Pencil emulation (black and color) in Clip Studio Paint 2.0




Good morning everyone! \n.n

I am v21e, author of the webtoon “A Levelear!” and co-author of the webtoon “Love x Horror Club”, and today I am bringing you a tutorial on a topic that I am passionate about: Pencils and colors!

If you have already read other of my tutorials, you will know that I like to dedicate the time and space necessary to explain in depth the topics I cover, and this time will be no exception. To understand the functions of Clip Studio Paint 2.0 related to the emulation of pencils of different materials and colors, it is necessary, first, to understand the basic notions of real pencils and their qualities that make them unique.


And it is for this last reason that I will start from the real pencils so that when you move on to Clip Studio Paint 2.0 you have extensive knowledge about what you want to achieve. If you already know about pencils or are not interested in the topic in question, you can go directly to the chapter “Theory applied to Clip Studio Paint 2.0”. Without further delay, let's begin the tutorial!

About real pencils

Black Pencils: Types and Grades

Basic black pencils are normally made from graphite, and their graduation is defined according to the composition with which they are made. Regardless of whether your coverage is made of wood, polymer or any other material, what matters to us is its pigment, and depending on the percentage of graphite in this pigment it will have more or less material release when drawing (thus defining whether it looks more light or dark the line).

The degrees of “darkness” of the pigment range from 9H to 9B. As an example to clarify what was explained about the percentage of graphite, a 9H pencil will have a percentage of 41% graphite, 5% wax and 53% clay; meanwhile, a 7B pencil will have 87% graphite, 5% wax, and 7% clay.


As an additional detail, harder pencils tend to last much longer than softer ones because they have less pigment release and, therefore, require much less sharpening. Another detail is that softer pencils tend to make more messes, so handle them with care.


H means “Hard”, hard; F means “Firm”, firm; HB means “Hard Black”, and it is the pencil usually used in any activity because it is the middle or neutral point; B, finally, means "Black".

Is graphite the only material black pencils can be made of? Of course not! In fact, there are also charcoal pencils (much more abrasive and dirty than the usual ones) and chalk (used in the pastel technique), but for reasons of length I will not include them in this tutorial.

Color Pencils: What material are you looking for?

Have you ever seen polychrome pencils and wondered why they are so expensive? What differentiates them from other types of pencils even within the same brand?

Polychromes are so expensive because of the purity of their pigment, first, and because of their material second. There are two types of colored pencils: wax and oil.

Wax crayons are creamier and blend much better with other colors than oil crayons. This is why they are better for preparing fades and for adding realism due to their blendability and smooth transition. Their tip is soft, so they tend to break easily, so they must be treated with care. Its effect when drawing is slightly “crayoned”, but unlike crayons, I consider the latter a little softer and more moldable. I will attach my own examples of these pencils so that you understand what I am talking about.



Oil pencils are very good for adding details and maintaining blending control as it allows for better “layer” grading. Depending on the pressure you maintain on these pencils when coloring on previous colors, you can decide how much the colors are mixed in the drawing. Its tip is firm, which helps with control and small details. Their disadvantage is that they do not blend as easily as crayons, so some effects such as smooth transitions will be difficult. I'll leave some examples of what I'm talking about.

The preference you may have on whether to use wax or oil pencils depends purely on your style. For a realistic portrait style a wax pencil is preferable, while adding particles such as dust or light flecks or even animal hair may be preferable using an oil pencil.


The difference between a colored pencil and a polychrome pencil is the power and purity of the pigments of the latter, as well as the materials used in its manufacture. Polychrome pencils, additionally, have greater resistance to UV rays, so drawings made with polychromes suffer less color wear over time. I do not recommend polychromes for beginning artists but for those who are already more advanced due to the shape of their grip and their high cost (but yes, they are very pretty >//.//<, here is an example of a drawing using this type of colors).

Theory applied to Clip Studio Paint 2.0

Emulating pencils

As we have seen previously, even within the same material there are different graduations in the pencils. This is why we must not only choose the right brush in Clip Studio, but also configure it according to our preferences and style. With this setup, no one will distinguish a drawing made with real pencils from one made in Clip Studio Paint 2.0.


That being said, I will leave you with my favorite brushes to emulate graphite pencils and then colored pencils, both wax and oil.

Graphite pencil brushes:

Brushes for wax and oil colors:.

The default brushes present in Clip Studio Paint.

Once you have chosen the brushes of your choice, now it is time to configure them to define their intensity, their hardness and their ability to mix and drag.

Color Theory: Real vs Digital

Although it seems that color theory in reality is the same as in Clip Studio Paint 2.0, it should be clear that this is not the case in crucial aspects such as color mixing itself. If you color with yellow on blue with real pencils there will be a partial mixture that depending on the hardness and materials of the brushes will tend towards green. However, when trying this on older versions of Clip Studio v.2 the yellow will simply opaquely overlay the blue, even with the appropriate brushes outlined in this tutorial.



