And some general tips too!
I used paint tool sai for this, but most programs should be able to do things similar. I also included my layers if it would help! Here is a .sai file. Here is a .psd too but it’s missing a few .sai things.
It’s a really fast style to do because it’s simple- it only took me an hour to draw! But this is not for beginners because it requires you to know a basic amount about layers and to be neat.
So much for being neat Personally, whenever I draw a picture that needs to go beyond the sketch stage I’m too used to doing it effortlessly.;; Maybe I’m justifying being lazy but for one, it saves time. A lot of time. Secondly it motivates me to move on and actually finish the picture;; (like when people complain that their sketch looks better than the lineart/finished picture)
This is my rough second “guide” just to make sure that I cover the area of the body up. The outline of the shape is just made by turning on the fringe/wet edge setting on sai (above layer panel)
The only tools I used are the pen and default airbrush tool (later). Since the style is mostly block solids, I don’t need density pressure (transparency) in the pen. Smoothing increases pressure sensitivity so it’s more accurate for neater shapes!
Now I make a new layer on top of everything and blob shapes following the sketch and the guide. Every time I feel that the “shape” will clash with another colour or object, underneath I create a new layer for a new shape. So I may end up with a lot of layers
I start with what is ‘closer’ to the viewer first and work my way to the back. In this case it’s bangs> hair> headphones> face> clothes> hands/skin> pokemon> rest of hair/clothes
From time to time I hide the guide and the sketch just to see if there’s anything I need to fix with the shapes. These shapes should be clean, if something is shaky try stroking a bit faster and with more momentum. You have ctrl+z and you could erase parts of shapes ( how I changed the shape of the piece of long hair)
This bit is actually the hardest bit because blobbing shapes require you to follow what is seen in the guide and not what you think. Example; when you think about drawing a flower it’s different to when you want to draw realistically. The best way for the latter is to look at a real flower and think of how to break it down into simpler shapes.
Now I’ll just copy that horrible body looking guide thing onto a new layer and neaten the shapes up. I went ahead and shaded the skin. (process explained later;)
The background is temporarily pink so because it contrasts with the light colours and I can see everything that’s going on.
To shade I use clipping layers. Any layers you place that’s clipped to the base layer will not go outside it! I’ll first explain my general rule of thumb for shading. It’s a similar explanation from Shigenori Soejima (Persona 3/4 artist) because its kinda confusing.
When shading there are shadows(+highlights) and shades eg. Shadows are shadows- like the shadows of hair-on-skin in anime style. Placing shadows flat is called cel-shading. To take this to the next level you add “shades”. This is what makes an object pop out more to look more realistically convincing. The more you blend out these shadows and add more shades, the less toony the colouring will look. I’ll only add a tiny amount of shade since this is a flat style, but like above just the tiniest bit of “shade” can make things look a lot more round.
This may be personal preference but I notice that beginners a lot of the time shade with sharp edge triangles. If you round of these shapes even just the tiniest bit, it makes shading look more natural, it’s easier on the eyes. When shading metal or something solid then the shapes can be more rigid, but her jacket is especially poofy here.
After placing in the “shadows” I can go back and airbrush in shades using the airbrush. I would also place small highlights. This all should be really simple and not too detailed. Opacity lock is similar to clipping layer. It locks the “shape” so anything you paint on it will not go outside. Sometimes I airbrush slightly darker or lighter shades onto the shadows.
For the background it’s really just to be creative. Something poppy, bright and clean would be nice and suits the style! I have a few examples here. The background could be busy but it should compliment the focal point and not distract it too much.
Taadaaa done! I edited the levels a bit to make it brighter- But if you duplicate the finished image and set the layer to multiply it gives a similar effect.
Thanks for checking this out!!
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