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Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

2021/03/05

In this article, I would like to show you how to make a thick painting using "CLIP STUDIO PAINT".
We will use the "Gradation Map" function to create a warm and fantastic atmosphere.
In this tutorial, I will show you the entire process from rough to finish, so please refer to it for your reference.

Preparing the Canvas

For the first, I prepare the canvas.
Click "File" -> "New" -> Create a Canvas.

When painting thick coating, it is recommended to work with a canvas size of at least 2000px on each side.
If you use a small canvas, it will become blurry and it will be difficult to paint the details.
In this case, we will work with a canvas size of 3200px x 4000px.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial
Coloring Rough

1. Rough
I start to draw up a rough image.
Theme is "a boy talking to a star."
I would like to create a warm and gentle atmosphere, so the boy is wrapping the star in his hands and smiling gently with his eyes slightly teary.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

2. Draft(Body)
・Set the opacity of the "Rough" layer to 20% or less.
・Create a new layer(name as “body”) and draw the body
If you draw the body lines first, you will be able to express the thickness of the character's body more clearly than if you just start with the clothes.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

3. Draft(“Cloths”)
・Lower the opacity of the "Body” Layer
・Create a new layer(name as “cloth”) and dress the body. Only the right horn and the right scarf (in red), which are farther back than the body, will be separated and placed under the body layer as “Cloth 2”

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

This will be the line drawing.
The line drawing will be treated as an auxiliary line and will be covered at the end. It is okay if you can recognise the auxiliary line.

4. Divide by gray
・Create a new layer under "(Cloth)", "(Body)", and "(Cloth 2)" respectively.
・Fill it with gray.
・Fill the background with a deep night color to convey the warmth of the star light.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

5. Add shading
Pixel lock each gray layer.
Add shading roughly, keeping the light source in mind.
Change the layer mode to "Overlay" for "Clothes", "Body", and "Clothes 2".

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

The "light source" in this picture is the star, and the faint light from the star is illuminating the boy.
This is not a grisaille painting method, so it's okay to be rough. The trick is not to make the areas that are lit too bright, but to boldly cast shadows on the areas that are not lit.


What is the grisaille painting method?
It is a way of drawing in which you start out with a monotone drawing, adding only shading and a sense of solidity, and then coloring on top.

6. Gradation Map
Select "Edit" -> "Color Correction" -> "Gradation Map" from the menu bar.
Apply "Sunset (Purple)" to each gray layer.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

Select "Edit" -> "Color Correction" -> "Gradation Map" from the menu bar.
Apply "Sunset (Purple)" to each gray layer.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

Gradation maps are often used as a finishing, but in this tutorial we will use them as a "base color.
The base color unifies the atmosphere of the entire picture.
The colors used for the gradation can be changed to suit the mood of the picture.
If you don't have a gradation map function, you can place the colors by yourself like this.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

・Procedure
Create a new layer on top of each "gray" layer and apply a "clipping mask".
Change the layer mode of the new layer to "Overlay".
Use an airbrush or similar tool to apply the base color.

This method is similar to the grisaille painting method.
The colors will be a little fuzzy compared to the gradation map, but you can adjust the colors freely in this way. Try to find the method that suits you best.

7. Place the local color
・Create a new layer on top of the layer to which the gradation Map was applied.
・Create a "clipping mask" and place a unique color using a soft brush with 60-70% opacity.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

The "clipping mask" can be created by clicking on the circled symbol in the image.
This is the most important part of the process, but it is also the most difficult part, so I would like to explain it in a simple diagram using the scarf as an example.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

1. This is the color immediately after applying the gradient map.
2. Apply the local color (indigo) with a 70% opacity brush and blend it with the base color using an eyedropper.
3. Put the local color (yellow) on the surface that is exposed to light, and blend it in the same way as in step 2.

If the local color is placed at 100% opacity, the base color will be lost. The color is created while leaving the base color intact, so the ratio of the base color to the intrinsic color should be about 4:6.
The trick is to unify the colors used in the areas that will be exposed to light. In this case, the star gives off a warm glow, so I put yellow on the bright parts of the scarf, coat, and gloves.

This process is also used to create a map of the finished image.
It may be difficult at first, but take your time to create the colors.
If you find that the colors are not what you imagined, use "color balance" to adjust them.

8. Dividing Layers
You can skip this step, but if you separate the layers for each part beforehand, it will be easier to make corrections when you want to adjust the position of the eyes or the angle of the hands, and the finished picture will be more beautiful.

・Select “Lasso on the “Sub tool”.
・Repeat the process for each part, such as hair, horn, scarf, etc., using the lasso, and then cut it out (scissors mark).

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

Separate the parts as much as possible.
Create a "clipping mask" on the drafting layer (body and clothes) for each of the separated parts.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

By "clip masking" the drafting layer, you can avoid overflowing lines and save your time for erasing.

Let's take a look at a color-coded drawing as an example of how to separate parts.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

The figure on the left is the original illustration.
As shown in the figure on the right, we have divided the image into as many parts as there are separate colors. The layers should also be rearranged in the order of the parts on the top.

