Pencil Sketch in Manga Studio

Pencil Sketch in Manga Studio

You need to learn the tools before you can make the magic happen! In this post I’ll show you all you need to know to make a Pencil Sketch in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint.

The following text is a transcript from the video above. You can go ahead and watch it. It will be easier to understand and it will take only a few minutes of your time. But if you are old school and prefer to do all the reading, feel free to do so!


Pencil Tool

There are 5 preset types of Pencil in Manga Studio. These are the Darker Pencil, Lighter Pencil, Mechanical Pencil, Colored Pencil and Rough Pencil.

All of these have a Brush size, Brush density and stabilization sliders, that can be adjusted at will. Darker Pencil, Lighter Pencil and Mechanical Pencil have an extra slider of Hardness.

The Rough Pencil has an extra property of Texture applied to it. This pencil is the one that will achieve the most realistic results to imitate real life pencils.


Any of these tools can be edited and adjusted to meet our requirements, and they can be saved for future uses.

A note to make about the Drawing tools in Manga Studio is that by clicking the Shift key we can draw strait lines without any effort.

We can also find a Pastel Tool next to the Pencil. The Pastel tool is similar to the Rough pencil, and it has a texture applied to the stroke. Each Tool has different styling options, and the best way to learn is to try them and experiment with them.


The Pencil Tool, as well as many other drawing or painting tools of Manga Studio, can be used for both Raster and Vector Layers. But as we saw in the videos from Lesson 3, the best thing is to use Raster Layers for everything related to sketching and coloring, and leave the Vector Layers for Inking purposes only.


How to use the Pencil Tool:

The Pencil tool is usually used for making the rough sketch of what our illustration will be, although it can be used for imitating real world pencil illustrations just as well.

When making a sketch, we will want to start with a Raster Layer.

Raster Layer in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Raster Layer in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Many traditional artists choose to make their drafts with a blue pencil, because it allowed them to add the details in a darker color on top of the draft, and if the drawing was scanned, the blue color could be easily removed through Tone Correction adjustments.

This method of using blue for sketching has been inherited into the digital world, and many artists choose to continue drawing the sketches and drafts in a blue color.

To work in such fashion, we can simply activate the Layer Effect – Layer Color.

Activating the Blue effect for draft layers in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

Activating the Blue effect for draft layers in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

This is a quick and dirty way of doing so without having to worry about what shade of blue we need to choose. This option can be toggled on and off, allowing us to see the drawing in black and white at any time.

But the most professional approach to start a sketch, is by using the Auto Actions provided by the software. In the third tab next to the Layer Panel, we can find the Auto Action Panel.

The Auto Action panel in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

The Auto Action panel in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

A Draft Layer in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

A Draft Layer in Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint

The first of this actions is called “Create Draft Layer”. By selecting it and clicking the Play button, the software will automatically prepare a layer for us. This Layer will be automatically named “Draft” and it will have a distinctive Blue Pencil icon attached to it, allowing us to easily spot the Layer among all others. It will also have the Layer Color Effect set up for us (that again can be toggled on and off), and it will be set in a Gray-scale color mode.


Once the draft layer has been set up, we can start sketching our illustration!

T hank you for reading the post all the way through! If you liked the contents don’t keep it to yourself… Tell your friends! Thanks to your support I can create amazing projects. Check them out in my web or in my social media and tell me what you think!

See you there!


I am an illustrator and a comic artist. I like to do character designs and play the harp.

  • Mark Vincer
    Posted at 10:24h, 02 August Reply

    Hi there, loving the blog! I always find new ways to do things in Manga Studio/Clip Studio when I read all of these techniques. Question: do you have any tricks for aligning objects? Say for instance, you draw two circles. Is there any easy way to align them, like Illustrator’s align tools? It’s frustrating coming from Photoshop and Illustrator and not having that simple align feature.

    • Sayuri
      Posted at 19:29h, 02 August Reply

      Hello Mark, thank you! That is an excellent question. I have been checking everywhere and I have not been able to find any option that does that. The only workaround I can think of to align objects, is to set up the document Grid (or a custom ruler) from the “View Menu – Grid” or “View Menu – Ruler” and activating the “Snap to Ruler” (Cntrl+1) / “Snap to Grid” (Cntrl+3) option (also from the “View Menu”). With this option, you cannot align the objects per se once they have been drawn (even if you drew them as vectors), but you can use the snap option to draw the object in line with the grids/rulers. I hope they will correct this in the next update, because like you, I’m also used to use the align tools in the Adobe software, and I would love to see them here too 🙂 I hope this helped!

      PD: If you are working with the 3D materials however, the software does have a tool to set 3D models in the virtual floor, or on top of any other 3D surface… Not sure why they wouldn’t do it for 2D objects as well…

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