Watercolor-style Illustration -Digitally [CSP]




To see my Illustration process video , time laps video is given below on my You Tube Channel .If you want to see go and check out:)


Hi, everyone ! Welcome to my tips :) In this tutorial we are going to learn how we can do watercolor style illustrations using the power of digital art. Since digital art is an advanced form of traditional art. I highly recomend you to studying even just a basic theory of watercolor. This will help you to understand how the brushes works & which brush you should use in your art. This could help you to understand why digital art programs have these brushes & how it works.

About Watercolor

Let’s talk about basics first so that beginners also can understand about watercolor:)


Watercolor is a traditional art where you have lots of brushes and pencil and lots of methods by which you can create cartoon style art, anime style art and landscape to portraits also. You can literally create anything with watercolor method. Since we are working digitally I’m not going to make this topic complicated, to learn about traditional method you have to study and practice about this maybe at least 2-3 months depending upon how you learn, it takes time and practice. So here I’m going to show you a basic and easy method, how you can create a decent watercolor style art :)


Let’s learn about the brushes , and if you are a beginner and you have just started digital art recently you can get a idea about how brushes works.


Clip Studio Paint have same brushes as traditional brushes in default, this is the cool thing I’ve seen in this art program.


Round Watercolor Brushes - A round brush can be used in a number of ways such as to fill, to draw, to apply washes, to spot on small amounts of color from the tip or produce a thin line for detail and varying thick to thin marks by drawing the brush away from the surface .It can also create gradient and harder you press this brush it’s gets that dark and lighter you press this brush it gets that much lighter. I also use this a lot for coloring , in short round brushes are the allrounder brushes :)

Linear Brushes - With this brush you can Enhance your painting with detail lines, outlining or fancy borders. Liner brushes are uses for detailing and clean lines , like G- pen and turnip pen.


Pencils - You all know what pencils used for , I use this for sketching :)


Wash Brush - Umm.. wash brush will be too traditional , as its name says its wash brush. With this brush you have to apply some water on your paper which is use full for laying in large areas of water or color, for wetting the surface, and for absorbing excess media. But we’re not going to wash our computer or tablet or at which device you’re drawing at with real water LOL . I use wet wash brush of clip studio paint to create backgrounds , because its have nice texture & don’t apply real water we have digital wash brush here LOL.


Okay jokes apart ^^ and now let’s move ahead :)


Different papers have different textures so yes papers matters in your art. In watercolor there is mainly two are used most


Hot Pressed Paper- This paper is nice and smooth, this is almost like you’re doing an illustration on a normal canvas of any digital art software.


Cold Pressed Paper- Meanwhile this paper have your typical water color pattern or texture.


These two paper are fine, it’s not like one is superior and another is not. Both are fine and the difference between these two papers is simple .You can work with any paper you want :)


Note- In the last I’ll give all the materials link that I’ve download from the assets, from these paper to additional brushes that I’ve used :)



[Anime Style]

[portrait like illustration]

I have made these two illustrations using Cold Pressed Paper paper.

This is paint by digital wash brush , below example:)


There is mainly two techniques that you need to know about,


1. Wet On Dry

2. Wet On Wet

With these two techniques , you can basically paint everything from landscape to anime and cartoon style art. That’s why I just love water color, you can paint any style with it.

So how these two techniques work?

So in digital art, there’s a hard brush & a soft brush. Well , it’s same with the water color.


If your paper is dry, your brush makes hard strokes that’s [1] wet on dry


If your paper is wet, your brush makes soft strokes that’s [ 2 ]wet on wet

How these two techniques works?


Wet on Dry- If your paper is dry, you can paint with hard strokes only. It means you can paint in your typical cartoon or anime cel shading fashion.


Wet on Wet- If you want to create a gradient , just wet your paper & paint two colors on it you like and blend this nicely , you’ll get a nice gradient. With this you can make portraits.

In above two illustrations are the example of these two techniques :)

Quick Tip- Combine these two techniques to get a unique and stunning illustration like this :)

Yummy ^o^


You can find all the water color brushes here :)

OK, so for sketching I mainly use pencil tool & when I go for clean line art & detailing I use G- Pen. These two brush tool is the most basic tool in any art program.


Next is the round watercolor brush, and round mixing brush that I use mostly for coloring, smudging and mixing colors. Round brushes are the primary brushes for me because it can create gradient & can blend colors nicely to give your art stunning look.

Quick Tip - You can use blending brush ,if you want to blend colors so smoothly. Clip studio paint have different types of blending brush, you can try that brushes.

Note - Brushes don’t matter that much. Having a good looking brush won’t improve your art, it may look different, but you’re still the same , so don’t worry about the brushes, focus more on improving your technical skills & learn theories and fundamentals.

[1] Sketching

First I finish my sketch and I have created different folders for sketching and different folders for coloring and background

[2] Base Color

Below my sketch layer I use base colors, in this color folder I add base colors in different layers like skin, clothes, hair & headphones and phone.

[3] Flat Colors

Then I add flat colors using the clip to layer below option.

What is clip to layer below ?

This is just to add another layer above the base layer then click on clip to layer below option & it exactly does that, anything you draw on a clipping layer will only limited on what’s drawn below. I also use this to add shadows and highlights.

Using this now add all your flat colors using round brush or any other brush you like.

With round brush I make background on a different folder below my base color folder.

[4] Shading & Highlights

Now using clip to layer below option I add shadow and highlights using round brush and round mixing brush, above my flat colors.

For texture effect I use pencil tool for shading and highlights where I need textures.

[5] Finishing Touches

Add finishing touches, here I made finishing touches above my base color folder & lastly I use watercolor paper texture to give this Illustration watercolor texture. Here I have use cold pressed watercolor paper texture

Tip- To differentiate between cold pressed paper and hot pressed paper, you have to just remember that cold pressed paper have watercolor pattern or texture. While hot pressed paper is so smooth , neat and fine.

Fact- Hot pressed papers are expansive if you buy the real papers(not recommended )

Final Result :)

with cold pressed paper texture.

Without any texture

Materials From Assets

This is round mixing brush, this is great for creating gradient & blending colors

This is paper texture that I have used here

Thank You ^^

Thanks for reading my tutorial, if I have made any mistake plz excuse me and let me know so I could do better. If this tip was help full to you then I’m so glad that I could help you :)


Have a good day ^_^



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