RideScare Service: Coloring an Illustration in Clip Studio Paint

This is really Part Two of my process (I inked this image in Part One). This time, I’ll go through my coloring process. Nothing tricky. Just flats, highlights, shadows, and texture.

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As always, this is just one of dozens of ways to color art in Clip Studio. I encourage you to find the methods that work best for you and go to town.

Flats

With the inks on their own layer, I create a layer beneath that for the flat colors. With Clip Studio, you can use the Fill Tool (Paint Bucket) to drop color simply and quickly.

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If you set the Fill tool to “Follow Adjacent Pixel”  with the “All Layers” icon clicked (see above image), the tool manages to confine the fill within the lines of the ink outline, even when it’s on a separate layer. A great time-saver!

But if you have a lot of little lines (like I do in this drawing) that can sometimes slow you down. So I’ll take a brush (in this case, the Mapping Pen), turn off the Anti-Aliasing (so I get a crisp, bitmapped edge) and I’ll trace the contours of the shape I want to fill.

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Then, with the inks layer turned off, I’ll drop color with the Fill tool and fill that large area all at once. Alternately, this same job could also be accomplished with a Lasso Tool (or a Curve Ruler converted to a selection) and Fill tool.

When that step is completed for all the objects in the piece, the layer under the inks might look something like this. I like to have all the flat colors touching or overlapping under the line work, no gaps or white space.

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Note: I say “layer” but, in fact, I used multiple layers for the flat colors to keep things organized. The crypts, car, road, and sky are all on separate layers.

Highlights, Shadows, and Texture

The coloring in this piece isn’t complex at all. The flats, basically, are the midtones. So I’ll use my imaginary light source (the moon?) to help me lay down the highlights and shadows. I use the Auto Select (Magic Wand) tool to select each of the flat color shapes, then brush in the lights and darks.

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You can see in the composite image (above) that I used a handful of different tools to simulate the various textures in the illustration. Again, you could color this a few dozen different ways and it’d look just fine, but this is what I went with this time.

People

I used the same process for the figures as I did for the background shapes: Midtone Flats, shadows and highlights on a separate layer.

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Note: I know the hapless couple would technically look a bit more blue in the moonlight, but I thought making them the one source of warm color in the piece would draw the viewer’s eye.

Finishing Touches

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Before this ghoul drives off into the moonlight with this poor couple, I wanted to add a few finishing touches to complete the image:
1. I brushed in headlight beams and reflections on the windscreen, then lowered the opacity of that layer.
2. I recolored some of the line work to make it more dynamic.
3. When a friend said this image would make a fun animated short, I pasted in some text to give the illustration the feel of an old cartoon title card.

And that’s all there is to it.

Nightmare Ride: Inking an Illustration in Clip Studio Paint

This young couple’s plans for a pleasant evening have been ruined because they’ve clearly called the wrong rideshare service. So it’s a trip through the boneyard for them.

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I plan on coloring this piece, but first I have to ink it in Clip Studio Paint. My process is fairly simple, nothing tricky or difficult. But I do use some pretty handy ruler tools included with the app, so I thought I’d point those out.

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First, I do a quick, blue-line sketch of the idea (above). It’s drawn with a Pencil Tool, then color-shifted to blue with the Layer Color button, then lowered in opacity so I could ink over it on another layer.

Building The Tires: A Three-Ruler Job

You can see in my freehand drawing of this creep’s jalopy that I cannot draw a perfect ellipse. That’s why I use the Figure Ruler (which has a few options, one of them an ellipse you can shape to your needs).

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Using the Object subtool of the Operations Tool allows me to select, resize and move the ellipse ruler in order to draw all the different parts of the wheel.

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For the spokes on the wheel, I use a subtool of the Special Rulers called Radial Line. It sets a center point from which the lines you draw emanate.

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The third and final ruler I use for the tires is also a Special Ruler called Concentric Circle. I set it in the center of the tire so I could quickly ink the motion lines revolving along the circumference of the tire.

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Enough With The Tires! Let’s Ink The Car!

