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painting tutorial by littleulvar painting tutorial by littleulvar
Also known as "How to use SAI like a caveman." Welcome.

I did it because lots of you asked, I hope that somebody will find it useful.
And I'm sorry for any typos.

character (c) me


Oh, and please, don't send me notes asking about commissions, they're currently closed c:
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shawnerussell Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I learned so much from this tutorial! I did some over involved fan art with the multiply layers tip and was able to add new color dimension I wouldn't have dreamed of without it :) 

Radish Spirit by shawnerussell

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with everyone else! 
danreis Featured By Owner Edited Sep 19, 2015  Student Digital Artist
xD ah, Im just found you again browsing through pinterest and had to stop here to make a comment. Ive been following you on and off throught the years, first thing I saw was a Cecil fanart, and instantly I was in love with you painting style...  I already painted back then, but sucked even harder then today 8D'. Then I found this tutorial. It is one of the most uncomplicated tutorials I've seen around ( and Ive seen plenty ). Very unassuming, aye? Well, this one is the one I always have on the back of my mind when painting digitally. Your method really worked wonders for me. So, thank you very much for it, ok?
Im now on art school, and its mainly traditional media, but I still stick to digital whenever possible.
I came from this:…
to something like this this:… [some study to a bigger oil painting]
Thank you for sharing ur knowledge, there is always someone on the other side that can benefit greatly with it!
And, btw, since I first say this tutorial to today your style has improved greatly! 
I hope you continue here |3, working hard!

Best wishes,

btw, I don't even use sai... [Manga studio is my darling]
Comicstrip Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I have moved on from SAI (due to getting a mac) but this is suuuuuper helpful! hooray!

You're way of teaching is so easy to follow and understand. ;_; thanks so much!
fizzymoth Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is helping me a ton
and I'm only on the second step right now


This is a life changer ♥ :iconmoesnuggleplz:
Espectacularrr Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful. I've been playing with different drawing styles and have been referencing this a lot. Very helpful, thank you for sharing!!
Quailmix Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love your art, you're a big inspiration! I gave your tutorial a shot, would love to show you the results.
Human Em
Akirascrolls Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool tutorial
MiraDzialynska Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
YOU ARE MY ART-GOD. I mean it! Thank you so much for this tutorial!
The-winning-number Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2015   Artist
I did not even think to use the freaking multiply to paint on top of my sketch! OMFG. I am so trying this technique! I just waved bye bye to my sketch as I painted. WOW.
Mugen-mugen Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thank you very much for your tutorial!
It is realy useful!…
By the way I adore your drawings! OwO
dikosaur Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! continuing to learn until i develop my own style!…
wonker8 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this awesome tutorial. I needed something like this. ^^
PencilPark Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Digital painting isn't one of my strong suits, but this tutorial helped me a lot!…
Thanks! :D
Subahrahul Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Ur Art Style is NICE...Really love the EDGY design...
Trumplety Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tutorial! I like it <3
Spirit-Aisling Featured By Owner Edited Sep 1, 2014  Student General Artist
thank you for this awesomeness! i tried my best ;-;…
 oh and, I LOVE YOUR ART! YOU ARE AMAZING! PLEASE KEEP BEING AWESOME! <3   *runs away and hides*
Chopay75 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014
great work thank you!
Kai-zee Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this tutorial is really great 
thanks for sharing your settings and techniques ; U ; 

I tried to paint like that here too:…
Kucimi Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
i want to thank you for all in the bottom of my heart ! it is very useful! and you helped many people , 
a big heart you have..........(_ _ ) helping someone like me.. i did a setting in my brush like u put on in this tutorial. but i didnt done any painting like a caveman yet.. xD..
azagus Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
used this tutorial

thank you for it ! 
spl3nd0ra Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Student General Artist
omg you only used the pen tool, that is INSANE!! *rushes off to practice*
Gaboune Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Your work is truly amazing! Keep going!
AwesomeBluePanda Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Student General Artist
I'm getting Paint Tool SAI this weekend, and this tutorial is amazing! *squish* Thank you so much. You are my biggest inspiration.
Harseik Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I took a stab at painting with this tutorial, which was ASTRONOMICALLY helpful!

Quinn Wearing a Trash Bag, I Assume by Harseik

I got loads to learn, but at least it's a step in the right direction. You're the best, Ulvar. <3
littleulvar Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Ohh, looks amazing ;_; I'm glad you found my tutorial helpful! <3
Harseik Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It means worlds to me to hear from the fantastic artists that inspire me, thank you. :]
amayaangeline Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow!! Thank you!!! XD
watersrain Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm still pretty new to Sai and I don't think I've quite figured out which brushes to use and where. I really like your style here and have been trying to give it a try... :iconcryforeverplz:

It's not turning out well.

So my first question is; which brush should I be using?! Regular brush with bristle texture and what about density?! I've played around with some brushes but my blending looks just bad. Any advice?
Kimi-Chan17 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Student General Artist
i love you (♥) you are my inspiration (♥) 
Helsic Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks, it is very useful
bsienk Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Your work makes me:
1. Crawl under a rock and die
2. Then get back up to become an even better artist.

blogybo Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Student General Artist more of a caveman than you
TheAsorlinsStrike Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Oh this shall be so helpful thank you.
Beawst Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013
So glad you did this kind of tutorial. I been having trouble with coloring methods and still kinda new with Sai
I'm gonna try it out and hope ill get the coloring style. ofc ill try do it my style a bit. <3 
grosslo Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I TRIED //SHOTSTrue inside by Bezobraznik
0lexdelapp Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks great! I like your icon >.>
Ked-V Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
I like the way you are explaining how to paint. I will try to look at this the next time I will draw =) I don't like to copy or take references but I must paint better so... sometimes we just have to throw our pride away and accept to learn things from the beginning w
you are one of my favourite artists, and I love your painting style and designs =)
I just realized I was inspired by one of your art whithout knowing it when I drew the boy on my avatar O_O I drew it just 2 days after discovering you. sorry XD!
EGeist Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
oh God!! thank you so much, that's exactly what I needed for I've been strugling with the painting part for a month. Ok let's try to apply now. An thank you again.
EGeist Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013
:) hum I was so enthousiast about it that I wanted to try it as soon as possible. So i came to that :): Titi

(and therefore I mentionned you in the description :)) Well enough fangirling now :) Bye
Chumitzu Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love him
nashoba-lusa Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Student General Artist
This is so cool! I love your style.
MustacheElm Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is actually really useful. I've been having difficulty figuring sai out. Thank you so much.
celba-art Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice thanks :)
modernvamps Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ahh thank you for this wonderful tutorial, I've always had trouble with colour and this helps so much! You explained this so well and I've saved it in my bookmarks haha
i-Moosker Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Ah, you make it look so easy... But it's definitely not so easy at all.

I think the hardest part would be to make the lineart disappear flawlessly into the drawing...
Sol4rpleXus Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hmm I always prefer to put the outlines layer ontop and make it multiply. I found that it works a lot better this way because then I can make single layers for each color, which again makes it easier to change things afterwards.
xecel Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
I did this 8I
I think
that I did good?

Imaginary-Octopus Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very, very helpful. Thanks! :D

I completed this using your technique.
littleulvar Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ohh, I'm glad you found it useful ;_;

I hope you had fun drawing it <3
Imaginary-Octopus Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I sure did and thanks!
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Submitted on
August 18, 2013
Image Size
2.1 MB


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