How can I quickly cre­ate cus­tom brushes in Clip Stu­dio Paint?

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An­swer PJ replies

Ev­ery first-time in­stal­la­tion of Clip Stu­dio Paint in­volves an ex­cited ex­plo­ration of the Dec­o­ra­tion subtool. It’s a ver­i­ta­ble smörgås­bord of nat­u­ral, un­nat­u­ral and down­right goofy brushes that can quickly gen­er­ate rock­en­crusted waste­lands, dense forests or, more likely, just a ran­dom smear of black and white.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, this toolset quickly gets rel­e­gated to the dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent of the bot­tom drawer. There is, how­ever, a way to fix this, turn­ing it from a lit­tle-loved tool into an ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial time saver.

Think about cre­at­ing sil­hou­ettes: us­ing your own cus­tom-made brush tips is key here. A va­ri­ety of leaves (hand-drawn or scanned and traced) com­bined can look like a dense bocage, a set of ran­dom blobs add up to the in­ter­ga­lac­tic power of comics le­gend Jack Kirby’s “Kirby Krackle” ef­fect and a crowd is re­ally just a mass shape com­posed of nu­mer­ous in­di­vid­u­als. Each brush tip should be made of a sim­ple sil­hou­ette.

It’s al­ways easier to start from an ex­ist­ing brush and build up. So find a Dec­o­ra­tion subtool you think might do the job – most of my more suc­cess­ful sil­hou­ette brushes are de­rived from the Fo­liage brush – and use the Cre­ate Copy of Cur­rently Se­lected Sub Tool icon to du­pli­cate it and then edit it.

Once you’ve de­signed a few of your own more use­ful dec­o­ra­tive brushes, you can drag them out of their subtool and on to the tool­bar on their own, group­ing them to­gether to save time hunt­ing for them when you need them.

You can pro­duce a com­plex sil­hou­ette by wav­ing the brush around and ap­ply­ing pres­sure to help gen­er­ate ran­dom pat­terns.

Draw a va­ri­ety of shapes on a sin­gle layer in black and white, then se­lect them in­di­vid­u­ally and add to the brush list us­ing Edit>Reg­is­ter Image as Ma­te­rial.

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