Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
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.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmidnight21:
midnight21 Featured By Owner May 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hey there's nothing wrong with the smudge tool, especially when you're coloring with just a digital mouse...

But thanks for the tutorial XD
 
Reply
:iconkahasyn:
Kahasyn Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing tutorial, thanks for making it! :love:
Reply
:iconwwwpaithancom:
wwwPaiThancom Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2016   Artist
Thanks for making! The large one i could not open. Can you check?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
It worked for me. Here is a direct link to the image file: orig15.deviantart.net/d94a/f/2…
Reply
:iconkristov-c077x:
Kristov-C077X Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Student General Artist
this was so helpful to me, you have no idea
Reply
:iconrasaom:
RasaOm Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
amazing
Reply
:icondaylhop:
daylhop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2016  Student Digital Artist
This was a big help! I was looking for answers at 1:21 AM and stumbled upon this...thanks for the insight.
Reply
:iconsumo-strawberry:
sumo-strawberry Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lol, same here- difference is it's 1:22 :D
Reply
:iconmadimizer:
madimizer Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015
I was just looking through old art tutarials I pinned and I was like "wait is that Carswell Thorne's forehead?" then I saw levana and Kai and realized that you were the artist of those incredible fanarts. :o
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Lol! Good eye! :XD:
Reply
:iconguardiangraphixx:
GuardianGraphixx Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG I LOVE YOU!
thank you so much :D
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconnumbai:
Numbai Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2015  Student General Artist
ahh 
i need a white hair tutorial ;;
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
The method is essentially the same. The gradient you start out with just goes from nearly-white to a middle grey. I like to give the grey a slight blue-ish tint in most lightings.
Reply
:iconnumbai:
Numbai Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2015  Student General Artist
Ahh
Thank you! Okay then
I'm gonna start being amazing! òuó
Reply
:iconmeeshell-art:
Meeshell-Art Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How do you use the polygonal selection tool exactly when it is straight lines?
Reply
:iconlostie815:
lostie815 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
It helps if you're working on a largish document (I normally work at 3500x2333 pixels) and when you're selecting it helps to be zoomed in 100%, or more if needed. You just use as many points as you need to make it appear smooth from afar. It takes more going around curses and a lot less going along straight lines.
Reply
:iconmeeshell-art:
Meeshell-Art Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah ok so just zoom in, and click around the lines a lot? Might try it.
Reply
:iconmaisunadokei1856:
Maisunadokei1856 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015
Thank you for this. I was doing all the wrong things. Repeatedly. (save for the burn tool because I can't even do some wrong things properly)
If I may ask, what are the acceptable uses of the smudge tool?
Reply
:iconeowynjedi:
eowynjedi Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Hobbyist
Wonderful tutorial! I tried out just the gradient trick and it's basically MAGIC.
Reply
:iconkayyeh1:
kayyeh1 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
what program do you use?
Reply
:iconmoondragonwings:
moondragonwings Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015
This technique looks like it will make life extremely simple! Thanks so much for it!
Reply
:icongemmillw:
gemmillw Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2015
Make things as simple as possible and no simpler.  You nailed it.  
A tutorial is always a place to start. This combined beautiful examples, with simple easily emulated ideas which cross software platforms. I was encouraged and look forward to trying your approach in the near future.

Thank you for taking the time to make this available to others.
Reply
:iconccofkonaha:
ccofkonaha Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh noes I'm busted! Lol. Anyways, this should help me not use the smudge tool in the future. Ritsuko Akizuki Emote - Embarassed Now I can do it correctly, or at least attempt too.
Reply
:iconariesalliance:
AriesAlliance Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015   Digital Artist
This is very helpful, thank you :D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconmeanncat:
MeannCat Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you for this! A tutorial that is actually helpful! :D
Reply
:iconambrosiak:
Ambrosiak Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Smudger and strander here....will have to figure out how to use the polygonal tool, never works as nice as yours for me.  Beautiful tutorial
Reply
:iconabiyow97:
abiyow97 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for this! I've been drawing my hair strand by strand so it was really hard for me. I'll use this technique from now on
Reply
:iconrookie141:
Rookie141 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow, that's a cool method with giving the hair different colors already in the flat colored phase
Reply
:iconroccenere:
RocCenere Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just wanted to let you know that I have referred people to this tutorial to help them get an idea on where to start with hair. (:

Amusingly, one of the things I find most interesting about this tutorial, aside from the painting techniques, is that each face of each of your characters in structurally different.  Cheekbones, jawlines, nose shape, brow shape, all different.  It's really wonderful to see!
Reply
:icontereseantonsen:
TereseAntonsen Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much for this, I have wanted to learn how to color hair better and more simply, but not found out how really, I am so gonna try this. :)
Reply
:iconkubuk13:
kubuk13 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for an awesome tutorial! 
Reply
:iconsameh-koko2:
sameh-koko2 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2015   Digital Artist
awesome :D
Reply
:icondeideiblueeyez:
deideiblueeyez Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
That awkward moment when you think the "Not recommended" shading techniques look just as good as the "Recommended" shading techniques :x

I get what you're saying, that it can cause unneeded stress to use those methods, but I believe if you use them right they can give a piece a sort of charm; looking at your art I can tell those methods wouldn't work for you because it requires something more refined and exact, more realistic, which paintbrush can give you. That all being said, I'm using paintbrush and gradients, slowly and with much torture.
Reply
:iconpinulqarium:
Pinulqarium Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015
Excellent tutorial!
Reply
:iconevildollie:
evildollie Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
hi i used your tutorial for this fav.me/d8j2hfv
but i dont think i did very well :meow:
thanks for it anyway ^_^ 
Reply
:iconelementaljess:
ElementalJess Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic. Thanks!
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  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 Jan 24, 2015  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 Jan 24, 2015  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 Jan 24, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Aw, thank you :aww:
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey artists gotta look out for each other ^^
Reply
:iconsakiru1:
Sakiru1 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015
"my hair turns out fairly well." Sure Evon, with your childish style. But you're right, you're not an authority. Maybe in twenty years, your drawings will match these.
Reply
:iconevon-adaunt:
Evon-Adaunt Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Childish?  Its just a different style and you're just hating.  And I was only trying to make sure the artist's tone of voice wasn't taken the wrong way.  And the artist appreciated my comment anyways.
Reply
:iconsakiru1:
Sakiru1 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015
It's just look like you're drawing with a mouse on Paint. You're really not in the best placed to criticize her, just say'in. She just told you to shut up politely, but you're so egocentric that you didn't notice :D
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 Jan 23, 2015  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
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
July 17, 2014
Image Size
13.0 MB
Resolution
2069×13589
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
163,544 (20 today)
Favourites
11,435 (who?)
Comments
362
Downloads
4,218 (3 today)
×