Analog watercolor style: Tips and tricks




Thank you to everyone who viewed the previous TIPS.

This time, I'd like to introduce some little tricks to make your illustrations look more like analog watercolors.

All of these can be done with the default tools. They may be useful for things other than watercolor-style illustrations?

Easy masking style

In watercolors, there is a technique called masking, which is used to remove color.

Here are some tips on how to do this easily using layers in Clip Studio Paint.

First, paint the color you want to paint. It looks nice if you mix several colors.

Next, use the eraser or a transparent brush to erase the areas you want to remove color from.

Then turn on Layer Properties → Edge → Watercolor Border.

Adjust parameters such as range and transparency according to the size, pattern, and effect of the illustration.

It can be used for a variety of purposes, so it's fun to incorporate non-analog style painting techniques as accents!

By the way, if you don't want the border to be visible, you can blur it with the blur tool to make the border thinner.

Use transparent color as water

Even when painting with a brush, you may want to change the color to transparent and erase with a smooth touch, but if you use a watercolor border or a brush with texture, it will have the effect of painting with water.

It is useful for lightening or softly erasing colors while retaining texture.

Layered Painting

To create the effect of painting a new piece on top of dried watercolor, use a "Multiply" layer.

With digital you can redo it as many times as you want, so you can even change the color of just the undercoat.

I recommend it because it's easy to change the atmosphere!

What if I want to print?

When printing watercolor-style fills, the unevenness of the texture may be printed as shadows.

To prevent this, it is a good idea to "apply the paper texture only to the areas that have been painted" when printing data.

All you have to do is put all the layers you've used for your illustration into one folder, place a texture layer on top of it and "clip" it.

This will make the white parts of the illustration appear the white of the paper.


If you print it on paper that has a texture similar to watercolor paper, such as "Mermaid," it will look like a reproduction of the original artwork, which is recommended for doujinshi or postcard printing.

Introduction of materials

All of the TIPS today can be done using the default tools, but I will also introduce some recommended materials.

The author, Karume Kuo, also offers other watercolor-style brushes and textures, as well as auto actions for processing, so it's a good idea to look through the list and choose materials that are closest to what you want to do.

Thank you and a bonus

I would be happy if I could convey that Clip Studio Paint can be used to create a variety of expressions that resemble analog art materials. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.


By the way, I also enjoy doing digital processing and other work, so for example, I've been making studies like this recently.

For this, I simply placed a 3D model and adjusted the shadow → rasterized → clipped the screen layer and roughly colored it → merged and adjusted it some more → turned on the watercolor border → added texture and background.


Since it's a type of "image processing" it's not the "fun of drawing" and I'm still in the middle of trial and error, but since you can add shadows to 3D models freely, it might be useful as a reference for shading or to fill in gaps in manga.


Just for reference!

Have a good Clip Studio Paint life!



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