Water Drop Tutorial




In this tutorial I will show you how to create a water drop in Clip Studio Paint.

This tutorial also comes with a video where you can watch the steps as they unfold.

The link is below.

Setting up

Open Clip Studio Paint. Enter your settings and press OK.

Save the work and its location by clicking [File] menu > [Save As].


To import the image that you want to add water drop to, go to [File] menu > [Import] > [Image].

Select the image then click open. Adjust the size of the image if needed by dragging the handles of the box that appears.



In the Layer Palette, move this image below the blank layer that was automatically created along with the file. Do this by clicking on it then dragging it below the layer.

Water Drop Dot

Click on the blank layer and name it Droplet. Do this by hovering over the word ‘layer’ then double clicking on it. Enter ‘Droplet’ then press enter.



Click on the [Brush] tool from the [Tool palette] and select the [G-Pen] from the [Sub tool] palette. Adjust the brush size then create a single dot on the layer.


Lock transparent pixels on this layer by clicking the [Lock Transparent Pixel] icon at the top of the layer palette while on that layer. Or, go to [Layer] menu > [Layer Settings] > [Lock transparent pixels]. This will make sure you don’t paint outside the dot.


Apply Gradient

Go to the [Gradient tool] from the [Tool] palette. Choose the [Foreground to background] sub tool. In the color wheel, set the foreground color to black and the background color to white.



To further adjust the gradient , click [Advanced settings] in the tool property palette. On the color bar there should be only two colors, black and white. If there are other colors, delete them by clicking on the node then clicking the delete icon. Or, use the left or right arrow until you are at the color you want to delete, then click the delete icon. Do this until you only have the two colors, black and white. Press Ok.


Now, apply gradient. The black, which is the foreground color and the first color in the gradient, should be facing the direction of the light source.

Apply gradient so that the starting and ending points are not too close to the droplet. You don't want a hard black and white because then you'd have to decrease the opacity a lot.

Set the [Blending mode] of the layer to [Overlay] and adjust the opacity to your liking. I set mines to 76.


On this same layer, select the color white and apply a spec of highlight at the bottom near the edge of the droplet.


Personally, I like to use the [Shadow] Airbrush sub tool with the [Blending mode] set to Normal.

Inner Shadow

While still on the droplet layer, go to [Layer] menu > [Selection from layer] > [Create selection].

Then create a new layer above this layer by clicking the [New raster layer] icon at the top of the Layer palette or by going to [Layer] menu > [New raster layer].


Now that you have a selection of the shape of the droplet, it is time to outline it. Select the color black from the color wheel. While still on this newly created layer. go to [Edit] menu > [Outline selection].


In the [Outline selection] dialogue box, click the [Draw on border] border type and enter a line width size that will give you a thin line inside the selection area. Then click OK.


To blur this line. Go to [Filter] menu > [Blur] > [Gaussian blur]. When the dialogue box comes up, specify the strength and click OK. I recommend specifying a low strength so that the border is not blurred too much.


Un-select the selection by clicking the [Deselect] icon in the bar of icons beneath the selection or by going to [Select] menu > [Deselect]. Now clip this layer to the droplet layer below by clicking the [Clip to layer below] icon in the Layer palette or by going to [Layer] menu > [Layer setting] > [Clip to layer below].


Set the [Blending mode] of this layer to [Multiply] and adjust its intensity by adjusting the Opacity of the layer.


Drop Shadow

Click on the droplet layer and create a selection from it again. Do this by going to [Layer] menu > [Selection from layer] > [Create selection]. With the selection created, create a new layer. Again, to do this, click the [New raster layer] icon in the layer palette or go to [Layer] menu > [New raster layer].


Name this layer ‘shadow’ by double clicking on the word ‘layer’ that is on the layer in the layer palette. Enter the name and press enter on your keyboard.

Now go to [Layer] menu > [Layer mask] > [Mask selection]. At this layer in your layer palette you will see a small white box with a black circle in it appear. This is the mask. To get back to editing the layer, click the other box that is to the left of the mask box. A white outline will move from the mask box to this box indicating that you are no longer on the mask.


Set the blending mode of this layer to [Overlay]. Then select the color black and apply shadow that is casting away from the light source using the Airbrush. I find it easy to apply the shadow using the Airbrush with a size that is close to that of the droplet.


After that, select a light gray and apply a small highlight in the center of this shadow to depict light passing through the droplet. This might be easier using a small brush size and [Hardness] set to low in the [Tool property] palette.


Shine and Finishing Touches

Once more, create a new layer above this shadow layer. With the color white selected, use the [G-Pen] brush sub tool and add a dot near the top of the droplet in the direction of the light source. You may blur it a bit if you so desire.



Your water drop is done. To get it to be just one layer, hold down the ‘Shift’ key and click all the layers with parts of the droplet on it. Then go to [Layer] menu > [Merge selected layers] to merge them all into one layer.


Finally, set the [Blending mode] to [Overlay] or for best results to [Vivid Light].



A great thing about the droplet is that it can be applied to a different background without any adjustments. Just change the image on the layer beneath it.



To get more water drops, just duplicate this layer as many times as you want by going to [Layer] menu > [Duplicate layer].


You can change their position using the [Move layer] or [Operation] tool in the tool palette. Make sure you click on the water drop before you drag.


You may then make the water drops more dynamic using the [Liquify] tool. Go to the [Blend] tool from the tool palette then choose the [Liquify] subtool category.


The different Liquify modes include [Expand] and [Pinch] with adjustable [Strength], [Brush size] and [Hardness].


The [Pinch] mode can be used to easily shrink the water drop without going through the hassle of using another tool. Just make sure the brush size is big enough to cover the water drop.


The [Pinch] mode can also be used to distort the shape of the water drop. Apply it with the brush tip only over the edge of the water drop.


The [Expand] mode can easily enlarge the size of the droplet when the brush size is big enough to cover all of it.


Asset Store

Luckily for you guys, the image of the water drop created in this tutorial is posted on the Clip Studio Asset Store free for you to download. The link is below. Just remember to set the [Blending mode] to [Overlay] or [Vivid Light] when you download it.



Enjoy and thank you for reading this tutorial.


About Author

Hi there. I am Stelamoris and I am a self taught artist. I like to make digital illustrations and sometimes short and simple animations. You can check me out on Deviantart.



I also recently started a comic on Webtoon Canvas that I am extremely proud of. It would mean alot to me if you check it out. It is called ‘Acid Tears’ and is under the genre of Romance and Drama. Here is the link to it.




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