Coloring 101: Coloring Hair

Coloring 101: Coloring Hair

THIS IS A technique I picked up from another hobby (acrylic painting).  When I paint animal fur, clouds, water, etc., I have to layer the colors. I usually start from the darkest colors to the lightest. When coloring hair I do the opposite. I go from using the lightest colors to the darkest.


hair-1For this tutorial, I’ll be using a design by Chris Panatier from this issue, and my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers. Of course, you can apply this technique using other markers as well as colored pencils. Choose five different shades in one color family. For this picture, we’ll be using various shades of brown. I’ve chosen TN 2, TN 3, TN 4, TN 6 and TN 9.

Here are the steps:
Begin by coloring small sections of hair so it’ll be easier to blend when the markers are still wet.  Apply each section of the hair with the lightest color. In this case, TN 2.

Determine where you want the brightest area to be. In this picture, I chose the middle, to give the illusion of light shining on it.

hair-2Next, we start adding the 2nd darker color, in this case TN 3. Use the short “flick” motion from the top and stop 1/3 of the way down. Do the same on the bottom part, but flick from the bottom going up 1/3 of the way.

hair-3Then add the third darkest color, but don’t cover the second color. Let the second color show through by coloring it a little bit shorter. Once in awhile you can add a line or two of this color, as hair is not always uniform.

hair-4Now it’s time to add the fourth color (TN 6). Be careful not to completely cover the three previous colors.

hair-5And finally, it’s time to put in the darkest color (TN 9), remember to only apply a small amount on the top and the bottom.

hair-6One last step…  Apply the first color, the lightest color (TN 2) over the whole section to blend all the colors together.

hair-7Repeat these steps on next portion of the hair until all the hair is colored. It takes little bit of patience but I’m sure you’ll be happy with the results.

Here is how the page and full hair looks when it’s done. Have fun coloring. I hope this tutorial helps.


2 Comments for “Coloring 101: Coloring Hair”


Hello you know what would be helful with the tutorials in these monthly magazines is if there was a youtube video or even a video within the magazine. Its one thing to read and do but always better if you can see how it was done. I am a huge fan of the spectrum noir alcohol markers but its hard to blend sometimes. I am going to try this technique though.


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