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July 17, 2014
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Hair Coloring Tutorial by lostie815 Hair Coloring Tutorial by lostie815
All characters from the coloring examples are from The Silver Eye webcomic, by yours truly! :iconthe-silver-eye:
Download to see the super huge fullsize file!

Tumblr Post

Resources
The most handy hair structure tutorials are this video by Proko and this
blog post.These are useful for thinking about the direction hair locks flow with different styles: 1 2 3 4 5 | Painting Realistic Hair | Shading with gradients: 1 2

Tutorials by me including: Gimp Brush Dynamics, Coloring Eyes and Coloring Method.

Final Thoughts/Dissing of smudge tool
As I was looking for other hair tutorials to plug, it made me sad. Sooo many of them recommend techniques that leave you with blurry hair, whether from the smudge tool, the airbrush tool, fuzzy brushes, or brushes with low opacity. I think rendering with only the smudge tool on hair is the Comic Sans of digital painting and it's a sure way to make any painting look amateurish.

When I first started digital painting I wasted months and months on the smudge tool. It only made ugly art worse and stole time away that could have gone towards getting better at Ye Trusty Paintbrush Tool. It might be a tool lots of people use, but smudge gets no mercy from me.
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:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was very helpful.  But one tiny thing, you can't just say not to use a particular style of shading I actually use smudge and doge/burn together and my hair turns out fairly well.  You can state that you wouldn't recommend using those tools but don't say out right not to use them it can be taken the wrong way.  Just a little tip but I'm no authority.
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm glad you found it helpful!

I'm not seeing where I outright said not to use a particular style of shading (though I know I make it abundantly clear which tools I dislike). The "Not Recommended" section is just stating what I wouldn't recommend. That doesn't mean I'm trying to forbid anyone from using whatever tools they want. Thanks for your feedback.
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just don't want you to get the haters out there on your case.  ^^  Just looking out for you.
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Aw, thank you :aww:
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey artists gotta look out for each other ^^
Reply
:iconmaplejazz:
MapleJazz Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Do you have a tutorial on how you did the feathers? I loved the last drawing!! or even a finished painting of the last girl?

Im not kidding I absolutely loved the final result there and really wish to see it as a finished piece.

also your comment on the smudge tool and some of your samples - it directly made me think of an artists work  :iconsakimichan: sakimichan on DA, and this artist is in no way what I would label an amateur, however it does look like its possible that they use the smudge tool while also being able to sharpen or define their work more somehow than your sample shows. I mean Im all new to this Digital stuff, but it was an interesting thing that the sample specifically reminded me of their style. although I would say your tutorial does give to a cleaner sense and a sharper outline then the [typical] smudge tool, and that artist, to me does seem to have the lines slightly more defined or something....
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! That last drawing is my favorite one from these. :D Sorry, I don't have a feather tutorial, here is the finished drawing, though: lostie815.deviantart.com/art/T… and also a feather study if you want a closer look at how I drew them: lostie815.deviantart.com/art/F…

There are a couple of advanced artists like sakimichan who render using the smudge tool and the paintbrush tool. I think their process is to use the smudge tool mostly in the earlier stages (which dulls the colors and messes with textures/edges, but I digress), then they go over that and finish the drawing using the paintbrush, which brings the texture and sharpness back in. I think the reason sakimichan's art still looks advanced is because most of the final product you see has been rendered with the paintbrush.

