Making your first steps by using Clip Studio Paint can be both exciting and challenging, especially for beginners unfamiliar with the nuances of digital artistry.
I decided to create this guide to help new users understand the basics of the digital line art process and offer advice that was very helpful for me when I first started studying and practicing digital line art.
Learn how to create amazing line art using Clip Studio Assets with these easy tips. From pen to layers, I'll show you simple techniques to make your digital art perfect.
1. Adjusting Brush Settings:
Utilize the pen settings to control the size and opacity based on pressure is the main stage before starting and during the process. It's all about making your digital canvas respond exactly the way you want it to, giving you a more personalized and enjoyable drawing experience.
1.1 Pen Pressure
Adjusting pen pressure allows you to customize the sensitivity of your digital pen, providing a more natural and responsive drawing experience.
First of all, you have to make sure that the pen pressure function is activated.
As you can see, the difference is essential, therefore ensure that everything is set and prepared before starting the work process.
Now that the pressure is on, it is still necessary to make some additional settings for a better effect.
In Clip Studio Paint, the pen pressure setting is represented by a curve graph where the horizontal line indicates the pressure applied (0% for no pressure, 100% for maximum pressure), and the vertical line represents the output result (0% for no output, 100% for maximum output).
Adjusting this curve is important to optimize your drawing tablet's performance. It's important to note that each tablet or device is unique, requiring specific adjustments based on its properties. To modify the curve, simply click on it and drag. Removing a point is done by clicking on it and dragging it outside the graph.
A stronger bottom curve makes the pen less aggressive in response. Achieving the best results involves experimenting with these settings until you find the perfect configuration that suits your individual drawing style.
NOTE: As everyone uses pens with varying pressure, I recommend continuous adjustments until you find the pen pressure settings that feel just right for you.
1.2 Tool Property
The Tool Property for the Pen tool is a panel that allows you to customize and adjust various settings related to the pen you are using.
These settings can significantly impact the appearance and behavior of your strokes.
Properties like: pen size, opacity, anti-aliasing, angle, thickness, angle, sharp angles and stabilization gives you the flexibility to customize your pens and achieve various effects.
Before starting the process you need to make sure that the pen you use is corresponding to the effects you want it to have.
Here are some general guidelines, but keep in mind that preferences may vary, and experimentation is encouraged:
Pen Size: For detailed work, use a smaller pen size. Larger sizes are suitable for broad strokes or filling in areas.
Opacity: Adjust opacity based on the effect you desire. Lower opacity can create subtle and transparent lines, while higher opacity results in more solid lines.
Anti-Aliasing: Enable anti-aliasing for smoother lines and to reduce pixelation, especially when working with intricate details or curves.
Angle: Angle settings can affect the orientation of certain pens. Adjust as needed, depending on your drawing style and the effect you're aiming for.
Thickness: Set thickness to achieve the desired line weight. Experiment with thicker lines for emphasis and thinner lines for intricate details.
Sharp Angles: Depending on your artwork, consider using or avoiding sharp angles. Adjust as necessary for your specific drawing style.
Stabilization: Experiment with stabilization settings to smooth out your lines, especially if you have a shaky hand.
*About this function i'll mentionate later more.
Here are the properties of the pen I'll be using throughout the entire process:
1.3 Recommended Brushes
While Clip Studio Paint provides a variety of preset brushes, you can explore even more options on 'Assets’, the CSP material sharing service.
Here you can discover new sources of inspiration, including 3D models for reference, brushes, guides on their usage, and much more. Spend some free time exploring and you'll find it greatly improves and refines your skills.
If you're currently exploring Clip Studio Paint and haven't yet settled on a favorite brush or set, I have some recommendations. These brushes have been my go-to for an extended period, offering comfort and diversity for your creative process. Consider trying them out to gain new perspectives in your digital creations:
As your skills advance, you'll have the ability to create your own brushes or modify existing ones that you already like.
1.4 Stabilization Strength
The ‘Stabilization Strength’ offers several advantages, particularly when it comes to creating smooth and controlled lines:
Precision in Line Art: Stabilization helps in achieving precise and clean lines. It minimizes the impact of hand tremors or sudden movements, resulting in smoother strokes.
Improved Control for Shaky Hands: Provides better control over the brush, reducing the likelihood of wobbly or uneven lines.
Consistent Stroke Quality: It ensures a consistent stroke quality throughout your artwork. Regardless of the speed or pressure applied,
Enhanced Curve Drawing: Is advantageous when drawing curves. It assists in creating graceful and fluid curves, making it beneficial for illustrations and character design.
Ideal for Long Strokes: When working on longer strokes or extensive lines, the Stabilization Strength feature proves valuable. It prevents irregularities, allowing for controlled strokes.
Efficient Inking Process: When inking comics or creating detailed linework, Stabilization Strength contributes to an efficient and streamlined process.
