How to Draw a Lineless Illustration on SAI Painter (or Any Other Paint Program)



Introduction: How to Draw a Lineless Illustration on SAI Painter (or Any Other Paint Program)

In this instructable I'll show you how to draw a lineless illustration. This is a really great style and is easier than it looks.

First off, you'll need the following:
- SAI Painter (or any other paint program)
- A digital drawing tablet of some sort. I used the Wacom Cintiq 12WX.
- A computer
- Patience
- A comfy working space

If you have everything, lets get started!

Step 1: Sketch Your Drawing

Your first step is to sketch out your drawing.
I usually use a light blue for my pen color.

Step 2: Ink Your Sketch!

I know this is going to sound like a step backwards from where you want to be, but in my opinion, the easiest way for me to make a lineless illustration is to...well...line it! The lines act like guides for your drawing, and will also help you know where to shade things in later!

So step two, open up a new layer above your sketch layer, and rename it "ink". Now line your sketch with a dark color. I always use black.

Step 3: Hiding Layers

Now for step 3, you're going to have to get really used to hiding and un-hiding layers. Go ahead and hide your sketch layer, and only show your ink layer.

Step 4: Create a Color Palate

A color palate is a very convenient thing you can do for yourself, just in general.

So go ahead and create a new layer called color palate.
For EVERY part of a character that has a different color, make a palate.

Then, make one "general" palate with your base colors.

Step 5: Color Your Characters

Now things can start to get a little confusing.

You're going to need to create a new layer for each different color section of a character. For example, a "skin" layer, "hair", "shirt", etc.

Use the colors you picked for your base colors.

Step 6: Hide Those Lines! Clean Up Your Characters!

Finally! It's time to get rid of those ugly lines.
Go ahead and click the hide button. 

Note:  DO NOT delete the layer, it'll help you with shading your character later.

Now, your characters will look very blotchy and messy. It's time to use an eraser tool and go to each different layer to clean up the edges. 

Once mine were all clean, they looked like this!

Step 7: Shading!

Now, it's time for the hardest part, shading and adding depth.

Back to your color palate you made, go ahead and turn to each of the individual rows you made for each color, and use some kind of paint or watercolor brush to blend and shade your colors onto your characters. On SAI painter I used the watercolor tool.

To help you, put your ink layer's opacity on 6%, as a guide for where to shade.

Warning: Watch out for which layers you're on! You don't want to shade on the wrong layer.

Step 8: Background

There are many different ways to draw a background for an illustration like this.
I just took my steps that I had for my character, and applied all of them to the background!

If you're going to do this, the easiest way to go about it is to hide your characters so you can focus on the background. Consider merging all the parts of your characters into one (using the "merge" button), or creating a file to put all your character layers in.

Once you finish your background, unhide your characters, delete your sketch and ink layers, and voilà!

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