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How I Paint- Lineart Style by VerminFu How I Paint- Lineart Style by VerminFu
Pretty annoyingly sized image, sorry, I wanted people to still be able to see the brush settings. And again, sorry bout the messy handwriting. Sai's lack of text tool and my laziness combined.

This is how I paint, not necessarily how you should!
Tutorials are meant to help you improve, not imitate. I'm more than happy for people to copy this to the letter if you want, but don't stress about changing things or experimenting and taking it in a whole new direction!

Oh yes, these are the tools I use:
I paint digitally using Paint Tool Sai and an old Wacom Graphire4 6x8 graphic tablet (a low range Intuos is probably the current equivalent). Sai can be trialled free for 30 days and the translation I use is here: [link] This is an unofficial translation, but it's perfectly serviceable and comes with that magic Middle_Flat brush mode that I abuse the hell out of. The program costs approximately $70 USD depending on the exchange rate, as it's Japanese and priced in yen. I highly reccomend Sai over things like Photoshop or GIMP, this sort of soft painting is much much easier in Sai.

I'm willing to answer questions!
There's a lot of things I'm sure I take for granted and forgot to mention. Just comment and I'll help however I can!

I'm not any kind of expert!
I am self taught by studying a lot of other people's methods and experimenting randomly with things. Plenty of people are better than I am, admittedly. But I draw for myself and no one else generally, because I love to.

Useful links:

Colour theory flash tutorial by *purplekecleon which is brilliant. I'm not great at colours still, if you'd like a good foundation in picking colours this is a good place to start. Plenty of nice examples to look at!


This tutorial is like an updated version of this one. I did it a while back, it's less in-depth, but still may be useful to you!

Feel free to submit more ideas for useful links. :3
Gumdramon and Cutemon (c) Bandai etc
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:iconstrawberrynyu:
StrawberryNyu Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks!!
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:iconnharmonia-i-ly:
NHarmonia-I-ly Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Omg thank you so much for doing this!
I already tried to use *purplekecleon's tutorial but it didn't go so well, probably because I couldn't precise the tools she was using lol. Thanks again!!
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm really glad you found it useful! You have some cute art, good luck and happy experimenting!
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:iconnharmonia-i-ly:
NHarmonia-I-ly Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why, thank you! I still have a long way to go, though; an artist is always improving after all.
I'm using your tutorial to fill a PMD-E application and I'm really liking the outcomes! ^_^
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome! PMDE is a really good group to practice art! (even though I haven't done the last couple of missions, it's been a really strong motivator for me to improve and experiment).
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:iconnharmonia-i-ly:
NHarmonia-I-ly Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, not to talk about the awesome storyline lately!
Since the missions and tasks are pretty dynamic, you can't draw the īmons always in the same pose, and that motivates the artist to try new poses and improve and even adopt new styles and that's exactly what I've been looking for since I have some difficulty on thinking on new poses, having a 'scenario' really helps you.
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:iconsofiapokemon:
SofiaPokemon Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are you using Tablet?BECAUSE I NEED ONE AND MY PARENTS DONT GIVE ME ONE D:
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I use a tablet. There's no reason you can't just use traditional mediums until you can save up for one though, right? Art is art, and the skills are transferable. Even just sketching!

There's also the option of apps on the DSi and 3DS and smartphones that have digital painting capabilities, which cost under $10, if you happen to have any of those. (Colors 3D is a pretty good one)

It doesn't matter how you draw though, the more you practice the better you get at it.
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:iconsofiapokemon:
SofiaPokemon Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its because im from Brazil,as if you visited my page you know,and i really dont know if it only have in USA :/
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did visit your page, so yes, I did know that. But as you're commenting on the internet, I figure you can order things online from other countries if you do not have access to them yourself. Much as I did with my tablet 6 years ago, being that I lived in a rural town in Australia where I couldn't buy a tablet off the shelf.

Sorry if I seemed rude somehow, but I'm only trying to suggest solutions for you. As I replied originally, using a good old greylead pencil has as much art value as having a $300 tablet to draw with.
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:iconallocen:
allocen Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello! I loved, loved your tutorial, but I empaquei in part to refine the dash (Sketch), in step number 8.
I understand what tools you use but do not understand how it applies in the design to keep the layout of the sketch so soft to look at, would you help me? Do you know any video that can only go to that part I understand viewing? Excuse the inconvenience, but I am really passionate about this kind of virtual painting and thanks to your tutorial I was able to get very close to the result we want! Thank you.
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm really not sure how to explain any better, but I made a vid on livestream that should help, I hope.
[link]
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:iconpikamewhatred:
PikaMewHatred Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
*saving saving saving*
I'm gonna use this as my guide !

Thank you so much for making this !
;u;
:iconarigatouplz:
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:icondoggie1237:
doggie1237 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Where'd you download Paint Tool Sai?
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:iconmarsipilami:
Marsipilami Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm. This tutorial looks really good! But I wonder what sized canvas you use?
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It varies a lot. When I did this I only had a Window XP 2-year-old netbook that couldn't handle very big canvases without freezing. I usually used one of Sai's default ones, I think something like 1020x768?

Now that I have a better computer I use bigger canvases, but I still do the majority of my painting zoomed all the way out. There's not much point to having a 5000px image and zooming right in to fuss over every little inch, because in the end if you do that you lose all your detail at normal viewing size.