I prefer using just the paintbrush and color picker tool for rendering because it retains more colors and textures, plus since you're just rendering with one tool it really helps your drawing look unified in the end, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Reply
:iconnoebelle:
noebelle Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Awesome tutorial, thank you!
Reply
:iconkatrueyumenikki:
KatrueYumeNikki Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
what program did you use (to do that)?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Reply
:iconkatrueyumenikki:
KatrueYumeNikki Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you very much! though did you used gimp to do the linearts?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yep, used it for everything!
Reply
:iconkatrueyumenikki:
KatrueYumeNikki Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
God i have no idea of how to do lineart with gimp
Reply
:iconbeegbot:
Beegbot Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Student General Artist
gosh, this helps a lot!!! thanks so much!!
Reply
:icontheparakeet:
TheParakeet Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I love this tutorial! Its very useful! Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconautumnczun:
AutumnCzun Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I'll try using your advise. ^^
Reply
:iconkiki-of-music:
Kiki-of-Music Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
WHY IS THIS NOT A DAILY DEVIATION.
Reply
:iconbenmaffin:
benmaffin Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2014
sweet
Reply
:iconfrienddesign:
Frienddesign Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconoliriv:
Oliriv Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much, I did't have any idea of hoe to color hair :D
you are fantastic!!!!
Reply
:iconpsycho23:
psycho23 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hair is one of the hardest things for me to colour. This is really going to help me. Thanks!
Reply
:iconmao-kyoku-kon:
Mao-Kyoku-Kon Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2014  Hobbyist
 :iconohmyglobplz: it's amazing, thanks 4 share!!
Reply
:iconcozy1299:
cozy1299 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014
thanks!
Reply
:iconaquaaurion:
AquaAurion Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I never thought of using gradient or overlay before =O thank you for enlightening me!
Reply
:iconsilnev:
Silnev Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2014
great tutorial. :D
Reply
:iconanamated:
Anamated Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I saw this posted on tumblr a few months back and and I wanted to let you know that this is such a big help to those of us working on our digital painting.  Thank you again for putting it together and putting out here :)
Reply
:icondeidarafangirlartist:
Deidarafangirlartist Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very well put! I'm guilty of using the hell out of my blur/smudge tool~ Thank you for taking the time to make this
Reply
:icontenkamchi-sama:
Tenkamchi-Sama Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
not that i dislike your style, it's just that i feel uhm... your way of putting things feels somewhat arrogant... no.. not really arrogant... ah... i'm not a native speaker... i have trouble finding words in english...

uh... it's that every artist has their own way of doing things, and if I use dodge and burn, to make the hair glow in the light, for example, or smudge, to make them look softer, it is my way of doing things...

i do like the idea with the gradient... and shading itself...

but ah... i hope you understand what i meant by this... sorry for my crap english!
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for your input!

I write these tutorials as if I were making them for my younger self when I started drawing. I know that it's blunt and that it's sarcastic, but this is a tutorial I wish I had found when I was a beginner instead of listening to ones that recommended smudge/dodge tools. I think that they detract from the quality of a digital painting, that doesn't mean that people have to agree with me, or that they can't use them. If someone like my younger self reads this tutorial and decides to stick with rendering with the paintbrush, I believe it would save them a lot of time and hassle, and to me that is worth the risk of upsetting those who might disagree.
Reply
:icontenkamchi-sama:
Tenkamchi-Sama Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
well, then it's okay...
I just wanted to point that out^^

I think that every scenery requires different styles and so on, therefore i usually dislike one-method-tutorials^^

I like your motivation for doing this, it seems somewhat... how can I say...? it's almost cute^^
Reply
:iconlone-wolfkay:
Lone-wolfkay Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is brilliant will this work for Manga Studio 5?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
It should, though the tools probably have different names.
Reply
:iconlone-wolfkay:
Lone-wolfkay Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Still have gradient, but yeah, different names just have to fidget around with the paint setttings (water colour, oil and something else)
Reply
:iconrainymeadows:
RainyMeadows Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Awesome! Can this be done in Photoshop?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Absolutely! Some tools might have slightly different names, though.
Reply
:iconrainymeadows:
RainyMeadows Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks. I'll be sure to remember this in the future.
Reply
:iconwerehorse89:
Werehorse89 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is super-helpful, thank you so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconmanga51:
manga51 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
was this done using Easy Paint Tool SAI?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
No, it was done in Gimp. Somewhere down in the comments several people have talked about ways to use it in SAI, though.
Reply
:iconmanga51:
manga51 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
okay thank you ^-^
Reply
:iconguildseal:
Guildseal Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
This is  REALLY great help!! Thanks^^ 
Reply
:iconpotofkimchi:
Potofkimchi Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't believe you use gimp for your artwork..  This tutorial has been somewhat of an enlightenment.
Reply
:iconetomo:
Etomo Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Ah I appreciate the second to last hair--I have a character with tight, natural hair, and have had a hard time figuring out how to draw/paint it, and there are hardly any resources that I've been able to find that go into it.

The gradient trick is sooo helpful and one I don't remember to use often enough, thank you for mentioning it!
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, I haven't seen many tutorials with that type of hair, either. I'm really glad I decided to do so many examples. :D

Thanks!
Reply
:iconandineth:
Andineth Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That last one :heart:
Reply
:iconangoraart:
AngoraART Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
life changing! *practices* :meow:
Reply
:iconmissapiphany:
MissApiphany Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Professional General Artist
OOOOOOOOO.
THANK YOU.
Reply
:iconnik160:
nik160 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconlukkar:
lukkar Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014   Digital Artist
good shit ;)
Reply
:iconcreative-jenn:
Creative-Jenn Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great tutorial, I like how easy it is to follow.
Reply
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