Color Traditional Drawings Digitally using Clip Studio Paint | Ariann Aguilar | Skillshare

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Color Traditional Drawings Digitally using Clip Studio Paint

teacher avatar Ariann Aguilar, Art Director & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

2 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Welcome to class! Introduction

    • 2. Color your traditional drawings Digitally

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About This Class

Have you ever wondered how you could add color to your traditionally drawn illustrations? Then this is the class for you! 

In this class we will learn how to use Clip Studio Paint (or any other art program) to color our traditional drawings digitally. Things you will learn:

  • How to prepare your photos or scans for coloring.
  • How to make your image a transparent layer. 
  • How to apply color to your traditional drawings digitally. 




Meet Your Teacher

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Ariann Aguilar

Art Director & Illustrator


I made a couple of videos talking about how to take good reference pictures for your drawings and creations. It's free and on YouTube! Take a look: 



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1. Welcome to class! Introduction: Welcome to this Skillshare class. In this Skillshare class, we're going to be learning how to color any drawing that you created traditionally digitally. For this class, all you'll need will be either Clip Studio Paint or any drawing program of your liking. And you won't even need a drawing tablet if you don't own one. Of course I do recommend that if you have one, but if you don't, can simply use a mouse to do this class, Let's get ready to learn some new art stuff today and enjoy ourselves. 2. Color your traditional drawings Digitally: Let's learn how to color a traditionally drawn illustration digitally. So the first thing we're going to do is we're going to take a picture of whatever it is that we have drawn. I have selected two different types of pictures for this class. So this one is the first one, and this one is the second one. Now, I've chose both of these pictures for different reasons. The first being that one has been created with a pen and the other one has been created with pencil. So this way I can show you that you can achieve the same results without worrying whether or not you're using pencil or pen, it doesn't really matter. You can still color your eye, color your sketchbook drawings digitally. So I pasted both of these pictures here, and I haven't edited them at all because I want you to see how I go about editing this picture is to be able to achieve the best results. So we're going to start with the easiest one to do. The easiest one to do is a sketch or illustration that you have made with the pen. The reason why this version is a little bit easier is because when you create an illustration with pen or with markers, they tend to translate better and have a lot more contrast than drawing is that you, that you may have made with pencil. But no matter what you do, you can still color any of your drawings that you've made traditionally digitally. So I'm just expanding this picture so that we can get a better look at the drawing that I made with pen. If you pay attention, you'll see that there are some parts that I use pencil for my, my first rough draft. And in my personal preference, it doesn't really matter for me whether you can see the pencil lines or not underneath the pen and the marker pen and mark your lines. But if that is something that bothers you, you wish to get rid of those types of lines. You can always color in so that you can hide them. Or you can use what is known as a blue pencil. Because the blue in those pencil's kinda almost never picks up in the photos that you take of your illustrations. So that is a good way to go about it if you don't like to see pencil strokes. Now that we have expanded the picture that I took, I am going to edit it so that we can get a better result and we can see the drawing more clearly so that we can color it better. So what I am going to do in Clip Studio Paint is I'm going to go to layer and I'm going to go to New correction layer. So the first thing that I like to do is no matter what, reduce the saturation, because I want this to appear as though it's in black and white. This is going to help me a lot because I personally don't want any Hughes to come from the initial drawing. I want to add those when I'm adding colors. But if you don't mind, the neuron have to do is I just like for it to be black and white. Then we're going to go back to new correction layer again. And we're going to go over to brightness and contrast. And this is going to help us a lot at first because we can up the contrast so that we can see the lines better. And depending on your photo, you're going to want to the brightness or lower, depending on whether the photo is overexposed or underexposed. But for me, this works pretty well. I'm going to leave it with contrast of 83 and brightness. And as you can see, you can very clearly see the lines that I drew. You can virtually, you don't virtually see any of the lines that I created with pencil and this drawing in and of itself, if it was digitally drawn, it would be so easy to color. And it will be just as easy even though this is a traditionally made illustration. So what we're going to be doing is we are going to merge all these three layers so that we can get this as the final result. Now, just for the sake of this class, I'm