When you draw an illustration, you may think “I want to draw this kind of picture…” in your mind, but when you start to draw the picture, you may think “Oh? It’s not what I imagined…
What have you ever experienced?
There is a way you can solve that.

That is “gathering materials” and “color roughs”.

The first thing I would recommend to beginners is to look at a collection of pose catalogs that allow tracing and copying.

I want to draw a pretty girl in a pretty pose! But it’s very difficult to actually start drawing on campus from scratch, even if you imagine that you can.
‘What’s going on with my arms?’ Do you ever get depressed and think, “I can’t draw my hand,” or “I can’t draw…
By looking at the pose book, you should be able to get a concrete idea of what a cute pose would look like.

If you have a clear image of the girl you want to portray in a rough draft, the process of completing the image becomes much easier.

In this article, let’s try drawing a girl in a cute pose, referring to “Sloppy Pose Catalog” by Mahr.


The roughness of the body line is now ready.

The next step is to solidify the image of the outfit, hairstyle and expression.
This time, I’m going to make my hair look like an idol girl’s off day, just a dull outfit and a no-set hairdryer.
Since she’s an idol girl, I’ll adjust it so that it doesn’t look sloppy.
By solidifying the image of the character, I think it will become more convincing as a single picture.

I’m going to think about the background.
I added a layer for the rough background.
This time I decided to make her lying on the sofa with a stuffed cat.

Start working on the color rough.
The trick to deciding on a color is

Decide on the image color of the picture.
Do not use too many colors.

There are many books on color schemes on the market, so it’s a good idea to have a look at them.
Here are some books on color schemes that I recommend.

The Color Scheme Style Handbook
The 900 kinds of color palettes that create the atmosphere you want are posted.
Since CMYK and RGB color codes are posted, I think it will be useful as a reference for drawing pictures on a PC.

A rough draft of the colors is now complete.
I tried to use pastel colors to create a soft atmosphere in the picture.
I think it would be easier to adjust the character’s hairstyle at this point in time if there are any minor adjustments to be made.

I will put in a shadow.
If you think the color is different, I recommend that you can easily change the color with the hue from the filter tab.

All the rough draft work is now complete.
If you have a clear image of the finished product in the rough draft stage, you will be much less likely to think, “Oh, I didn’t think it would look like this ……” when it’s finished.

This rough drawing will be used for coloring, so it is important to write out the image.

Line drawing rough

I will work on the line drawing rough for the line drawing.
I put the layers used for the roughing into one folder and set the opacity to about 20%.

Create a new folder and create a new layer in it for the rough line drawing.
The face parts such as eyes and mouth should be in a separate layer so that you can easily modify them later using the Transform tool.

The rough draft of the line drawing is finished.

Line drawing

I used the “Pen (in and out)” brush this time.
If you’re not very good at line drawing, you might want to change the “Shake Reduction” setting.
I’ve set the Shake Reduction value to 34.

Color coding

Open the document window in the Windows tab.
Go to “Open Document” to display the rough draft you just wrote out.
Use the eyedropper, the second tool from the right of the document window, to select a color for each part.

Let’s paint each part separately.

In some cases, the line drawing may not be filled to the bottom of the line drawing as shown above.
You can fill in the line art by hiding the line art and checking to make sure there are no gaps.


Apply it from your favorite spot.
This time I will paint from the skin.
There is no right answer for shadow color.
If you are curious about what kind of shadow color your favorite illustrator is using, you may take it with an eyedropper and check it.

I used a watercolor brush to paint the shadows.
I applied it roughly and used an eraser to shape the areas that I was concerned about.

Painting the lips.
I applied a darker color around the lips and the shade of the lower lip and blended the lip area with a lighter color.

I’ve added the highlights in white.

I think it looks more natural as the size of the circle gets smaller and smaller from the right.

Draw the teardrop-shaped area.
I painted in the same color as the shadow color in the area of the teardrop.

On top of that, I used a watercolor brush to blend the highlight area on the inner side of the eye and under the pupil with a skin tone.
I added brown shadows under the tear trough to make it more natural.

Eye Coloration

Paint the shaded area with a color darker than the base color.

I placed a near-white color under the pupil, changed it to a screen layer, and changed the opacity to 48%.

Place a brighter color on the upper part of the eye and fill the highlight area with white to finish coloring the eye.

Color the cheeks

Create a new layer.
Use the color I used for the shadow color and use an airbrush to bring out the blush on the cheeks.

The colors were too dark, so I changed the opacity to 40%.

Hair coloring

I took an eyedropper of complexion around the face and airbrushed a gradient around the face, bringing it down to 36% opacity.

Take a shade color from the material with an eyedropper and paint the part that will be a shadow.
Add a new layer and paint the highlight as well.
I will paint a new layer and highlight it.
I redo the drawing several times until I’m satisfied with the result.

Change the layer for the highlights to a screen layer and change the opacity to 36% and then the hair is ready to be painted.

Clothing coloring

Use the airbrush to paint the bottom half as a shadow area.
If you are unhappy with the shape, you can select a transparent color from the color circle and paint on it to remove the painted area.

Once you hide the gradient you just used and put in the shadow.
I draw the shadows by looking at the pose document to see where the shadows are placed.

I changed the opacity of the gradient so that the gradient blends in with the shadows you just saw.


Paint the shadow color roughly on the multiplication layer, soften the lighted areas with an airbrush, and then change to a screen layer and change the opacity so that it doesn’t look unnatural.

There’s not much need to paint in the areas that are hidden by the person.
When the person is hidden, the shadow looks like this

Colored Tresses

Color tress to give the illustration a softer feel.

Copy and paste the coloring folder for the character. (You don’t need the line drawing folder. Copy and paste only the coloring layer.
At this point, the coloring folders are merged into a single layer.

Merge the line-art folders into a single layer.
Clipping the merged coloring layer onto the line-art folder, you can change it to a screen layer.
Change to a screen layer and set opacity to 29%.

You can see that the line drawing has gone from pitch black to a fluffy, atmospheric line drawing.

Let’s change the color around the face.
Add a new layer on top of the line drawing layer and clipping it.
Select your favorite red color and add color on the corner of eyes, corner of eyes, corner of mouth, and nose with airbrush.

This is what it looks like if you only display line art.


Combine line art and coloring layers into one folder.
Copy the folder and paste it.
Select Gaussian Blur from the Tools tab, set the value to 11 and press OK button.
Now the entire image is blurred.

Erase the center of the image with an eraser to make it look like it’s only blurred around the screen.

Add a white line on top and bottom and you’re done.

Let’s compare the finished illustration and the color rough.
I don’t think that the image has changed so much between the color rough draft and the finished illustration.

I was able to complete it without losing the image from the rough draft.

When you draw a picture, why don’t you collect the data and try to make a rough color drawing before you start to draw?

(Text/Artwork by Mido Hachino)