Fun With Lineless Art!



Welcome, one and all, to a tutorial on how to make lineless art, or at least I know how to do it. My method of making lineless art may require a lot of planning and and time, but it is the easiest I could find. So, let's begin, shall we?

1. Sketching

First of all, you need something to base your lineless art on. It could be a character that you already made, or a new character entirely. Here is a character that I'll be using just for this demonstration: Bunny Flowers.

1. I prepared a layer with 3 sketches of Bunny with the blue pencil I made. This layer is what I call the Extremely rough sketch layer, as I mostly laid out the features and poses.

As you can see, I originally designed Bunny as a princess-type character before deciding to give her a modern-day aesthetic. Also, Bunny's proportions in the third drawing were WAY off, but I'll fix that shortly.

2. I made another layer, called Rough Sketch, to tighten up the artwork. My sketch looks better than the Extremely rough Layer, but it still has some issues to iron out. Note that there were things that weren't present in the final image, like the freckles.

Make sure you take the time to correct any mistakes on this layer, and/or make as many rough layers as you need, as this is the basis for the final sketch. Speaking of which...

BONUS TIP: On the extremely rough and rough layers, if you want to fix certain proportions without having to draw the same proportions again, the Lasso and Transform Tools are your time-saving best friends.

3. The last and most important sketch, the final sketch, is where you will be basing your line art on, line art or not. Make sure you take extra time to refine the sketch until your satisfied.

Here is Bunny Flowers so far:

And a gif showing all the sketches I made:

2. How I did Line Art

So we did all the sketches. Yay! Now we're going into the fun part of the process: the lineless art itself. Let's spice things up a bit. In addition to the basic lineless art process, I'll attempt two types of lineless art that I don't think has been done anywhere else, but can make your lineless art interesting.

Method 1: Basic Lineless art

This is the most basic and easiest method to grasp on. Just remember that, regardless of which method you choose, ALL COLORS MUST BE PICKED IN ADVANCE! This is super important.

1. After picking a palette to work with, I made a new layer and color block the final sketch layer with a color from that palette, In this case, it's the skin.

2. I then color block subsequent layers that are made for each part of her body, clipping them to the first layer as I go

3. Now we need to define the shapes. When doing lineless art, it's always a good idea to define shapes that are the same color.


I added two layers to define the shape, one is used to act as shading, the other for finer details like eyelashes

At this point, I hid the Final Sketch Layer.

4. One more thing to add before moving on: the texture. To achieve this, I added some texture with a textured airbrush on the shading layer:

Finally, I added a texture on the entire image to make Bunny look like a flocked toy, using my favorite texture, set on soft light at 40% opacity:

In case you're asking, the texture can be found here:

Here is the end result:

About methods 2 and 3

The last two methods are just me going over the general ideas rather than a step by step tutorial, as both have basically the same steps as method 1, but with a few differences, the most important one being that they're made with different mediums.

BONUS TIP #2: Your cases may vary, but if you decide to make your lineless art via the last two methods, keep in mind that the mediums used are transparent. Therefore, you CANNOT clip them to the base layer; otherwise, the subsequent layers will disappear into the base layer:

Method 2: Colored Pencil

For Bunny's second portrait, I decided to color her with a brush based off of colored pencils. C'mon, how many of you have drawings from your childhood that resemble something like this?

1. I have made two pencils for this. One for details, and the other for coloring:

In the shading section, I added cute little details such as curly lines and a subtle hint as to what Bunny's little tail used to be.

Method 3: Watercolor

The last method I used is based off one of my favorite mediums to work with: Watercolors. While lineless watercolor does exist in real life, it can be tricky to pull off. So for beginners, I paint this via the Mogu style.

What is the Mogu style, you ask? It is a Chinese painting technique where the form is made without outlines, hence the name, which literally translates to boneless. Mostly used for flower paintings like the one down below:

Since this is Digital Artland, we can cheat with the sketch we made

After a bit of cleaning up, everything's done!

FINAL BONUS TIP: Of course, you could make lineless art using any medium brush (i.e oils, markers, crayons) you like!


I hope that this tutorial will help you make lineless art using different mediums to start with. If you have any issues, do let me know in the comments below.

Until next time...



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