I’d like this image to have a hand-drawn feel; organic, imperfect. But I want the long, smooth curves of this cartoony Model-T to look machined. So I use the Curve Ruler (the pink lines in the image below) to describe the shapes before inking with a Brush Tool.

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When I start blocking in the blacks, I freehand the parallel curves on that running board and fenders. The ruled edges help me keep my hatching under control, and the freehand brush strokes help to ‘humanize’ the overall feel of the inks.

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Tightening Up The Spooky Background

In the initial blue-line rough (near the top of this post), I sketched in a creepy cemetery for a background. But it was quick and sloppy. So I use a Pencil Tool to polish up the rough sketch on another layer, click Layer Color to make it a blue-line sketch, then ink in the crypts with a Brush Tool.DateWithDeath_inkprocess_VinceDorse

I needed to add rising clouds of mist and road dust. But after all the work I did on those tires, I felt a little weird about erasing them just to hide them behind the dust clouds. To give myself the latitude to change my mind about things later, I use the Lasso Marquee to select the parts of the tire I want to obscure, then click on Layer Menu > Layer Mask > Mask Selection to achieve some non-destructive ‘erasing.’ If I ever get rid of the dust, that tire can be brought back without having to re-draw it.

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People, People, People, People

The inks for the human (and non-human) figures in the illustration are done the same way as everything else: rough sketch, followed by polished blue line, followed by inks (with changes made along the way to suit my whims).

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Inking Finished

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Here are the finished inks. Like I said, fairly simple process involving rulers and a brush tool (as well as a Tech Pen tool I like for less-expressive lines). I’m going to color this in Clip Studio Paint as well, but I’ll save that for a future process post.

I’m drawing Haunted Mansion Ghosts for Inktober 2016

Every October people all over the world people celebrate “Inktober” by getting out their ink pens, brushes, and markers and attempting to do a new, ink drawing every day of the month.

Sometimes it’s random subject matter, sometimes people try to follow a theme. This year, I picked “The Haunted Mansion” as my theme and I’m trying to draw a different Disney ghost every day. Not sure if I’ll get one done every single day, but if you want to follow along (and see other Inktober drawings that other illustrators and cartoonists are doing) check out the #Inktober2016 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

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As I make my way through Inktober, I’ll try to keep updating this post. Each happy haunt is done the same way: pencil sketch light-boxed onto Bristol board, then inked with Sakura brush pens and Pitt artist pens. Oh! And I’m trying to draw the ghosts in the order you encounter them in the Haunted Mansion. I’ll also try to caption them with the names they’ve been given, if any (though, there seem to be conflicting views on what certain ghosts are named, depending on what source you go to). Click to embiggen. Happy Halloween! -v

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Alexander Nitrokoff

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Daisy De La Cruz / Sally Slater

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Quicksand Trio / The Hobbs’

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Abigale Pateclever / Constance Hatchaway

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The Sea Captain / Capt. Culpepper Clyne

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Medusa

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The Hanging Man

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Vampire

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Jack the Ripper

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Madame Leota

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Birthday Ghost

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Birthday Guest

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Ballroom Dancers

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Passenger in Hearse

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The Organist

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The Duelists

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The Bride

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The Caretaker

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Pop-Up Ghosts

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Skeleton Hound

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Mummy

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Hard-of=Hearing Ghost

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Lady Opera Singer

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Opera Singer Guy

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The Executioner

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The Headless Knight

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Gus (Hitchhiking Ghohst)

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Ezra (Hitchhiking Ghost)

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Phineas (Hitchhiking Ghost)

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The Hatbox Ghost

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Little Leota

Coming Soon: Giant Sea Monster!

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This is a quick sneak-peek of a project I’m working on with some comic-creator friends. Just an informal art-jam kind of thing. We’re supposed to wrap up by the end of the month, maybe a little while after that. But when we do, I’ll be sure to post my process on this monstrous page. I just wanted to give you a little preview because I’ve been having a lot of fun working on it and I wanted to share. -v

RunRedRun’s Hatbox Ghost Process

Hey! Since this blog is all about process – and since I just got back from Disneyworld and I still have “Small World” running through my brain – I thought I’d share this fun process post my needle-felting friend RunRedRun put up. It’s a step-by-step process on how she put together her Haunted Mansion/Hatbox Ghost felted sculpture and diorama. If you like Disney, ghosts, or needle-felting, you’ll enjoy looking at her process.