To summarise, use whatever you like, assuming you don't have a slow old computer, in which case use what it handles xP
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:iconmarsipilami:
Marsipilami Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohh okay. I don't have an old computer, and have used 2000 x 2000 pixels canvas, but the only problem is making thin strokes. I'm really bad at them, and I thought maybe they would be easier when using smaller canvas?
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well if you zoom out and pick brush sizes that relate to the size you're working on it shouldn't be any different either way. I really don't use "thin strokes" at all; I start out big and chunky (with big brushes to match) and get smaller as I refine, but it's the brush size I usualy change, not the strokes I do. They remain pretty consistent I guess?
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:iconmarsipilami:
Marsipilami Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh okay.. I think I got it.
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. I think you can actually see what I mean in my screenshots here now that I actually look at it. My brush sizes go like 7>20>20>15>50>9 px over the course of the screenies. I change the size a lot haha.
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:icontaishotan:
TaishoTan Featured By Owner May 29, 2012
Fantastic!! Thanks to this tutorial, i can effectively use SAI...thanks a bunch!
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it!
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:iconparty-mcfly:
party-mcfly Featured By Owner May 28, 2012
You have no clue how much I needed this type of tutorial!

Thank you so much!
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. I'm glad you found it helpful!
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:iconflail-sparklebuggeh:
Flail-Sparklebuggeh Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012
I hope you don't mind me asking, but do you have the same size canvas all the time, or do you just pick whatever feels the best?
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a fair question! Most my art is pretty low-res due to my crap computer, generally I just open a default 1024x768px canvas and use that. I tend to do tumblr doodles on 500x500px squares.
Not that this matters much of course, just go with whatever you're comfortable with, or in my case what doesn't make your computer freeze up all the time. Haha.
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:iconflail-sparklebuggeh:
Flail-Sparklebuggeh Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012
Alrighty then. Thanks! Epic tutorial, by the way. I adore your style.
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I mainly do these because it's easier to show people my odd methods than try to explain them, and my computer isn't good enough to handle livestreaming. Hee hee. And of course, I like to be helpful. Trying new things is fun and I like giving people the chance to!
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:iconkamidoodles:
kamidoodles Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very nice! i love the bit on the backgrounds.
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How I paint backgrounds is very random xD It helps having a tutorial like this to show people!
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:iconkikilol9:
kikilol9 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student
How do you get the colors from the scratchpad to use on the sai document? (The little box where you put all the colors in circle form)
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually a lot of the colours on the scratchpad I've taken from the image as I coloured it, I keep the colours I'm using there so while I'm blending I can still get the original colours.

The way I get them between the Sai document and the image itself is simply to use the colour eyedropper tool, and Pen to draw them in. If you don't know which Eyedropper is, it's above the tools box (where Pen, Airbrush, Brush etc are kept), on the bottom row of two, furthest right (close to the Colour Selection boxes).

My tablet's stylus is set to this Eyedropper as its function button shortcut so while I'm painting I use it a lot.
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:iconleeleechanlee:
Leeleechanlee Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you so much for this! :hug:

I just have 1 question so far...Sorry if it sounds stupid of me, but how do you get the background of your sketch that color green. When I try to do that by using the bucket tool it goes over the sketch, erasing it completely. How can I get that not to happen? :? I'm still pretty much a beginner with SAI. ^^; :)
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, this one's pretty simple. I'm guessing you've opened Sai and drawn a sketch straight onto the canvas you opened. This is no problem, just make a new layer (which is the button that looks like a blank page in the Layers panel) and then drag that layer beneath the first. Once Layer 2 is below Layer 1 (which is your sketch), you can paint bucket colours onto Layer 2 without affecting your sketch at all!
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:iconleeleechanlee:
Leeleechanlee Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks, but I don't usually draw directly in SAI, usually I scan a sketch picture, then open it in SAI.
LOL, I've been knowing the basic of that, I just usually don't draw directly in SAI. ^^; :)

So is there a way for that??? :? My situation and all?
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:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There is a solution for this, though you may need to edit your sketch to be bolder colours for it to work. On the sketch layer, go into the Layer menu on the top bar and click "Luminance to Transparency". That should turn your scanned sketch into a more digital-friendly transparent sketch.
As I say, though, you have to be willing to alter the contrast and possibly lose a little quality to do it that way. Not that you can't just clean it up as you go, of course :3
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:iconleeleechanlee:
Leeleechanlee Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you, I'll try even thought that sounds hard... ^^; :)
What if I line up the sketch?
Could I still apply the instructions you told me?
Will it still lose quality still, even as a line art? :?
Reply
:iconverminfu:
VerminFu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, of course, you can still follow these instructions!
What I suggest is trying out Luminance to Transparency before worrying about lining it. It might not lose too much quality. If it does, then just go into Layer at the top menu and Filters, and change the brightness/contrast until your sketch is quite dark on a bright white background and try Luminance to Transparency again. It doesn't take long to do so it's worth playing with.

But as I say repeatedly in the tutorial, you can change steps as much as you like depending on how you do things. There's no reason you can't just paint everything on one layer, even! It just means you'd be using Pen tool and eyedropper rather than Eraser.
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:iconkisame0318:
kisame0318 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank You!!!
cool tutorial!!!
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