going to duplicate this original version because I want to be able to show you the before and after, but you don't have to do that. So I'm going to merge the selected layers. And now you might be wondering, well, how do I go about coloring this, since it's not a transparent layer and I'll have to color on top of the lines. I don't want it to that and don't worry. I got you. You don't have to do that, but you're going to be doing as you're going to select the layer or you're drawing this at, and you're going to change the type of layer. So earlier is on normal right now, we're going to change it to multiply. And what multiply does is it allows us to color underneath that drawing and be able to see the colors that we choose. There are some downsides to multiply that I'll go over really quickly. But I just want to show you how you can color this now without worrying about the picture or the drawing not being transparent. So let me just show you, as you can see, you can now color any thing that you want inside of this drawing. You don't have to worry. Now, if you are using a mouse, you might not want to color it by hand. You might want to go and maybe use the Lasso tool so that you can select certain areas of the drawing and, you know, use the bucket tool and color them like so. But I have the privilege having a drawing tablet, so I am going to take advantage of that. One of the downsides of using Multiply is that if the color that you get at the end of editing, your picture is not completely white. Once you start coloring in the colors, when you try and I drop the colors, you'll notice that they might be a tiny bit darker. Because there is obviously a layer on top, which is this one. So one of the things that I recommend is that if you're going to work with a specific color palette or specific colors that you don't want to be affected by the multiply layer, you can just go and create a new layer on top of your illustration layer. And just simply apply the colors that you're going to constantly use so that you can, I drop the specific color without it being altered once you start coloring in? But other than that, I mean, there's not a lot of problems with making this layer a multiply layer. And that's just a very quick fix that you can do that I recommend for you. So the thing that we're going to be doing now is simply color in, like we would normally color any drawing digitally. I'm going to choose just any random colors that I want. And I'm going to color in this illustration that I made. Now, if you like this illustration for the class's project, you are going to be able to download it and color it if that's what you'd like to do. But I do encourage you. But I do encourage you guys to take a picture of one of your drawings or just a picture of any drawing that you would like to color so that you can get a better understanding of how it is to edit it a picture in order to be able to color it. But if you want to skip that, if you just want to color something that was drawn by hand, but you want to color it digitally than this good option. You can just download this drawing that I made and start coloring it in. So this is pretty straightforward. I have a free class on how to apply flats on illustrations. So you can check that out if you want to listen to a more detailed version on how to flatten colors on an illustration. But for now what I'll do is I'm going to be showing you how I edit picture when I join it with a pencil. And we're going to skip over to one's, all of the colors in this illustration have become applied. So this other picture that I have a pencil illustration that has not been created using pen, has several, several things that need fixing. First and foremost is not in the direction that I wanted to be. So how you can fix that is by clicking on command T or Control T to transform your photo. And this way you can rotate it, you can expand it, you can make it smaller, and so on, so forth. So I want to make it a bit larger. Now, depending on the illustration that you created and on the photos that you chose, you might need to cut some parts of the image, right? Because I don't want this to appear and I definitely don't want this to appear, nor do I want my kitchens kind of piled thing bear to appear. So I'm just going to cut the specific parts of the photo that I want color. And I'm going to either cut it or copy it and paste it on a new layer. Now I can erase the original stuff that it was underneath. And we are left with this. Now, if we want it to color it, if we wanted to apply multiply right now and start coloring it, we could do that. Let me just, yeah, we could do that. But as you can see, there are all these edges that look horrible and do not do us any favors. So in order to fix this issue, we're going to edit this picture as well. We're going to go again to layer than new correction layer. And first, I like, as I said before, to reduce the saturation so that it becomes black and white. And now we're going to go over to brightness and contrast. Now, this usually does the trick, but sometimes it might not. So you'll have to adjust depending on your picture. As you can see though. Once I've applied the contrast and the brightness carefully, because I don't want to lose all of my lines. Now we have a completely white background that kind of blends in with my canvas. So I don't have to worry about the horrible edges that we had before. And I can simply merge all of my layers just as I did before. So we're going to merge all of this and change the type of layer to multiply layer. And the process is the