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Gobbled: A Horror Comic, Process

About a year ago I did a four-page horror comic called Gobbled for an anthology that vanished into thin air. I finally decided to post the whole comic at my comics blog, but if you stick around here I’ll show you how I put it together. It’s a pretty simple process, nothing tricky.4-page story about Abraham Plotz, a kid who hunts vampiresStep One: Pencils. I sketch out my ideas in sketchbooks or computer paper, scan them in and organize them into a page layout. My pencils are usually a little looser, and not this polished, but I wanted to get the shadows right and the pencils stage was a good place to practice.

4-page story about Abraham Plotz, a kid who hunts vampiresStep Two: Inks. The figures and backgrounds were inked in MangaStudio. I love the inking brushes in that program, but I can’t stand the text tools. So this was actually lettered in Adobe Illustrator. You can see I took out the bedroom mirror (didn’t want to deal with reflections and bouncing light sources) and chose (wisely) to plaster more posters on the wall instead. You can also see I was experimenting with different kinds of hatching for the shadow areas.

4-page story about Abraham Plotz, a kid who hunts vampiresStep Three: Flat Color. I colored this in Adobe Photoshop. You know the drill — just fill in the shapes with flat color. It might be the most mindless step in the process but it takes…so….long….

4-page story about Abraham Plotz, a kid who hunts vampiresStep Four: Full Color. Again, Photoshop and, again, experimenting a bit with different brush textures. I wanted a real pulpy look, like an old newsprint comic book. Someday I’ll get brave enough to ink, letter and color all in one app. Until then, I guess I’ll keep leapfrogging from one program to another. If you missed the link at the top, you can read the whole four-page comic on my comics blog. -v

The Headless Horseman : My MangaStudio Process

There he sits in an old Dutch churchyard, the Headless Hessian atop his horse. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite stories of all time. This isn’t my first run at the horseman and it won’t be my last, but this is the first one I created almost entirely in MangaStudio, so I’m posting the process steps below.

Headless Horseman by Vince Dorse

Pencils: I sketched this in MangaStudio with a blue pencil tool. It started out much rougher, but I just kept adding layers, drawing over my sketches and refining the forms until I got to a stage I thought was good enough to ink. I should mention I use a Wacom stylus/tablet, but you could also use a Cintiq or Yiynova tablet monitor. And if you’re some kind of superhuman ninja, I suppose you could use a mouse, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Headless Horseman pencils by Vince Dorse

Inks: With the blueline sketch on one layer, I opened another layer on top and used some inking tools to lay down the blacks. The G-Pen is a good, dynamic tool that puts down a nice, variable width line. But if you want to experiment beyond the standard tools, there are MS users who create/sell their own brushes online. I’m always experimenting and trying new brushes.

Headless Horseman inks by Vince Dorse

Toning: I used a handful of brush tools to give the drawing some grey tones. Rough-edged brushes for the grass and headstones to give the texture some bite, and softer tools like airbrush and blenders for the gentle variegation in the trees and sky. For the figures I used a smooth, hard-edged brush to get bold, solid forms.

Headless Horseman grey tones by Vince Dorse

Colors: Once the grey tones were finished, I opened another layer or two on top for the color. I experimented with Overlay and Multiply layer modes so the colors interacted with the grey tones underneath without obscuring them. The finished version’s at the top of this post. But you can see in this two-shot that I did one version of the Horseman in blue tones with a fiery orange jack-o-lantern in his hand, and another version in sepia tones that references a passage in the story where the Horseman carries a severed head on the pommel of his saddle. I haven’t decided which version I like better, but they’re both fun. Grisly, but fun. -v

Headless Horseman, two versions by Vince Dorse