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SAI tutorial part 1 by Spoonzmeister SAI tutorial part 1 by Spoonzmeister
Edit: To everyone who has a technical question such as the size of my brushes or various other settings, I'm sorry but I no longer use SAI. I'm currently using Photoshop on a Mac, and so it's not possible for me to check these settings so I can answer your questions (unless you know some way for me to run SAI on a Mac with pressure sensitivity, in which case I'll love you forever). I'm very sorry if this causes an inconvenience, and while I will still gladly attempt to help with technical problems, I apologize if I'm unable to do so adequately.


[link] Download a 31 trial of Easy Paint Tool SAI here.
[link] Purchase a program license here.

Questions or concerns are welcome. :D

Part 2: [link]

Edit: It's come to my understanding that the ink pen is not a standard part of the basic SAI's tools set. I obtained it from downloading the trial of the 1.0.1 version of SAI. If you want the ink pen tool, you can download my brush set from here. Simply replace your folder "toolnmr" with the one contained in the .zip and you will have access to all of the same brushes used in this tutorial including the ink pen. (In the event something goes awry, you may want to move your original "toolnmr" folder before replacing it with the one in the .zip, just to be safe.)

[May 16: I just realized that I had the wrong file up for download; the .zip contained the elemap folder instead of the toolnmr folder. It should be fixed now, but please let me know if you run into any other problems.]

Edit 2: ~phirecracker left this helpful piece of advice for anyone having trouble getting the ink pen tool from the above download.

"After unzipping the file, open up the folder 'toolrnm' that you have just downloaded, copy the file
'10.ini' from Spoonzmeister's folder and paste it into your own 'toolrnm' folder. It works :)

btw '10.ini' is the ink pen tool. This method would work for any other tool that you're missing too. gl!

Everyone say thaaaaanks to ~phirecracker! :D

MOAR EDIT!: If you STILL can't get the ink pen tool to work, you can try making your own.

1.) Open Notepad.
2.) Copy and paste the following into your new text file:

name=Ink Pen

3.) Save your text file.
4.) Open your toolnmr folder and look at the file names. Pick a number that isn't already in use - since you're making the ink pen tool, chances are the number 10 is a safe bet.
5.) Rename your text file [number].ini (ex: 10.ini)
6.) Move your text file into your toolnmr folder.
7.) Load up SAI and see if it worked!

Another option similar to this method would be to open 00.ini (the standard pen tool) and change the parameters to match the ones I supplied. Technically you could alter any of your tools to function as the ink pen tool, so if there's one you don't use much (like the binary tool, for example, or maybe the brush selection tool), you can find it's corresponding .ini file (just load each of them one at a time; the name of the tool should be within the few couple lines) and alter it.

Edit: ~CelestialDragonsoul provides this alternative to the above which has worked out for multiple people: "the pen tool download didn't work for me cuz somehow my SAI deleted it XD, i tried the alternative method of creating a notepad doc and neither did that work. what did work though was copying my 00 pen tool file, renaming as 10 and copying the above code into it. thankyou! though i would love to know what the 11 tool is, i'm missing that one too XD"
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hmjette1 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015
you are my hero
S1lverThund3r Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
When I upload my finished work, it says no preview. What should I do?
mk-marvelgirl Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Student General Artist
Export it. 
Kaattiieee Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you un-blue places!?!
zeromythos5 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the box thing look at the first picture the left of the magic wand tool at the corner after clicking it click it again on the canvas
FireBlizzardForever Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
You're a lifesaver, was dying to get ink pen!
TheAmazingHarold Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Can I have the lineart? I would like to reproduce all the steps on the same image!
I'm not going to post it anywhere, it is just for personal use!
TechnicolorDreamCat Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So HELPFUL! Thank you!!
ChadComics Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is very informative. thank you.
subaru2022 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Student General Artist
that what exactly I was looking for, I saw some speed painting on youtube and never understand how people select parts and keep a clean coloring. this tutorial is the best! thank you so much 
BloodHuskie Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Thank you so very much for the tool download! i recently suffered a melt down on my comp and had to redown load everything.. when i redownloaded SAI i was so disappointed to see my pen tool gone and for the life of me i couldnt find where to down load it.. You really saved my butt Thank you so very much!
chad-spider Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
Thank you for this tutorial! I am new to SAI and it was useful to me.
JMagnus Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
You are just all kinds of helpful! Honest. thank you!
Solvernia Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student General Artist
Interesting... I really like the use you do of the purple! Guess I've got to try on some drawings one day!
JMagnus Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
so does sai respond to pen pressure same as photoshop when drawing with a tablet or do you do this all with a mouse? Is it possible with SAI to make gradients and color overlays?
LilyBenet Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
hope you don't mind me answering, used to have the same questions

Yes, Sai does have pen pressure. By ovelay, you mean layers/the layer function called overlay? Then yes. And for a gradient sai actully doesn't have a tool for that, but a really cool tutorial ([link] shows you how! Also you can just lay down your colors with the pen tool and blend them with the blur tool and you'll have a rough gradient!
xclevermadness Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
how do you colour freely over the lines? like with what?
LilyBenet Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
hope you don't mind me answering, used to have the same questions

On the layer that you've drawn the lines on change the function (where it says 'normal' atm) to "Multiply.'

