Hello everyone! Today’s tip is about how to make watercolor/ink calligraphy text, using Clip Studio Paint’s Text tool and other default tools and materials.


Type your text using the Text tool (shortcut [T]). Click outside the blue text box when you finish (or click the tick on the context pop-up). If you need to edit the text, simply choose the text tool and click the text again.

Choose your font and size on the Sub tool tab. You can also do various text editing here.

Hand-writing fonts, vintage fonts and fonts with thick (or a mix of thick and thin) strokes work best.

Right-click the text layer (or long-press with iPad version) > Rasterize…

… then click the [Lock transparent pixels] button on top of the Layer tab (We will be using this button a lot in this tutorial).

Pick the white color (it must be 100% white for this to work properly), and draw white all over your text. (You can also pick the white color after typing the text earlier, but I prefer this to see the text easier)

Now use the Realistic watercolor brushes, pick the black color, and draw all over your text. It's best to make the color unevenly and with a lighter/darker area, to mimic real life watercolor/ink texture. Ink effect will be darker than watercolor, you may try going over your text multiple times if you want to achieve the fountain pen ink writing effect. (You should set the Blending mode to Multiply instead of Replace alpha for this step)

Most fonts will have an uniform color appearance; but when you write/draw on paper, there are scratches and uneven patches, created by the paper's texture. To imitate this, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Mask Outside Selection. A mask is created and attached to your text.

Go to the Airbrush tool and pick the Droplet airbrush. Modify its particle size and density if needed. Pick the Transparent "color", and on the mask layer, draw over your text with the Droplet airbrush.

Switch to the G-pen or a similar brush, and pick any color that is not transparent. You can now "erase" the part you've drawn on the mask with the G-pen. Erase most of the particles save for the one that are on the text's border, like this:

When you are pleased with the result, right-click/long-press the mask and choose Apply Mask to Layer. Your text now has imperfect dents as if written by hand.

Now go to Edit > Convert brightness to opacity…

Make sure that the Lock transparent pixels button is still on. Use the soft airbrush, again draw over your text with any color you like. You now have a watercolor/ink-like text with watercolor texture and real-life imperfection.

For best result, even if your text is in one color, pick at least 2 colors: a lighter and a darker shade, to mimic the water running out.

When dried, watercolor text has a distinct darker border around it. You can achieve it using the Layer Property panel. Choose the watercolor border and modify the numbers as you like. You can use mine for reference:


When writing calligraphy, people often draft with ruler and pencil first, then erase the pencil lines afterward. You can mimic the pencil trace by drawing some light pencil line along the text. Make sure the pencil line layer is set to Multiply and/or behind your text layer.

Use a paper texture to amplify the analog effect:

Congratulations, your watercolor calligraphy is finished!


2A. Curved text

On your finished text, open Edit > Transform > Mesh Transformation…

Move the nodes to make your text into a curved shape.

2B. Masking fluid text

Type your text and rasterize the layer. Use the mask and droplet airbrush to create the rough border of the text like above.
Draw a watercolor background using the Realistic watercolor brushes on another layer.

Apply mask to text layer then right-click the text layer and go to Selection from Layer > Create Selection.

Go to the background area, press Delete. Hide the text layer.

Turn on the watercolor border to make the edges stand out. The text may appear too white-ish so add some light masking fluid tint (aqua color) on a new layer underneath.


2C. 3D text

Works with thick stroke fonts or thick + thin strokes fonts.

After rasterizing your text, duplicate the text layer and move it a bit. (I'm lowering the opacity for you to see easier; you should work at 100% opacity)

Right-click one layer > Selection from layer > Create Selection; then go to the other layer and press Delete.

Make the lower layer into watercolor like normal. You can hide the first layer or make it into watercolor text.

2D. Skewed text

After typing your text, you can choose to skew the text in the Tool property [Text] tab.

Skew your text using the bounding box. Then process as normal.

2E. Hollow text

Type your text. Select the text layer, then go to Layer > Convert Layer...

In the Convert Layer dialogue box, choose the Type: Vector layer. Go to Setting for vector... for further modifications.

The text is converted to a vector layer, with only the border of the text. Press O to go to Operation [Object] and modify the brush size + brush shape to your liking.

Rasterize the vector layer and continue as usual. This style also goes well with 3d text.

2F. Drop Cap

Drop cap is a large letter to mark the start of a text, marking important passages and guiding readers through the text. Drop caps are often heavily illustrated.

There are too many ways of illustrating a drop cap. Here are some examples. These are all made with the techniques above - decorating elements are drawn on using the realistic watercolor brushes (and the technique described on part 3). Choosing a fancy font also helps.


The technique to make watercolor text can be used to draw other watercolor elements.
For example this wreath: Draw with brush > create texture then convert brightness to opacity > add colors.

These make for a nice calligraphy project:

Hand-drawn corners and borders are a simple way to add to a design project, like this name tag:

Design your own calendar/planner page with the aid of rulers.

You can apply the text to snail mail and postcards (print them out and send them to your friends!):

Invitations, menus and illustrated text design: this invitation below use a mix between normal printed text and calligraphy text, with decoration roses.

And of course, you can use the text in your drawing!

Hope you can find something useful in my tutorial! If you like my tutorials, visit me at my pages! Let's have a chat:D



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