This is why we must learn to use the ink density tools and the brush mixing functions. Without these we will not be able to attempt to make a realistic drawing in Clip Studio.



Procedural Color Mixing: the new feature of Clip Studio Paint 2.0

The saturation and vibrancy of colors in real pigment mixtures is never perfect. If you look at the chromatic scale you will notice that when you mix colors (for example, blue and red) you do not get the vibrant and saturated version of the color (violet) but rather a more muted and grayish version. This is not necessarily something negative, but it is something that even some artists know how to use to their advantage: following the example of blue and red, we would achieve not a vibrant violet but something more similar to manganese, appropriate for coloring lavender flowers and dusks. that if a violet were used they would simply be saturated.

The Procedural Color function prevents colors from going towards gray tendencies when they are mixed, increasing their vibration. It's not the mix you might expect if you're trying to achieve a muted tone, but it does have other advantages that, if you know how to use the feature, will just give you more tools to get what you want.

This feature can be turned on and off as follows:

1. Select the pen to use.


2. Go to the [Tool Properties] window → click on the wrench icon to bring up [Sub Tool Palette]

The [Tool Properties] window is the one where you can edit the opacity of the brush, its size, texture, etc.


3. The [Sub Tool Details Palette] appears as a pop-up window. The sub tool details window allows editing more specific aspects of a brush. From its mixing mode, to the number of particles implemented in a trace. It is ideal for customization and brush creation.

Go to [Ink(4.)] → [Activate Color Mixing(5.)] → [Blend Mode(6.)] → [Procedural]

[Brightness Correction (7.) ] is a function that is activated when using the procedural blend mode. This enhances blend colors with dark results. The further to the right our brightness correction mode selection is, the stronger the lightening effect will be applied in the procedural mix.

Handle this tool according to your personal taste. I use it at the lowest brightness correction level, however, I sometimes move the function depending on what I want to achieve in my drawing. Have fun!


I recommend reading the official Clip Studio Paint article detailing the Procedural Color Mixing functions in version 2.0.

How to achieve wax and oil pencil effects?

The secret to this is in the amount of paint, which both spreads the color when painting and the opacity of a brush. All of this is customizable in [Subtool Detail].

1. Opacity.

Varying the opacity can help you make smoother transitions between colors as you would normally do with any digital brush.


2. Amount of paint.

Pigmentation is the amount of paint the brush adds. Therefore, keep in mind that the smaller the amount of paint, the chosen pigment will lose density compared to pigments that previously exist on the canvas.

My personal preference of use for colored pencils varies depending on the style of pencil I want to achieve.

Wax pencil: 40%- 50%

Oil pencil: 60%-80%

My personal preference is 60%


3. Extend color.

Extend color is the amount of paint with which the stroke drags the color mixtures. The higher this value, the more the stroke is affected by color mixtures due to overlapping colors.

Crayon; 18%

Oil pencil:10%

My personal preference is 10%


These values are not absolute. I suggest that you test these parameters so that you can adapt these tools to your personal taste.



Tips for Handling Realistic Color Values

I suggest that you unlock - if they are locked - the blending modes within your brushes for greater realism in mixing between cold and warm colors.


This is activated by clicking [color mixes] → [Apply and extend]

I suggest keeping the [Sub Tool Detail] flyout always active or in view for easy access to brush customization.


When mixing cool and warm colors - like ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow, for example - I suggest activating the blend mode [Multiply] or [Darken] within the brush. This will help the paint not look so opaque and cause the slight darkening that occurs in reality. It is also particularly useful with the color red/light pink and sky blue, giving a purple combination.

To simulate colored pencils for our drawings, I suggest that the mixtures between colors be done using several pencil strokes or with low opacity. I also recommend that you do not vary the size and density of the brushes in the same drawing to provide greater realism in the stroke.



Last considerations

When drawing with brushes to simulate graphite, I suggest that you first test the brush as it comes by default before deciding to edit the paint density, opacity or color mixing level of the brush. This is to evaluate how to best adapt it according to your needs.


Don't be afraid to edit your brushes, you can always return to the default values of their characteristics. To achieve this, go to the [Tool Properties] window → [Restore Sub Tool Settings]. It is the lower right circular icon located next to the mechanical wrench-shaped icon in the [tool properties] window.


If you want a brush that simulates the blurring generated by a cotton swab, finger, or smudge in graphite or polychrome illustrations, I suggest the default “color blend” brush in Clip Studio Paint. Specifically, I recommend the “Texture Blend” sub tool. It handles very well with my blending mode. It is quite natural and intuitive to use and the effect achieved is close to that achieved in reality.


Thank you very much for reading this tutorial, I hope it has been useful to you. If you like my work and want to see more of my content, I leave you a link to my social networks.

It was a pleasure and an honor to have facilitated this training in some way in your artistic journey.


For my part, it has been everything. Thank you!



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