of the characters you want to present. To do this, you must start by making some preparatory sketches. When I am in a research phase I use the [Drawing pencil] tool. To prevent the drawings from being different from one box to another, you have to practice drawing the characters several times.

During this phase, I change the default color of my brush. For organizational reasons, I always draw in blue during the sketching and research phases. So when I ink my drawing, the blue of the pencil does not disturb my gaze: the black lines are those of the final drawing.

[4] Prepare the boxes

After practicing drawing the characters, I move on to drawing the boxes. As I plan to publish my drawings on Instagram, I choose to make one image per box.


To start you have to create a new document: File> New. In the dialog box, I choose the settings for an illustration proposed by CLIP STUDIO PAINT. These settings allow me to get a blank page without having the limits for cutting out lost edges.


I determine a definition of 350 dpi for a size of 1080 by 1080 pixels, which is more than enough for this type of work.


Before starting to draw my box, I save the parameters of my illustration so that I don't have to enter them again. In the dialog box that appears, I name this setting "Instagram Square", I check [Template] and [Paper color] and then click [OK]. My setting now appears in the [Preset] drop-down menu.

To finish creating my blank page, I press [OK].

[5] Draw in the boxes

To draw my boxes, I start by placing the general volume of my characters and / or the decor. In order to organize my work as well as possible, I rename the layer on which I will draw the sketch of my board. For this work, I will need five layers: the sketch, the inking, the colorization, the lettering and the bubbles.


To finish setting up my layer, I indicate that it is a draft layer. So I can organize my work. For that I do a [right click] on my layer then in the menu I select: Layer parameters> Define as draft layer.

For this strip, I choose not to draw a decoration so that the look is attracted only by the character. As in my character research phase, I use the [Drawing pencil] tool and I select a blue color.

I first place the general shape of my character and his attitude. I’m trying to make it as dynamic as possible.

I also draw the bubble to be able to organize my drawing according to it in order to anticipate the place it will take in the final drawing.


To add details to my sketch, I use the [Darker pencil] tool. I draw the eyes, the mouth, the fingers and the details of the clothes. At this point, I’m trying to give my character maximum expression. For this I play with the eyebrows, the look, the opening of the eyes as well as the orientation of the face. The hands also play a large role in the expressions that the characters transmit.

[6] Inking: layers

To ink my sketch, I create a new layer (1) by pressing the button provided for this purpose in the [Layers] palette.

I call this layer "Inking" (2).

I again select the “Draft” layer (3) and I lower its opacity to 25% (4). In this way, I can more easily control the quality of my inked line.

The inking step is very important and should not be overlooked. It allows me to place the lines of my final drawing.

I start my inking using the [Pen G] tool. First, as in the sketching phase, I place the main volumes. In order to give as much dynamism as possible to my character, I draw my features from top to bottom. The tool [Pen G] has a tendency like a real pen G to thicken at the end of the line. If necessary, I can correct certain lines so that they correspond to what I have in mind.

Then I change the tool to use the [Maru Pen]. I use it to draw the details. The line is thinner and allows me to be more precise on elements such as the eyes or the hair.

If necessary, I can change the settings of my brushes to suit my style and the way I draw. For that I can act on the brush parameters in the "Tool properties" window.

[7] Lettering: choosing your tools

After inking, I just have to write neatly in the bubbles. For that I first use the [Text] tool to write the dialog (1). Then, the [Bubble] tool allows me to draw a bubble (2). Finally, I select the secondary tool [Bubble arrow] to create the queue that will indicate which character is speaking (3 and 4).

[8] Publication: export your drawing

Finally, I export my drawing so that I can publish it on the internet. For this I choose: [File]> [Export (simple layer)]> .jpg (JPEG).

Finally, I export my drawing to the folder where I saved all of the files for this project.

I just have to post my work on the social network.

This concludes this tutorial for creating a strip in black and white with CLIP STUDIO PAINT and to celebrate, here is the strip that I drew during the writing of this tutorial, in color:

Bulle 1 : « You know Julio, I want you to make an effort ! Our relationship won’t work without it… »

Bulle 2 : « But I warn you Julio, there is no question that you spend your days locked in your bubble anymore ! I just want one thing : a little consideration from your behalf ! »

Bulle 3 : « I feel like I am alone in this relationship Julio ! »



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