same as with the other picture that I showed you. You can color in without any issues and depending on whether or not the color of the white that you are left with is actually white or kind of gray. You are going to have to apply the color palette on top of the multiply layer so that the colors don't change once you start applying it and dropping them. So that's going to be pretty helpful. I am going to color the first illustration in order to show you how we can move forward with this. But again, do note that you can do this with any pencil illustration. You can do this with any pen, illustration, ink illustration. And you can even do this, even if you have used, say, a purple pencil to create an illustration, you just gonna have to adjust the amounts of contrast and brightness in order to be able to cover that image and for it to be able to be blended with the background. As I was coloring this, I just realized something. This is also one of the tips that I gave you in another class and the flooding class that is for free in here in Skillshare. But just in case you don't want to see that class, you want to skip it altogether. You can definitely use the refer other layers bucket to fill your illustration in so you don't have to do it by hand or using the lasso tool. But this will only be helpful if your lines are pretty clear and crisp if the lines are closed because that's going to help us just be able to drop the paint with the bucket tool anywhere and not be worrying about whether the paint spill somewhere else or if it colors the areas properly. But this is another way you can color this in. And it's pretty helpful if you're kinda lazy like me. And the cool thing about Clip Studio Paint is that you can color in areas even if your lines are enclosed. So for example, let's say I want to color in the shirt and it's not close, right? There's no black line. One of the things you can do is you can either draw in a line with a color that you want or if you're looking to close it with a black line, just as in the illustration. You can go to whatever kind of pen or pencil or marker works better for your illustration. And you can draw in a line that kinda blends seamlessly with the illustration you made for me. I'm going to keep this open. I'm just going to choose whatever color I like. And I'm going to use that to close in the area so that I can color it in without any issues. There you go. It's pretty easy, pretty simple. And it's one of my favorite things to do. And one of the favorite kind of options that clips you gives us so that we don't have to color everything by hand and takes forever to color it. If I'm pretty lazy and I don't like to color things are flattened things forever. All right, well, I was going to beat this along, but basically we're almost done applying the flat colors here. I'm just going to add a little bit of bluish purple color here to the hair. And once I'm done coloring this part, we can render this however we feel like. So before I talk about rendering this, just the illustration as it is right now, with the flat colors. Depending on your style of inking, depending on your style of drawing with a pencil, it might look done to you here. You might be happy with this, and that's completely fine. If you want to stop here. It looks pretty neat and it's a beautiful illustration without it having to have any shadows or highlights or anything like that. But if you want to add a little bit more to the illustration, you definitely can do that and that's where we're going to be doing quickly. I'm going to show you just like the most basic way you can color this in so that you guys can do this with or without a drawing tablet because I want this to be accessible to everybody. So let's say you have finished blocking in all the colors that you want to use. And I like to separate my colors by layers. So the skin is in one layer and the wings are in another layer. The shirt, I send another layer. And the highlights of the hair and the lips are in another layer. So now I want to shade the skin a little bit. What we can do in order to shade this without hurting our risks. If we're using a mouse or taking too long, if we're using a drawing tablet is simply to use the airbrush tool. And one of the things that I like to do to add a little bit of depth to things not only skin but just anything in general. Is I like to add weather depending on the lighting, a source of warm color, or a source of cool color. In my case, for the skin, I like to apply a little bit of a red color to mimic blood flowing through the skin. So I'll make my airbrush a little bit Baker. And I'll try and keep the strokes really light so that I can add just a little bit of redness in the elbows, in the hands and even a little bit in the cheeks because that's where we tend to see blood flow modes. And this looks very nice. You can do this with your mouse if you do this with your drawing tablet. And then another thing that you can do is you can leave it like that or using the G pen or the lasso tool. So with the last two, I'm just going to go over this really quickly. You can choose whatever areas you want to shade. So let's say this part right here would definitely be darker because the hair is kind of in the way in. I want my light source to becoming from her right side. So what I like to do is I like to select the color of this kin. And in this case I want the shading to be a bit warmer. So I'll move my color wheel towards a more warm color and bring it down to a more saturated color. Right in the middle of this little box of colors that we have