1. Sketches and color sketches





[1] Creating a new canvas

I open CLIP STUDIO PAINT, go to the [File] menu at the top of the screen, and click [New].

In the [New] dialog box, I set the [Size] to A4, the [Resolution] to 350 dpi, and the [Paper color] to white, then click [OK] to make a new canvas.


[2] Drawing sketches

I used this brush, which I downloaded from CLIP STUDIO ASSETS.


▼ Tool used

Note: If you want to search for materials to use in CLIP STUDIO PAINT, go to CLIP STUDIO ASSETS and use the search box to search for the material name.


I set the [Brush size] to about 17 px and roughly drew my sketches.

I use different brushes to sketch out drawings based on what I feel is easiest to draw with at that time.


For this example, I drew three sketches with the theme of a girl in a school uniform surrounded by autumn leaves.

I thought that the distinct seasonality of the leaves would match with the subdued colors of the school uniform.


I drew three sketches with the same female character with long black hair, but the overall feeling of each sketch is quite different.


A: In this sketch, the autumn leaves are fluttering down and her hair is blowing to create a sense of movement

B: In this sketch, the girl is relaxing by the window with her hair falling over her shoulders to create a soft and sweet feeling

C: In this sketch, the shadows and the light from the window create a more mature feeling


(From left: Sketch A, Sketch B, and Sketch C)


When drawing girls, I try to put a few different elements that I think are cute, so that people who look at the picture will enjoy it and feel happy.


I create a layer folder for each sketch and add extra layers for each in these.



You can create layers and layer folders from the [Layer] palette, using the icons at the top. You can also create them by going to the [Layer] menu.


(1) Create new raster layer

(2) Create new layer folder

You can change the order of the layers by dragging and dropping them in this palette. You can also drag and drop layers into the layer folders.

Note: For details on layer types, refer to the following article.


[3] Coloring the sketches

I create new layers underneath each of the sketch layers and roughly map out the colors.

By adding simple colors at this stage, I can get a better idea of the overall feeling of the picture. It also makes the later coloring stage easier.


To make it easier to change the colors later, I color the character and the background on different layers.


Now I compare my three sketches. I think that Rough A best captures the relaxed feeling of fall, so I choose this one.

I delete the layer folders for Roughs B and C, and save it under a different name as a clip file with only the data for Rough A.


[4] Drawing draft lines

Once I’ve chosen my idea, I make some adjustments to the sketch for the draft lines.

First, I select the folder with the colors and the layer with the lines, and reduce the opacity to about 16%.



You can change the opacity of a layer using the slider at the top of the [Layer] palette. This changes the opacity of all selected layers and layer folders.


I create a new layer above the lines layer and draw with a pencil tool using my sketch as a guide.


When drawing the draft lines, I pay attention to the curved lines of the girl’s face and body. As much as possible, I try to trace over the parts of the sketch that I think are already good. By adjusting the hands, mouth, and eyes just a little, her expression changes a lot. I use the sketch only to decide the position of the body.


I wasn’t sure whether to choose a sailor uniform or a blazer uniform, but I thought that the tails of the scarf in the center of the illustration would draw the eye. In addition, I wanted a slightly old-fashioned atmosphere, so I chose the sailor uniform.


For the draft, I draw the lines for the character and the lines for the background on separate layers.

In this example, I separated them into “girl”, “window frame”, and “classroom”.


I also adjust the colors to match the new lines.

Now my draft is finished.


Artist profile: En Morikura

I design book covers and illustrations for children’s books and light novels, as well as character design for social-network games.

I like drawing girls in school uniform and Shiba Inu dogs.



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