What you want to do here is a color hold. Or, if you prefer, knock out a color. Basically, you want the easiest way to color in the black lines so they look like another color other than the black you originally drew them with.
You’ve seen this in action since Disney movies thirty years ago. You’ve seen in in J. Scott Campbell’s work. You see it in every cartoon today. How do they get the black lines to be in color? Do they use different colored pens to ink the lines?
You could zoom way far into your line and pick a very small brush and painstakingly fill in the black areas with a new color of your choice.
But that would be silly. Clip Studio Paint has a tool for that. It’s called “Clip At Layer Below.” It’s a mouthful, but it’s very handy.
Here’s how you use it:
Clip At Layer Below
Click on your inks layer where the black lines you want to knock out reside.
Click the NEW Layer button, or make a claw shape with your right hand and mash down on SHIFT-CMD-N. Same thing either way. That’ll create a new layer just above the inks. For later sanity’s sake, you might want to give that layer a name now before we get ahead of ourselves. Click on the text in there and type your new name. I usually go with “Holds”.
So long as your new layer is selected, click the little icon at the top that looks like two foreshortened circles on top of each other. If you hold your cursor over it, the tool tip will show you “Clip At Layer Below.”
What does that do? It makes it so that this layer will only draw on things that are on the layer below it, basically. In this case, it’ll only draw over the linework. Now you can color in your lines and not worry about about those new colors landing anywhere else.
The lines you’re making are still happening, but unless they appear over the marks on the previous layer, you won’t see them. If you turn off the Clip At Layer Below button, you can see all the lines you made that the “Clip” button hid away on you.
Super simple, super powerful.
Warning: It’s important that you isolate your line work in its own layer for this to work. If you also colored stuff inside the lines on that same layer, your “Holds” layer will paint over those colors, too. It’ll paint over ANY marks made on the layer directly below it.
Extra tip: You can use more than one color on your hold. I didn’t do it here so I didn’t distract from the tutorial, but I have used brighter and darker colors in the hold to help approximate the lighting situation.
Bonus Exercise: After you hold the hair, the black lines around the face are going to stick out. As will the nose. Now you’ll be wanting to hold those lines, too. It’s a vicious cycle…
Summing It Up
- Click on Inks layer
- Create New Layer
- Click “Clip At Layer Below” button.
- Color your lines
Now you can have characters with red hair that doesn’t have a black outline around it, or detail work that you don’t want people to focus on blend in better with the rest of the art.
Credit: The drawing at the top of this article is of Atom Eve from “Invincible,” a character who is likely (C) and (TM) Robert Kirkman.