3. Making the Rough Draft (1): Tidying Up Rough Lines



Since I am going to finish the work using the lines I make in this stage, I will tidy up the rough lines drawn in the previous lesson, “2. Generating Ideas” to make the image clearer.


[1] Dividing the rough draft

(1) I delete the "Rough 1” layer.

Then, I duplicate one “Rough 2" layer as a backup. (Right click above the “Rough 2” layer > [Duplicate Layer])

I won’t use the “Rough 2 Copy" layer again, so I will hide it.

(2) I create a new layer folder.

I place the “Rough 2” layer inside it and change the folder name to “Illustration”.

(3) I divide each motif into parts.

Then, I click the [Selection area] tool > [Lasso].

(4) I surround the left character with the [Lasso] tool.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, so I select the approximate outlines.

(5) Then, I automatically create a new layer with [Edit] menu > [Cut] > [Paste], and only cut out the character.

I change the character layer name to “*Character 1”.

I repeat the same procedure for other parts of the rough draft. 

The names of the divided layers are “*Foreground”, “*Character 1”, “*Character 2”, “*Ground”, “*Bottle”, and “*Background”, each with a different color.

(Note: I always use the character “*” to indicate the line art layers.)

[2] Tidying up lines for each part

First, I will tidy up the lines of “*Character 1".

To check the balance, I lower or raise the opacity, and hide the other layers while drawing.

Here, I use the same “Darker pencil 2” as the draft. However, I will use a thinner line (around 10~20 px) this time.

I redraw some parts and remove unnecessarily thick lines with an eraser (Hard Eraser 1). I use a lighter color for the lines, and add decorations to make the character’s personality come out.

“*Character 1” looks like a boyish rabbit.

I tidy up the line art on the other layers (parts) in a similar way.

“*Character 2” looks like a girlish squirrel.

“*Bottle”: Since I am still drawing the rough draft, I draw the lines free hand.

Also, because the ladder is on top, I separated this into another layer (layer name “*Ladder") just in case.

The contents of the bottle are still vague, so I draw in more detail now.

Because the stage is set in the forest, I mainly drew vegetables inside the bottle such as onions, corn, tomato, cucumber, boiled eggs, beans, broccoli, and mushrooms. 

I also draw a handmade ladder made of tree branches.

“*Foreground”: Rocks and leaves. I add some nature motifs in the foreground such as grass, mushrooms, and butterflies.

“*Ground”: I add a stepping stone in the short grass.

“*Background”: I use a lighter color in the background to emphasize the foreground.

[3] Tidying up lines with layer masks

I will tidy up a little bit where the lines are overlapping.

Although the overlapping lines won’t be visible after I add the colors, I wanted a better sense of the overall image, so I used the layer mask feature to roughly hide the overlapping parts.


By using the layer mask, I can hide (mask) part of the layer.

Read the following article to learn how to use layer masks.


I select the “*Bottle" layer and click the [Create Layer Mask] icon. When the layer mask is created beside the layer, I select the layer mask → [Eraser] tool → “My Erasers" sub tool group and choose the "Hard eraser”.

I delete the part where the “*Bottle” layer overlaps with the character.

Using the same method, I hide the other overlapping parts with layer masks.

Since the excess amount of leaves in the upper left created a cramped feeling, I reduced the volume of leaves.

I also created a version with no leaves at the top left, but I couldn’t decide which would be better at this stage. I decided to choose between them after adding the colors. 

The rough draft is complete.


Clip Studio Paint is easy to use because you can quickly do things such as flipping the canvas even on files with lots of layers.

Select [Rotate/Invert] > [Flip Horizontal] in the [View] menu.

Then, select [View] > [Rotate/Invert] > [Reset Rotate/Invert] to reset the horizontal flip.



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