Even if you don't separate the parts, the coloring process itself will not change.
The color rough is now complete.

Coloring

1. Face
Combine all the drafting layers that were "clip masking" for each part.
We'll start with the face area.
Since it is easy to make a mistake if you try to adjust the details from the beginning, paint the silhouette of the skin and hair which covers a large area of the canvas.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

2. Skin
The skin and the hair close to the skin will be adjusted little by little.
For the skin, I mainly use the four colors in the image.
If you mix cold colors in the shadows or use saturated red colors on the border between skin and shadows, you can create a three-dimensional skin texture.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

Thick coating is a method of repeatedly mixing colors, but if you only pay attention to the colors, it may not go well.

Tips to making it look good are
Paint the shadows well.
Make the boundary between different parts, such as hair and skin, clear.
If you are a beginner, try to keep "shape and silhouette" in mind.

It is recommended to use a watercolor brush with a clear outline or a brush for thick coating, rather than a brush with an indistinct outline such as an airbrush.

3. Eyes
Next, I color eyes.
1. roughly paint the shape of the eyelashes and the inside of the eye.
2. contour the lashes and add light to the eyes.
3. Add a few more lashes and highlights.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

4. Hair
Shape the hair.
The trick is to draw a large bunch of flowing hair from the hairline.
As shown in the figure, the colors are used by repeating the eyedropper and focusing on the six colors in the image below. The closer the color is to the light source, the brighter the color will be, and the goal is to create a feeling of light overflowing from within the hair.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

Once the general flow of the image has been drawn, start drawing in detail.
The more the light hits the area, the more you put detail, and the less the light hits the area, the less you put detail.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

When I finished painting the hair and checked the whole picture, I found the position of the teeth unnatural, so I corrected it.
As you can see, when you look at the whole picture, if there are any parts that bother you, keep redrawing, adjusting the position, and repeating the process of correction until you are satisfied.
Be sure to regularly check the thumbnail in the navigator and look at the whole picture.

5. Cloths
・Boldly adjust the shape while keeping the light source in mind.
・Draw more lines and wrinkles.
・Adjust the outline.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

[Points to consider when painting clothes]
Here are three points to help you express the texture and thickness of your clothes.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

1. [Hatching]
By adding a diagonal line, you can express texture and increase the amount of information on the screen.
2. [Adding red to the border of the shadow]
This is a method of adding a highly saturated red color along the border, similar to the one introduced for skin painting. This has the effect of expressing a sense of three-dimensionality.
3. [Seams of clothes]
Clothes always have seams, and you can express the reality of the clothes by simply drawing them in.

6. Hands
Adjust the hands.
The hand is one of the most complex parts of the human body, but it is easier to grasp the way light and shadow are attached to it if you imagine a simple box, as shown in the figure.
Adjust the sleeves around the wrist as well.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

7. Horns
I imagined the drops on the horns to be like jewels, glittering in the light of the star. Paint the drops one by one using the procedure in the image.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

8. Hair ornaments
Add hair ornaments.
Parts that you want to add later or that you forgot can be easily added by following the steps below.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

1. Create a new layer above the hair and draw a silhouette with a darker color.
2. Pixel lock the layer and place a lighter color on it.
3. Highlight, unlock the "pixel lock," and contour.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

9. Tear
This time, the theme is "the boy is smiling gently with his eyes slightly teary as he wraps a star in his hands," so I add a tear at the end.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

The colors used for the tears are not pure white. They are creamy colors close to white.
Finally, trace the outline of the tears with the same color as the outline of your skin.

10. Star and Background
Adjust the star that was left as a silhouette.
Add vaguely the light of the star and the horn ornaments.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial
Finishing

1. Sharp
From the menu bar, click "File" -> "Merge and Export Images" -> "jpg." or "png." to save the illustration.
From the menu bar, select "File" -> "Open" -> reopen the saved illustration.
Select "Filter" -> "Sharpen" -> "Sharpen" from the menu bar.
Just the thick coating style look a little blurry, so by applying sharpening once or twice, you can give a clear impression to the whole picture.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

It's a little hard to tell, but the upper image is the original and the lower image is the sharpened version. The outlines are especially clear.

2. Color Tone Correction
Finally, adjust the color tone using overlay, addition, color balance, etc. as desired.
In this case, I wanted to lower the saturation just a little bit and give it a bluish tint.
Set the saturation parameter in Hue, Saturation, and Lightness to -5.
In the "Color Balance" section, I raised the parameter for the intermediate color blue by 7 and the parameter for red by 3.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

I also overlaid "additions" and "overlays" by about 30%.

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

The left side of the image is before finishing and the right side is after finishing.
There is a slight difference, but the color balance has unified the overall color tone into a bluish tone, giving a more coherent impression.
Finally, correct any areas of concern and you're done!

[CLIP STUDIO PAINT] Digital Thick Coating Tutorial

What do you think?
How was it? I hope you will try your hand at thick coating stylevand find a variety of ways to express your art.
I'd be happy if I could show you the fun and excitement of thick coating style.

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