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How to Change the Color of a Layer in Clip Studio Paint

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When you need to change the colors in your art, it can be a big pain to do it manually. Luckily, Clip Studio Paint gives you options to change your colors quickly and easily.

To change the color of a layer in Clip Studio Paint, start by selecting your desired layer. Then, confirm you have the correct color selected. Next, click on the “Edit” menu and the “Convert to drawing color” button. This will change anything on your selected layer to the color you’ve selected.

We’re going to walk through the steps you need to know to change the color of your art in Clip Studio Paint.

To begin with, we’ll talk about changing the color of an entire layer. Then, we’ll talk about how to partially change the color of a layer. This is useful if you have multiple objects on a single layer, but only want to change the color of some of them.

How to Change the Color of an Entire Layer in Clip Studio Paint

To change the color of an entire layer in Clip Studio Paint, make sure you have the correct layer selected in your layers panel. Also confirm you have the correct color selected. Then, click on the “Edit” button and the “Convert to drawing color” button to change everything on your selected layer to your selected color.

If everything you want to change the color of is one a single layer, here are the steps you’ll want to take to do that:

1. Select your desired layer in the layers panel

To begin with, you need to make sure you have the correct layer selected. This is the layer you want to change the color of.

Be aware that EVERYTHING on that layer will change to your new color. With this method, you can’t pick and choose.

This is why layer management is important. You may not know that you’re going to want to change your colors ahead of time. But, keep it in the back of your mind.

Separating your art onto different layers is helpful for a number of reasons; having options when changing your colors is one of them.

For this example, I drew all of my gnome on a single layer, except for the outline. Normally, I would draw the different parts of my gnome on different layers but, I limited my layers to keep things simple for this tutorial. I can’t say I’m always good about remembering to separate things into different layers anyways though!

clip studio paint selected layer

Alright, go ahead and select your layer. You’ll know it’s selected because it will be highlighted in your layers panel. For this example, I’m going to change the color of my outline, which is on a separate layer.

2. Choose your new color

Now you need to choose the new color you want to change your layer to.

Once you’ve chosen your color, make sure it’s your active, selected color. You’ll know it’s selected because it will have a gray outline around it.

clip studio paint selected color

3. Open the “Edit” menu and click on the “Convert to drawing color” button

Now it’s time to change the color of your layer. With your desired layer and color selected, open the “Edit” menu. Then, click on the “Convert to drawing color” button.

clip studio paint convert to drawing color

This will change the color of everything on your selected layer to your selected color. 

As you can see in my example below, my outline turned gray. 

clip studio paint outline turned gray

Ok, so maybe you’re like me and you didn’t separate your art into different layers. One way to deal with that is to move the object you want to change the color of to a new layer.

Use the Selection Tool to Put Your Object on a New Layer

Select your desired layer in the layers panel and choose the selection tool that makes sense for your object. Once your object is selected, cut and paste it to a new layer. Since your object is on a new layer, click on the “Edit” menu and the “Convert to drawing color” button to change the color of your object.

This color changing option uses the method we just talked about, but starts off with creating a new layer. 

If we’re able to get our desired object onto a new layer, we can then change the color of that layer without impacting the rest of our art. Hooray!

Here’s what to do:

1. Select your desired layer in the layers panel

Make sure the layer you want to change the color of is selected in your layers panel.

clip studio paint layer selected
I’ve hidden the outline layer to simplify things

2. Choose the selection tool

The selection tool is in your tool panel and defaults to a square icon. That said, if you’ve used your selection tool recently, the icon will resemble the selection setting you’ve most recently used.

clip studio paint selection tool

3. Select your object with the selection tool

Now you’ll want to select your object. The selection setting you choose will depend on your object. If your object is far away from other objects, you might be able to use the square or ellipse options to quickly select your object.

Or, if your objects are touching, like they are in my gnome drawing, you may need to use the lasso option to manually outline and select your object.

clip studio paint selection options

In this example, I’ve selected the gnome’s hat. I’ve turned off the outline layer to make the hat easier to see.

4. Cut and paste your object to a new layer

Once you’ve selected your object, cut and paste it to a new layer. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll see a list of options appear. The cut and paste button is the one with the scissors and clipboard icon. 

clip studio paint cut and paste

Your selection will be cut and paste to a new layer. You can see it if you turn off the visibility of your other layers. It’s important to keep track of these layers in case you suddenly can’t draw on them, draw on the wrong one, or lose track of where your objects are.

clip studio paint cut and paste layer

5. Open the “Edit” menu and click on the “Convert to drawing color” button

Now that your object is on a new layer, you can proceed with the color changing method we talked about above! Make sure your layer is selected and choose your color.

Then, open the “Edit” menu and click on the “Convert to drawing” button. Because you copied and pasted your object to a new layer, only this object will have a color change.

clip studio paint convert to drawing color

How to Change the Color of Part of a Layer in Clip Studio Paint

To change the color of part of a layer in Clip Studio Paint, you have a few options. To have more control over your colors, use the lock transparency option. To make wide sweeping color changes, use the color fill option within the selection tool.

We’re going to talk about 2 different options for changing the color of part of your layer.

Use the Lock Transparency Option

Select your desired layer in the layers panel and choose the “Lock transparent pixels” button. This will let you draw on the objects in your layer without going outside of the lines. This is a great way to change your colors manually without worrying about messing up the rest of your canvas.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Select your desired layer in the layers panel

Make sure the layer you want to change the color of is selected in your layers panel.

2. Click on the “Lock transparent pixels” button

The “Lock transparent pixels” button can be found within your layer options. It’s the button that has an icon that looks like a checkerboard and a lock.

clip studio paint lock transparent pixels

When you click on the “Lock transparent pixels” button in Clip Studio Paint, it’s similar to turning on Alpha Lock in Procreate.

You’ll be able to color over anything that you’ve already drawn on your canvas. 

In the example below, I can color in the gnome’s hat without worrying about it spilling onto the outline or into the rest of the canvas.

That said, I do have to be careful not to color on the gnome’s face because the gnome’s face is on the same layer as his hat.

clip studio paint drawing on lock transparent pixels

You can’t add anything new to your canvas when the transparency option is on. You can only draw over what you already have. This is why it’s such a great option for coloring your work without going outside of the lines.

While this method requires you to manually draw over your objects, not having to worry about drawing outside of the lines speeds up the process.

It also gives you more flexibility with changing your colors. Instead of only being able to apply one color to your entire object, you can change your colors anytime you’d like with the transparency option.

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Use the Color Fill Selection Tool

Select your desired layer in the layers panel and use the lasso tool to outline your object. Once your object is selected, make sure your desired color is selected and choose the color fill option within the selection settings. This will fill your selection with your new color.

Clip Studio Paint’s selection tool has a neat color fill option. While this might not be the most efficient way to change the color of your objects, it’s still a neat feature that I wanted to highlight. 

Here’s what to do:

1. Select your desired layer in the layers panel

Make sure the layer you want to change the color of is selected in your layers panel.

2. Choose the selection tool and pick the lasso option to manually outline your selection

When you choose the selection tool, you’ll want to choose the lasso option and manually outline your selection.

Anything within your selection will change color. This means that you’ll need to be accurate with your selection area to ensure you’re not creating color changes you didn’t intend.

3. Choose the color fill option in the selection settings

Once you’ve created your selection, choose the paint bucket icon within the selection settings. This will change your selection to the active color you’ve chosen.

clip studio paint selection color fill

There are a number of great ways to change the color of a layer in Clip Studio Paint. Get familiar with these options so you can always know how to change the color of your layers in the way that makes the most sense for your art.

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