Sketching with brushes & ink




This is a how-to on making a pop illustration in Clip Studio Paint on iPad.

I will show you how to use different features in Clip Studio Paint while guiding you through the process of drawing a traditional-looking sketch of a sneaker with the built-in brushes.



I’ll go through the following steps to draw this sneaker.


You can download a .clip file of the completed illustration below.


In this guide, I’m using the tablet version of Clip Studio Paint, but you can follow this guide with almost no changes to illustrate on your computer or smartphone too!

For the basic instructions on how to use Clip Studio Paint on other devices, take a look at the articles below.


Basic Windows/Mac version operation

[Tablet version] Learn the basic operations of Clip Studio Paint

[Smartphone version] Learn the basic operations of Clip Studio Paint




1) Creating a canvas

After starting up Clip Studio Paint, let’s create a canvas to draw on.


Tap New on the left-hand side of the command bar at the top of the screen.


Set the Project to Illustration, and enter 2,000 for both the Width and Height parameters.



Check out the following TIPS article to learn more about creating and setting up a canvas.


Click OK to create a square canvas.



To learn more about each palette on the screen, refer to the following TIPS article.




2) Setting up your Layers

Layers are used to create art in digital drawing software.




■ What is a layer?


Each layer acts as a transparent film.

When drawing digitally, separating the parts of an illustration into layers makes it easier to make adjustments and corrections later on.




■ The Layer palette


Tap the palette dock icon on the left-side to open the palette.

Tap the icon highlighted in orange to open the Layer palette.


For this illustration we will use a different layer for each medium.

① Click New Raster Layer above the Layer palette to add layers.




Tap twice to add two layers.




Next, double-tap the layer to rename it.

Rename your layers from the top to “Pen”, “Watercolor”, and “Pencil” respectively.


Drag the grip on the right-hand side of the layer down to reorder the layers.




3) Rough Sketch

Draw your sketch on the “Pencil” layer.




■ Pencil tool


I will use the Pencil tool to draw the rough sketch.


Select Pencil from the Tool palette, and choose Pencil from the Sub tool palette.


Change the color of the pencil by tapping the black tile in the Color Set palette where you can find basic colors.




■ Draft


Once you have the basic shapes down you will want to draw in the details.


Use the Eraser tool to clean up your mistakes.

Select the Eraser icon from the Tool palette to use it.


Clean up the rough sketch enough so that you won’t get confused about lines you will want to ink.


You could draw your sneaker on the ground as it would be normally, but for this illustration I chose to add more movement to the composition by placing it with just the heel touching the ground.




■ Lighten the sketch lines


Next I will lower the opacity of the sketch to make it easier to draw over.


You can change the opacity of a layer by using the slider on the upper right side of the Layer palette.


Now the Pencil layer is lighter.




4) Line Art

Use the Pen tool to draw on the "brush pen" layer in the Layer palette.




■ Give it the Brush Pen touch


You can give variation to your line art using this brush that replicates the look of a brush dipped in India ink.


Tap the Brush tool from your Tool palette and select the India ink group from the Sub tool palette, then select Brush pen.


You can set this to black from the Color Set palette like you did with the pencil.


The Brush pen will make different strokes depending on pen pressure and speed.

Try to use this to draw dynamic lines that will give the sneaker line art weight and depth.


You can open the Brush size palette to change it to a bigger brush to give it more variation.


You can create brushstrokes more intuitively if you rotate your canvas while putting down the lines.

Rotate the angle of the canvas by pressing down two fingers and pivoting them.


Use Undo if you want to redo any of the lines.

You can undo the last line you did by tapping with two fingers on the canvas.


Use the thickness of the Brush pen lines to show where the laces overlap and the shadows of the inside of the shoe.


Use the expressive start and finish of your strokes to accentuate the heel of the shoe hitting the ground.


Once the line art is done open the Layer palette and get rid of the “Pencil” layer.

By clicking the eye icon on the left side of the Layer palette, you can hide unnecessary layers.




■ Pen hatching


Add hatching using your Pen to add more texture and shades to your line art.

Hatching is a technique where you use slanted lines overlapping to express color, shade, and texture.


Tap the Pen tool from your Tool palette and select the Pen group from the Sub tool palette, then select Mapping pen.


The Mapping pen is a great pen for drawing fine lines.


I will put in hatching in places where there is a shadow or there are overlapping parts.

You can change the degree of shadow by adding in more layers of slanted lines and increase the line density.


You can achieve a broad range of effects by hatching with different types of pens.

Try out different pens and different thicknesses to show different moods with your hatching.




5) Color with watercolor


I will apply two colors overlapping with the watercolor brush.

I decided on a bright orange and deep green for this piece.




■ Watercolor splash


Select orange from the Color Wheel palette.


Tap the Brush tool from your Tool palette and select the Watercolor group from the Sub tool palette, then select Watercolor splash.


The Watercolor splash Sub tool creates the effect of paint splashing off of a brush.

The color put down will result in an array of slightly different colors.


Choose 700 from the Brush Size palette.


Open the Layer palette, choose the “Watercolor” layer and start applying the orange color to the top.


I will put green down on the lower part of the drawing.

I want to create an area where the orange and green overlap in the middle of the sneaker.




■ Wet wash


Use another brush to lighten the colors on the canvas to make it washed out like traditional watercolor.

Select the Wet wash tool from the Sub tool palette.


The Wet wash tool makes strokes as if you are using a brush soaked in water.

Now select the transparent color.

You can select transparent from the checkerboard icon on the bottom part of the Tool palette.


If you use transparent with the Wet wash on your canvas it will wash out your colors, as if you were using real water.

Control the density of the brush with brush pressure and gently erase the color.


Use a 30-size brush for the top of the shoe and a 10-size brush for the laces.


After adjusting the colors, go back to the Watercolor splash tool and add in more bright orange and deep green.

You can check the colors used previously by opening the Color History palette. Get the orange and green here.


Change the brush size while applying more wet wash.

You can use the wet wash to deepen the overlapping colors.

Don’t lift your pen away from the canvas mid-stroke when coloring in areas that you want evenly filled.


Use green to color the sole with a 30-size brush and then use orange in a 10-size brush to add more color.


Next select the transparent color and a 5-size brush to draw in the stitching on the sneaker, and you are done!




■ Signature


Add in another layer, name it “Signature”, and then drag it to the top.


I used a Brush pen in white and set it to a 50-size.


As the final touch, let’s add our signature, and voilà - we’re all done!




6) Saving and sharing

If you save your work in the Clip Studio format, you can save it with the layers intact.


Tap the Save button in the Command bar, choose where to save your work and tap Save in the upper-right of the screen.


Use Quick Share to upload your work to social media, or send it to your friends and family by email.

Select Quick Share from the File menu to select where to share your work.

Note: Quick Share is available on the Tablet and Smartphone versions of Clip Studio Paint.



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