Or, (I prefer this) just make sure the line layer is ALWAYS on the top. any layers you color on make sure they stay under the lineart.
Usagi-Elric Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
yes im a noob, but what the hell is cel shading?
JordanWindows Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
don't wrory, I was like "dafaq" when I first heard it too :P
Usagi-Elric Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
it kinda makes sense now. yep, i get it, thanks :hug:
JordanWindows Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
np :iconglompplz:
Saperia Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for helping me with my lost Ink Pen Tool :iconcryforeverplz: you are so amazing thank you so much!!!!!
ImAVocaloidGirl Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012
Thank you for this....,
I tried to make the ink pen tool thingy in notepad,
I saved it and renamed, I renamed as 20.ini
It didn't work ._.
Can anyone help me? :"<
Icefox139 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
How do I add the brushes to Photoshop? I read the description and everything.... it says to Load the brushes to Photoshop it needs to be in ABR format?
Nymphedorra Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Student Photographer
Oh my god, thank you.. can I please bear your children?
This is amazing and deserves to be placed upon a golden pedestal along with you and your whole entire bloodline. This is sacred.. I am crying right now, the beauty of it completely astonished me.
Night-Cabaret Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
Thanks for this super useful tutorial! I have one question though, my brush tool has strokes in it, like its a real brush, and i cant seem to find how to get rid of that, do you know how to get it smooth so I can use it for smoothing out like you use it? :D
AJInu-Okami Featured By Owner May 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I get it now. Thanks :)
Aozame32 Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is super helpful! I'm using SAI for the final art project in my art class, and I'm a bit nervous about it, but I feel better after reading this tutorial! Thank you! :D
trastuspies Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
New to Sai, this is excellent. Thank you
Daring-do Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
Hey, love your picture girl :P


Ok when I use pen tool I make a cute curve but it doesn't end curvy or thinner than the the line, it ends up being boring and the same size as the rest of the line. But for you it does exactly what I need, It starts out pretty full and very curvy and smooth(I know how to smooth pen tool) then ends quick and thinner than the rest of the line. If you could help me out and tell me how to do the same it will help me out allot on sketching ponies :D

-Sincerely The great and Adventurous Daring-do
ThalishEukrona Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I want to color the picture with SAI, I always wanted to do that effects.
Thank you very much!
Artizay Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excuse me, but I have a problem. I'm new to SAI, and I'm sure the pen tool is the main thing to use, but for an odd reason it comes out looking fuzzy at the edges. I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that. Help?
KikuFire Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the INK PEN, as well as the multiple instructions on how to get it to work with the program! :D very helpful indeed, though i don't have a tablet just yet!
RabiesGirl Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
just got sai and this will help me so much! I'm glad I found this fast ^^ may I link you to a drawing when I'm finished that I used your tutorial on? (when its done I meanXD)
polka-dork Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, this is great! You are

Also, I found a paint tool sai for Mac...but it's free for thirty days..(I think there's a full version in the description, but I can't afford it. Probably the same price.) I use it, so I know it works. It has the same tools. I have no idea about the pressure sensitivity, though. I don't know how to turn it on for a PC or mac, but I can give you the link to the art if you want! :)
Lenaicc Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you soo so much for this tutorial, it was extremely helpful! :iconiloveyouplz: I used many of your tips to make this - [link]
AvisTheArtistGeek Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Just starting out in SAI, very helpful!
paulashins Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank yo so much
Dunno how much you've helped me
Ayior Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Professional Filmographer
This helped me getting started, YAY!
-> [link] My first SAI work with the help of this tut - warning, you may not have expected this content :P
ewwtentacles Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
; w; love you for this~
NomnomKakashi Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Student General Artist
For some reason i cant find Opacity Lock on mine, i dont seem to have one.
DancingWolfDragon Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
wow O.O.....never thought about inverting and rotating....:iconfacepalmplz:
enchantedpeprika Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
Thank you!!!!!!! :heart:
Rukia-Lover Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want to save my canvas as a JPG file (since I'm done) but it say Failed to save canvas
Do you know what's wrong? Or what I didn't do?
pikachu1inuyasha1 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Student General Artist
nevermind~ I have the Pen brush already :3 thanks for the tutorial~
pikachu1inuyasha1 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Student General Artist
I have a question, where can i get the Pen brush? I kinda don't have it :saddummy:
Azuhra Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this wonderful tutorial series! I find myself in need of practice in painting with Sai and that following some of your tips has helped me out enourmously. I'm afraid I have to do all the work with a mouse so generally I'm following the coloring end of your tutorial most, but that is working out fantastically. The tip on using purple is wonderful and really add a certian depth to a picture -- thank you for sharing it! Hopefully some day I have your patience, or a tablet, to be able to detail the hair and clothing as you do as well.

I don't know if you care or not, but I followed your tutorial while practicing and came up with this [link]

So, thank you again for helping guide me in my art with Sai :hug:
Kimchiitazztic Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
even if you don't have sai do you know what the toolnrm folder is i can't find it.
roxyabbyelmo Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Great tutorial, but i have a question...
how do you make the original layer transparent? I havent figured that out yet : (
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