Versatility Across Art Styles: Whether you're working on highly detailed illustrations or more stylized art, Stabilization Strength adapts to various art styles.
NOTE: As you adjust the stabilization strength, make a few test strokes on the canvas to see how it affects the line quality.
Experiment with different values until you find the level of stabilization that suits your preference.
2. Thick outline and thin inner lines
To make your line art look delicate and stylish, try using thick outlines along with thin inner lines. This not only adds a touch of elegance but also makes your artwork more visually striking by highlighting important elements.
Using this in your line art influences three key elements:
Contrast and Dynamism: The contrast between thick outlines and thin inner lines adds dynamism to the artwork, creating a visually appealing and engaging composition.
Depth and Dimension: Thick outlines provide a sense of depth and dimension, helping to separate the subject from the background or other elements in the composition.
Stylization and Artistic Expression: This technique is often associated with specific art styles, contributing to the overall stylization and artistic expression of the digital artwork.
3. Beginning of the process
3.1 Create a new vector layer
Using a vector layer for your line art can offer a variety of advantages. Here are some of the reasons why you should use vector layer for your line art:
Scalability: Vector graphics can be scaled infinitely without losing quality.
Editability: Vector lines are easily editable. You can modify the shape, length, or position of lines without any loss of quality.
Smooth Lines: Vector layers allow for smooth, clean lines even at high zoom levels.
Precision Tools: Vector layers come with specialized tools such as correction tools and stabilizers.
3.2 Reduce the opacity of the skech layer
Reducing the opacity of your sketch layer enhance visibility and making it easier to create clean and precise line art.
3.3 Start the line art process
When creating the lines make sure to don't press too hard the pen. Applying a lighter touch allows for better control over your lines and also minimizes the chances of introducing unintended shaking or wobbling in your lines.
As I work on the inner lines, I reduce the brush size and continue drawing facial features and hair structure. To achieve a better result, I use the undo (Ctrl+Z) and redo (Ctrl+Y) commands, drawing the same line multiple times and deleting it until I get a smooth and perfectly right lines.
For lines that I'm not satisfied with, the Object tool proves to be a quick and effective way to fix their direction, ensuring they look smooth and clean.
To use it, simply select the Object tool from the left toolbar, choose the line you want to fix, click on it, and then manipulate the direction of the line by moving the line points to the orientation you want.
'Correct Line' tool
Another way to adjust lines that I don't like is by using the properties of the vector layer. To achieve this, I click on the Correct Line tool and select 'Redraw Vector Line'. Afterward, I can go to the line I want to adjust and redraw it directly over the exact same line.
Pinch Vector line
Another helpfull tool is ‘Pinch Vector line’. With it you can easily adjust and manipulate the shape and curvature of vector lines. This tool allows you to refine and fine-tune your artwork by pinching, pulling, or squeezing vector lines, offering precise control over their form.
I prefer using it on body curves and facial features, as it provides smoother lines and precise control over the direction of the lines.
Adjust Line Width
With the Correct Line tool you can also adjust the thickness of lines that are drawn too thick is easy using 'Adjust Line Width'. Simply go to the sub-tool options or tool properties, find the 'Adjust Line Width' option, click on it, and then click on the line you want to modify.
'Vector eraser' tool
It is inevitable that some lines intersect during the line art creation process. To correct this, we can simply select the eraser tool, choose the vector eraser, and carefully tap above the line we want to remove.
For larger lines that require a smooth finish, increasing the brush stabilization is a better solution. In this case, the line will have a beautiful curve and may not require later corrections with the mentioned tools.
3.4 Finishing the line art
In the final stages of my process, I zoom in to ensure all lines are well-placed with a natural curvature. I check for any overlaps or intersections that might impact the drawing's aesthetic. I use the eraser to eliminate undesired elements and add additional lines for detailing, whether it be in clothing or hair.
The stages of the line art creation process
Starting from making the hair, ears and horns:
Making the face features and hair details with thin lines:
Finishing the main lines of the upper body:
Drawing the accessory and the main lines of the upper garment:
Contouring the hands:
Doing the lines and contours of the pants:
Finish by adding the smaller details of the garment with thin lines and drawing other small elements:
Before and After:
Conclusions and final thoughts
After a long way of studying and performing methods of creating line art, I've found that using tools like Correct Line and Pinch Vector Line significantly enhances precision and control in my drawings.
Adjusting line thickness, connecting vectors, and exploring brush settings have become integral parts of my artistic process. The flexibility of vector layer properties allows me to refine and correct with ease. Zooming in for precision ensures every detail aligns seamlessly with my vision.
In the final stages, a meticulous review of the drawing is my ritual. Erasing what's unnecessary and adding subtle details to garments or other elements contributes to the overall finesse.
Through continuous practice, my skills in Clip Studio Paint have evolved. I encourage fellow artists to experiment, embrace the creative process, and discover new ways of making your art better and better.