How To Draw Fire In Paint Tool SAI

Fire is one of the most crucial and impactful elements of artwork, and incorporating it into any painting or illustration can instantly make it look dynamic and creative. However, just as fire is fickle, so is the act of painting it. It can be extremely difficult to recreate the organic look of fire, so let’s take a look at some techniques to keep in mind on Paint Tool SAI

In order to accurately draw fire, you will need to understand the structure of fire from the base to the very top. At the same time, it is crucial to use a mix of colors, brushes, and tools to add dimension to the flame. Finally, one of the best ways to make the flame stand out is to use an interplay of light to create the illusion of sparks. 

As you can see, a specific technique goes into the creation of flames in Paint Tool SAI. However, the exact approach you take can differ from project to project. If you want to understand the basics of painting flames and fire, keep reading this article! We will show you how dynamic fires can be created with just different tools and layers!

Creating Fire In Paint Tool SAI

While there are many approaches to creating fire in Paint Tool SAI, let’s start by focusing on a basic understanding of what makes up a flame. Generally, you need to understand where the base of the fire is – at the very bottom you will see less turbulence and more sparking, whereas at the top, the flame moves out in a wavy manner because of the wind.

With this in mind, let’s now follow the different steps in creating fire on Paint Tool SAI. At the same time, you can also use this video tutorial to see these techniques in action!

Here’s a video on YouTube for more reference: FIRE TUTORIAL (Paint Tool Sai) – Keitronic

Creating the Basic Structure

One of the first things you should do is set up the flame’s basic structure. Start with a brush of your choice, and choose an orange color, and keep the opacity to a medium. Now, draw out the basic structure of the flame. 

Make sure to keep the base compact, and have the flames coming out in a wavy pattern. Don’t let your flames look too organized – keep the shape organic so it can look like actual fire. For example, don’t be afraid to let the brush strokes cross each other if it feels like it fits the shape of the fire.

Fading Out The Base

Now, as you may know, fire doesn’t typically look like it has sharp edges. In fact, especially when you look from afar, the outer edges of the fire will look blurred out. You can replicate the exact same process using the Watercolor Brush tool to have the edges look blurred.

Adding Lighter Colors

Next up, you will need to add more colors to your fire since it may be looking flat. On a new layer, opt for a lighter orange, and repeat the two steps from above. However, keep these brush strokes in the middle of the thicker strokes you created before, so it looks like these are part of the same bursts of flame. 

Once you are done, you will need to create a new layer, and add another burst of color – red! If you look closely, you will notice that fire always has a warm hue of red around it. You can replicate this with a soft brush which you can use to create a hue around the existing shape.

Creating Hot Spots And Sparks

You are in the final stretch! Now we need to create a difference between the hotter parts of the fire. Add a new layer, set it to Luminosity, and then add color where you think the hottest parts of the flame will be. Apply the same watercolor fading technique as before, and adjust the layers’ opacity as needed.

Finally, you can add the finishing touches. Create one more layer with a red hue around the frame, especially at the base, set to the Luminosity mode. You can also add another Luminosity Layer and create sparks for an added layer of realism.

Final Thoughts

While creating fire using a brush and a few layers may seem complicated, the process is relatively simple! Make sure to keep some reference photos in mind, so you can replicate how fire naturally behaves, and you should be able to create a realistic-looking fire in Paint Tool SAI!