here. I know there's a name for it, but I can't remember it right now for the life of me. So we're just going to call it box of colors. And there we go. It's very subtle. You can barely see the shading, but it works pretty well. And I did it with the lasso tool. Now if you're, if you're using a drawing tablet, you can just do this by hand wherever you feel like you want to add shading. So I'm just going to add some shading here. Some shading there. I don't really care about adding much shading into the hands just because I want to go for a more simple style here. So I'm just going to add shading to the areas where I feel like there would be the most contrast. So kind of below the nose, the lips where the hair is hitting her face, and just with her eyes as well. So this seems pretty okay with me for the purposes of this class. And we can do the same thing with the shirt, which I like to just I like to just shade fabric that is not shiny using the airbrush just because I feel like it doesn't really need to be super defined and it still looks pretty good. And that's what I'm going to be doing here. So I'm just going to color in shade this part slightly. I don't really like this mustard color, so I'm going to change it up a little bit. We're going to make it a bit brighter. Maybe a little bit warmer. There we go. This looks much better. Should you want to add more shading so that it's more defined? You can definitely, again use the Lasso tool or use the brush, whichever brush you want to use. But this is just an example of what you can do to add a bit of shading as well here. All right, and that's how we can keep coloring everything here. I'm going to use the same quick process for the wings. Now the wings are a little bit more colorful since they are like a butterfly's wings. And I want there to be a bit of like bouncing light from the shirt and from her skin over here. Maybe some purple. And I really like how this looks. I feel like it's fun to play around in the ear just using the airbrushed. You're not really worrying about much. It doesn't have to be super well-defined and it's still I feel like it's still does the job really well. So I'm going to simply shade this with a darker blue and some areas again, we're trying to keep this simple and quick because the main thing that I want you guys to take from this class is just that you can color it. Anything that you draw digitally, even if you don't have a drawing tablet or just if you're new to coloring, things are drawing things digitally. This is a great way to start with digital journey of art, because sometimes it's really hard to translate our abilities of drawing traditionally. A digital media. So this is kinda like a beautiful In-between point that you can do. I'm going to leave the hair highlights as they are and the lips as well. You can add a background to this if you want to, but say you want the background below, you can add that yellow color there without any issues as well. And you can change it to whatever color you want. If you want to actually paint the background, you can do that as well. Now, this is kind of like the creative part that you guys choose. So you can go crazy with this. You can do whatever you want to do. All right. And I did not color. Let me just put all of this in a folder and everything that you see here, I will be uploading it to the resources that you guys can download from this class so that you guys can kind of see the breakdown of what I just did. And I'm going to be giving you the files for everything so that you guys can give it a try. I'm going to be giving you this version of this photo as well as the one without any kind of cropping or editing. So you guys can crop it or edit it however you want. But look at the before and after. This is before. And this is the after. It's kind of a cool thing, right? And I really like how it turns out. And it really, you can't really tell that this was drawn like traditionally. If I don't tell you, and I really like that mixture of digital with traditional because it adds a little bit more life. It adds a little bit more texture to your projects and it's a great style if you want to go for like completely diving into this and leaning on it, being drawn traditionally and color traditionally, it just works really well. That is the final version of this drawing that I'm going to leave you guys with. I want to show you this one. So I left this one like this and I left it as this in the files. And I'm going to upload to this class, I want you guys to color this one more than I want you to color this one because I want to see you guys create something without having been influenced by what I just did. And so that is why I have left this one without any color. Going to leave you guys with that as the project for the class. I hope that you guys enjoyed this class. I know it was kind of a quick one as simple one, but it is going to kinda force you guys to learn how to do this by practicing and not just looking at me, which I think is very important. So then if it's not clear yet, the class's project is to either do your own drawing, traditionally, take a photo of it and color it digitally, or choose one of the two illustrations. And I'm going to be uploading for you guys and do the same process that I just did from the editing of the photo to the coloring of the photo. And I want to see what you guys come up with. It's going to be just really exciting for me to see your creativity and see what you are able to come up with. And I hope that you enjoyed this class just as much as I enjoyed teaching it.