1. Getting Ready, Setting Up, and Making the Rough Draft



Thanks for reading my process tutorial! I’m Rokutaku Sakamoto, an illustrator.

In this tutorial, I’m using Clip Studio Paint for the first time.

I made this piece while looking up information about the tools and brushes, so it might not be the most perfect explanation, but I hope that it helps other beginners to Clip Studio or people switching from other drawing software.

This is my finished illustration.

[1] Creating the canvas

I start by going to the [File] menu > [New] to make my canvas.

I will work on an A4 canvas with a slightly high resolution of 600 dpi.

Usually 350 dpi is used for color illustrations, but I prefer this resolution for my particular art style.

I’ll explain more about my style in a moment.

[2] Pen settings

For this illustration, I mainly used the [Pen] tool > [G-pen] sub tool.

I also customized it in the [Tool Property] palette to make it easier to use.

I turned [Anti-aliasing] off and set [Stabilization] to zero.

■ About anti-aliasing

Anti-aliasing is a process that makes lines look smoother.

When anti-aliasing is on, the outside of the lines blends in with surrounding colors to make the lines look cleaner.

Most illustrations are drawn with anti-aliasing turned on.

▼In this zoomed-in example, you can see the difference between lines with anti-aliasing on and off.

■ Why I don’t use anti-aliasing

In my art style, I draw in black and then shave off parts of the line with white. After shaving the black off with white, some parts of the lines are left to the side.

When anti-aliasing is turned off, the shaved parts and leftovers stand out sharply in black and white.

These stark leftover parts add a unique flavor to my illustrations, so I always turn anti-aliasing off in the pen settings.

It’s also much easier to use the [Auto select] tool when only using black and white, so having anti-aliasing off makes my workflow a bit smoother.

However, when anti-aliasing is off, jaggies can appear (where lines look uneven and jagged).

Personally, I think this also adds a bit of individuality, but I set the resolution to 600 dpi so that the jaggies don’t stand out too much.

▼ When the resolution is higher, the uneven parts of the lines become smaller so that jaggies don’t stand out

Now I’ll start drawing with resolution at 600 dpi and anti-aliasing off.

■ Why I set stabilization to zero

When stabilization is on, small deviations in the line trajectory are corrected to make a smoother line.

Although it makes the lines look cleaner, I prefer the direct look of keeping small deviations, so I set stabilization to zero.

[3] Composition and rough draft

I used the G-pen that I set up in step 2 to draw my rough sketch.

I made an illustration of a race between monsters inspired by different animals. There are 12 animals based on the Chinese zodiac animals.

In the original story, there is also a cat, so I drew just a little bit of the cat. The rough and wild monsters create an impression of a fierce stampede.

The 12 characters will completely fill the screen. I think it would be more confusing if I arranged them in a chaotic way, so I just draw them intuitively and naturally.

For the design of the characters, I express the scariness of the monsters, but with a little bit of light humor.

By drawing naturally, I couldn’t fit everything in. The overall composition looks a little bit tight too.

To adjust the balance, I use the [Operation] tool > [Move layer] and move the entire layer to the left.

After moving the layer, I cut off the unnecessary parts that don’t fit on the paper.

With the [Selection area] tool > [Rectangle] sub tool (or [Selection area] menu > [Select All]), I select the entire canvas, then go to the [Edit] menu > [Clear Outside Selection].

I fill in the empty space on the right and improve the composition balance.

I draw the rat’s front leg and the rear end of the cat running out of the canvas.

I then draw some background in the empty space.

Now my composition is finished. Next, I’ll show you how I did the line work.

・ Artist profile: Rokutaku Sakamoto


Born in 1981 in Kyoto, now living in Tokyo. I mostly create paintings of monsters, but I also do illustration work for magazines and advertisements.




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