# How to Draw Digital Art Using a Mouse

#### TheoAllen

##### Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
How to Draw Digital Art Using a Mouse
By: TheoAllen

Creating custom art for your game is everyone's dream. Unfortunately, for some, it is impossible due to various reasons. One of them might be because you don't know how to make them and how to get started. This tutorial aims to solve that problem.

Some notes:
• We are going to use PaintTool SAI 2 for this tutorial. This isn't free software, so you have to pay to use it. You can try the trial version though. Also, the software is actually usable despite all of the warnings of being tech preview.
• This tutorial is aimed at technical uses. This means you are not going to find some art theories like how to draw the correct anatomy, color theory, and the like.
• Creating art is a very time-consuming activity. If you haven't made anything worthwhile to show in the first few hours, that is normal. Don't give up.
That said, let's get started.

The Godsend Vector Layer
Drawing using a mouse means you don't have the advantage of being a pen user. One of them is the line pressure. Which determines the line thickness. But worry not, the vector layer got you covered. Here's the preview

How to Create Vector Layer
Your canvas is going to be like this. To create the vector layer, follow the picture below

After Creating a new vector layer, what you need to use is the Curve or Line Tool.
Here is the difference.

But they are basically the same. You can switch between rounded and pointed nodes/control points anytime you like. We will get more of that later. Here is the basic operation of creating a vector:
• Left click = Create control point (CP) or create a new vector
• Double left click = Finish
• Right click = Undo
Now look at the edit tool, you will see this.

Memorizing these shortcuts will make your life easier. Here's a demonstration of each of these in case you're curious.
Move CP (CTRL) - Click on the node

Create CP (CTRL) - Click on the line

Delete CP (ALT) - Click on the node

Delete CP Connection (ALT) - Click on the line

Deform (Shift) - Click anywhere on the vector

Create/Delete Deform Anchor (Shift + ALT) - Click on the node

Move the entire vector (SHIFT + ALT) or (CTRL + ALT) - Click on the line

Duplicate Vector (Shift + CTRL) - Click on the line

Delete the entire vector (SHIFT + CTRL + ALT)

Connect CP (Shift + CTRL) -Click on the node

Rounded/Pointed (CTRL + ALT) - Click on the node

Select Multiple Operation
Using the left click to select while using the edit tool, allows you to do multiple operations at the same time
Tips:
You can use most of these shortcuts while using the curve/line tool. So you don't have to switch between the Edit tool and the Curve tool.

The Line Pressure
The most important feature is the pressure. The one I show it to you at the beginning of this tutorial
It is located here

The pressure tool allows you to specify the line thickness.
Here is the demonstration.

Pressure for Width

Pressure for Density

These are the important features to remember to get started to create at least the lineart of your drawing.
So, let's draw!

Let's assume you have done your lineart drawing and this is what you have drawn

It is time to put some colors.
There are many ways to handle coloring, but In this section of the tutorial, I will be explaining how I personally handle coloring.

First, I always group the coloring layer into a folder. So, create a folder, and move below the linework layer.

Then create several normal layers (for buffers) inside the folder. So you don't need to click to create another layer when you need a new one. Complex drawings with more colors need more layers

Adding the base color is as simple as dropping the bucket tool into your drawing

You see, here I grouped the eye color layer together in a folder because eye coloring tends to have complex coloring.

The base color is anything but done. We need more elaborate colors such as shading and lighting. To do that, we need more layers. We are going to utilize the layer clipping.

What is layer clipping?
When the layer is set to "clipping group", whatever is on that layer won't show/stray from the base layer. It goes like this

Clipping is essential for shading/lightning. Let's get started.
Shading uses a darker color. However, picking the darker color manually can be a hassle. We utilize the layer blend mode. Before you ask, yes, we are using a vector layer for shading.

Here are the options for the blend modes

For lighting (usually soft light or filter), I usually only care about these four
• Shine
• Screen
• Lighten
• Soft Light
For highlight (high contrast lighting), I only use shine

• Multiply
• Burn
• Darken
So pick one. But for this tutorial, we are going to use Shade.

Picking Color
For starter, you can use pitch black and set the layer opacity lower to lower the intensity. But personally, I tried to avoid pitch black whenever I could.
In this tutorial, I use dark purple for hair shading. Here is what it looks like.

Then do the shading using a vector layer but with a bigger brush size.
You can dynamically change the brush size by using the curve/line tool and press CTRL+ALT at the same time, then drag it on an empty space to change the size. Here is what it looks like in action.

Keep doing it and you will complete your drawing

I think that is all I need to say. The rest depends on your drawing style and what you want to draw. I hope this tutorial is useful for those who need it. Happy drawing!

I don't do this anymore since I own a pen display, but I've been doing this for years before I bought the pen and moved on from this technique. If anyone is curious what I've made using these, you can look into this spoiler

Bonus: Live Drawing

Last edited:

#### Ganbarisa

##### Villager
Oooh thank you so much for those tips! Struggling quite a lot with lightning, shading etc at the moment because I kinda have a hard time noticing what is too much.

Last edited:

#### TheoAllen

##### Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
You can play around with the layer opacity to reduce the shading/lighting intensity until you feel it is right. And nothing stops you from adding an additional layer when one layer isn't enough, like this one

#### Ganbarisa

##### Villager
You can play around with the layer opacity to reduce the shading/lighting intensity until you feel it is right. And nothing stops you from adding an additional layer when one layer isn't enough, like this one
View attachment 277566
Amazing thanks for your reply! Managed to find out how to do it in clipstudio paint.

#### Arrose

##### Regular
It feels like when you draw, it’s as easy as sleeping.

#### Ms Littlefish

##### Time Traveling Victorian Vampire
As someone who knows how to draw but has forever been effing around aimlessly with digital tools... saving. Thanks, Theo! I think this will be massively helpful for me.

##### Realist
while I cannot draw and alot is possible in photoshop, there are alot of features
which photoshop doesn't have.

I cannot create people as well, but it's a really nice tutorial for the peoples that
can draw and maybe this is even easier than most software out there because
of those features.

specially the "Pressure width" tool, and the color part to adjust it quickly.

I adore your drawings, they are really nice, so keep it up

### Latest Profile Posts

I realized recently since my game is still a turn based game, that something like the card game Yomi is a lot closer to what I should try to aim for combat wise. Should also help for those who don't really play fighting games to make things a bit easier to understand. ugh the struggles of trying to show love for my 2 favorite genres in 1 go lol.
Did a bit of work on the chemistry tiles I want.

Hey There!

My next plugin will be: "Dynamic Temperature Stats"

Now you might be wondering... What does it do?

Well, it's a fascinating plugin that adds a body temperature mechanic to characters.

Holy crap, it's cold. Our heat went out this morning and the repair guy won't get the part needed to fix it at least until tomorrow. Had to be now of all times, when we have stuff to do all week and it's the coldest night of November so far.
I have invented a new food: soupie!
It is soup-pie! It's what happens when you try to make a pie, and it turns out super gooey and falls apart and you need a spoon to eat it! Soupie! Said like sue-pie. Not soupy - oh just let me eat my sad apple pie