Illustrating a festive feast




Introduction 📢

Hello and happy new year, I am Lepus Nix and in this tip, I will show you how an easy way to draw food for your festive feasts.

At the end of this tip, making your own buffet illustration should be an easy and fun task.

Read the tip below and/or watch this video :

1- Using 3D objects 🥤

After creating a blank canvas, The easy way to start is by setting up the scene.
Using 3D objects, it is easy to place a dish or set a whole scene in a specified angle.

3D objects can be found in the Clip Studio Asset Store or online.

💡『CSP supports various 3D files that you can check here :

⇒ 3D objects downloaded through CSP Asset Store can be found in the [Download folder] and can be used in your work by dragging it onto the canvas.

⇒ Modifying the angle of the camera can be done by using the small camera button for presets or manually using the mouse buttons.

💡『3D objects found online or created can either be dragged and dropped in, or registered as materials through Clip Studio Modeler or to the item bank.』

In this process, I am placing a dish in the middle of the canvas at a specific angle then I extract the lines (for CSP EX users), change its color, and draw the line art on a vector layer. If line extraction is not available, use the [Curve] sub tool to progressively follow the lines or the edges of the 3D shape.
This process allows for cleaner and more accurate lines in a very small amount of time.

When using the [Curve] figure tool after changing the color of the sketch with a layer effect,
- work on a vector layer ;
- divide big curves into multiple parts ;
- activate the vector magnet so the lines connect seamlessly.

💡『It is also possible to hint the position and shape of the food in the same 3D perspective by dropping in some [3D Primitives] as they can be modified easily.』

2- Making the food 🍟

Instead of sketching all the food above the dish directly, it was easier to draw them separately and only then, add them on the dish's line art. Drawing a full dish right away can be quite overwhelming and the amount of details can be jarring.
Details can be added later to unify it all.

⇒ For the braided shrimp I found it easier to draw it starting with a thumbnail.
1- I use the [Tapered Pen] at a big size to draw the body.
2- I draw the outline of the tail with a [G-Pen] and color it with the [Fill] tool.
3- I change the color of the thumbnail and on a new vector layer I use the [G Pen] to roughly follow the edges.
4- I add details to the fold of the tail, and around the edges to give an Idea of the size of the shrimp inside.
5- I made a few more to add diversity.

⇒ For food with geometric shapes, It is easier to use |Figure] tools.
1- I make the triangle shape with the [Polygon] figure tool.
2- I add bumps and details to the line using the [Curve] figure tool.
3- I delete the unused lines with the [Vector] eraser.
4- I make a few others.

⇒ Some food have difficult shapes that can only be understood by sketching them roughly with a pen or brush. When the sketch is satisfying, I would change the sketch color and make the line art using either the [G-Pen] or the [Curve] figure tool.

Using the previous techniques, here are some other examples.

Vectors are great for line art as they can be modified in many ways with the [Object] operation tool. Another amazing thing with vectors is that they can be resized without losing the line quality.
⇒ When doing the line art, make sure that there are no gaps between the lines unless it is intentional ;
⇒ Activate the vector magnet in the figure tool properties so the lines can seamlessly connect and continue.

When all the line arts are done, I place the food on the dish line art while keeping in mind the perspective and the composition.
Flipping the food, change its size or angle by some degrees can help.
Once all the line arts are placed, duplicate them and merge them into one vector layer. Erase the lines that are no longer necessary using the [Vector] eraser, adjust using the [Hard] eraser and add corrections if necessary.

The same idea was used for the two other dishes.

These techniques were also used for the plant decorations.

💡『When making the food use contrasting shapes, If you are using a lot of round shapes, which are really common when illustrating food, try adding some edges here and there with decorations or the fork and the knife for example.』

3- Coloring 🎨

Color choice is subjective so take your time to decide. Keep in mind analogous and complementary colors, cold and hot colors and the contrast between values.

💡『Contrast in an illustration can be seen with shapes, colors and values allowing the artist to navigate the viewer around the canvas.』

Here is how to prepare the file for coloring after having finished the line art.

⇒ Define the line art as a reference layer, if there are many line art layers, group them in a folder and define that folder as a reference.
⇒ Create a raster layer below the folder and name it according to the part of the line art that is gonna be colored.
Having a color layer for each part of the drawing makes it easy to change the colors of those parts later using the [Convert to drawing color] edit option.
⇒ Use the [Fill] tool to fill the colors by adjusting the gaps and the area scaling and set it to take in account reference layers.

💡『To stop the color from spreading in some areas, on the same raster layer, use a pen or brush to place an outline before using the [Fill] tool.

To change the color of a layer, pick the new color as the Main drawing color and apply it on the layer using the [Convert to drawing color] edit option. This can be assigned to a shortcut key to improve speed.』

When choosing the colors, if you find it difficult to pick it on the color wheel, use the color slider which can be specified using a number.

In this illustration I am using the HLS format (Hue, Luminosity, Saturation). The value is the amount of “Luminosity” the chosen color has.

When picking the color, opening the [HLS - Color Slider] will show the amount of luminosity a color has in percentage.

💡『To have a visual Idea of your values, create a raster layer using the [Color] blending mode above all your layers and fill it in black. Doing that will apply a grayscale to the drawing.
Toggle it on and off to ease your work.』

When rendering, use slightly different hues to give the illusion of depth and define the position of the light source so that the shadows work to improve the piece.

⇒ To apply shadows, first create a new layer above the color layer you want to apply shadow to;
⇒ Clip it to the layer below (Like in the example above) so the paint applied won’t show outside of the color underneath;
⇒ Use a pen or the [Curve] figure tool to outline the shadows and then fill it with the [Fill] tool;
⇒ Depending on the style you are going for, you can use a blending brush to blur the edges of the shadows cast by far away objects.

When applying lighting, take into account the texture of the element and how much light it can reflect. Some textures are highly reflective and others not so much.
Wet elements will reflect light.

💡『Depending on your style, consider showing how the light bounces around and also adding darker parts near intersections.』

Here are some details on the process of adding elements to the food.

4- Finishing extras⭐

At this point, the illustration is pretty much done but it could still be improved so here are some extra points to go further.

Thank you for reading this far, I hope this tip gave you some ideas on how to illustrate a festive feast and see you next time for another tip.



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