In one of our previous blog posts, Game Art Team Lead Natasha Soglin reviewed Clip Studio Paint based on the recommendation of one of our LinkedIn followers. Due to the program’s user control and relatively low price point, it has worked its way into the hearts of some of our artists. In the video below, Natasha showcases Clip Studio’s brush and blending functionality as she paints a gorgeous landscape. We sat down with Natasha to learn more about how she created this piece and why she has added Clip Studio Paint to her game art toolbox.
You’ve said before that different programs have different strengths and weaknesses for different people. Why do you like Clip Studio Paint?
No artist feels good about a painting until it’s complete or nearly complete (or sometimes, not ever–such is the life of an artist!), but at least in Clip Studio I’m confident that I can pull something off because I have better control over the program. For me, Clip Studio Paint has ideal blending capabilities and more intuitive brush preferences compared to SAI and Photoshop.
How did you start your painting process for this piece?
Just like the last Speed Sketch! we did, I first grabbed a reference photo. Then, I started the painting process by blocking out colors and imagining working in layers by laying down the most distant colors and working my way to the foreground.
After that, I found general areas of light and shadow. At this point the areas aren’t exact, but the reference photo will help me figure out the general layout of the scene. This is messy and looks absolutely terrible, but it’s only a foundation.
About a third of the way into this particular painting I decided I didn’t like the distant background. I knew I would later have to go back and fix it, so I decided to redo the entire horizon and atmosphere.
How did you decide when to move from outlining general color areas to more solidified shapes?
When the colors start to look right, it’s time to paint in more solid, basic shapes. You can’t see it in the video, but I had a separate canvas open to capture the same window zoomed out at about 15%. This allows me to have a constant view of the overall composition of the image so I know if I need to fix any areas without having to constantly zoom in and out of the same window.
What steps did you take to finalize the piece?
The trees and knolls are finally in the right spots, so it’s time to start rendering! This includes further fleshing out shapes and giving surfaces textures. I spent the majority of my time doing this. It’s tedious work but worth it in the end!
This is really where blending and brushes come in handy; you can feign small details with the right textured brush (and brush settings!) and preserve your original color palette.