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How To Color Anime Hair

How To Draw Anime Girl Hair

[TUTORIAL] How to Color Anime Hair: THE SEQUEL
  • First, youll need to sketch the head, since you cant have hair without a head. in the shape of an inverted egg because it needs to be narrow at the bottom. You can add some ears as well.
  • Next, youll need to draw the hairline. The hairline will guide you when youre drawing the front and side sections of the hair.
  • Measure 1/5th of the height of the head and draw an arch from one side of the head to the other. Make sure you follow the curvature of the head as you draw.

    How To Draw Anime Hair

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    This tutorial will show you how to draw male and female anime hair. Anime hair is what makes anime heroes unique and beautiful as with real humans, it’s the crowning beauty. Let’s begin!

    Step 1 Adding Base Colors

    Note: you need to work on a single layer throughout the painting process, you cant create extra layers or else the colors wont blend in the way theyre meant to. Dont worry, its very easy to do. You only need to make sure you dont go out of the lines OR that the hair layer is blocked to prevent you from colouring out of the base layer.

    This should be an easy and straightforward step! Fill in the hair with your base colour of choice. Since Im using one of my favourite fanarts of Darkiplier and Antisepticeye, Ill be using their official colors: black + red & green + brown.

    Also Check: How To Convert A Picture To Anime

    Blonde / Yellow Kiiro

    Fullmetal Alchemist

    Blonde-colored people arent really that uncommon as blonde is one of the three main hair colors. But, for Japan, its something quite exotic as there are no blonde people in Japan that color just doesnt naturally appear in the country. Blonde people also often dye their hair to discover completely new shades, ranging from almost white, to a more golden shade of their natural color. Blonde is also a color that is, in the West, usually associated with ideal beauty and pureness, as most ideal women in the history of art and literature have been blonde.

    Now, the world of anime does follow this tradition up to a point, but expands a lot on it as blonde hair isnt tied exclusively to one type of character. This color is present in both male and female characters, and is more often than not associated with the protagonist of the show. In fact, historically, all female protagonists of an anime were usually blonde. Male protagonists were less often blonde, but such shows usually never had a blonde character at all if a male character with blonde hair appeared, he would usually be the protagonist of the show.

    Focus Detail Mainly Around The Hairlines/part

    shading black hair by kouriiko

    You usually dont want detail to be absolutely everywhere when drawing hair. This can make it feel very busy. Instead, focus most of the detail around where the hair is growing from, and feel free to leave the larger areas without any drawn strands.

    Heres a tip: When working digitally, you can check if something you draw is skewed by flipping the canvas horizontally! With traditional work, you can hold your page up to a mirror to get the same effect!

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    Fill In Your Flat Colours First

    Before you start to add shadows and highlights, you should fill in a whole flat layer of colour! Digital art allows you to separate different sections of colour into different layers for ease of organization and editing!

    Heres a tip: You can change your line art layer type to multiply so that they blend in well with whatever colour your hair ends up being!

    How To Draw And Color Anime Hair

    Artist Hyanna Natsu shows how to draw anime inspired, colorful hair in this text and video tutorial! Learn what “makes” an anime style haircut and how you can give them a beautiful shine!

    Hair is one of my top 5 favorite things to draw and color, and this was also a very requested tutorial. I tried to add as much information as possible while keeping the video fun to watch and full of tips!

    Nothing here is a hard rule, and its mostly to show how I do things, so I hope you enjoy it

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    Draw In The Simple Shapes First

    When drawing hair, dont start by drawing every single strand. That can make your hair feel stringy and unkempt, or it can make it look like scarecrow hair! Instead, draw your hair in large simple chunks, and add detail later.

    Heres a tip : The hair should NOT be drawn directly onto the cranium! Hair has volume and doesnt lay flat against the head unless its wet or very oily.

    Settings: Min Size 0%

    [TUTORIAL] How to Color Anime Hair!

    Lets get painting! Select a darker hue of your base color for this. To make it look more interesting, I didnt pick pure dark red. Instead, I used a dark red with a slight tint of pink to give it a purplish feel . That helps bring out the hue in the base color. For the green, I opted for a darker green with a blueish tint to it. You can do this through the color wheel.

    The most important thing in this step is that you follow the flow of the hair! Notice how the shading follows the shape of the hair and head, curving noticeably at the roots. Follow a pattern to know where to place the shadows: shadow base colour shadow base colour shadow. Repeat that combination throughout the hair.

    Notice how each section of shading goes up and down, almost resembling an M or W letter? Doing that helps the shading look more dynamic and realistic.

    Also Check: How To Draw An Anime Boy Body

    Settings: Min Size 100%

    Create a new layer and set it to Luminosity mode . Use the Airbrush tool at low opacity and brush the areas with highlights to bring them out more and strenthen the sense of volume. Use the colour of each section for this step! To make the characters blend in with the background and not look copypasted into it, I used blue and purple in the dark areas of the hair and skin using the airbrush tool on the layer we set to Luminosity.

    Alternative Male Anime Hair

  • 1Draw a sketch for a man’s head to provide framework for the hair.
  • 2Draw the hair using simple curves or strokes which extend reaching the shoulders.
  • 3Draw the details for the hair using short straight lines and also curve lines.
  • 4Trace with a pen and erase unnecessary lines. Add details for the face.
  • 5
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    How To Color An Anime Character Step By Step

    Coloring Tutorial by Maocchi on DeviantArt

    This beginner friendly tutorial explains how to color a character in the anime style with detailed step by step examples and explanations.

    The coloring style used in anime is known as Cel Shading. Cel shading is a technique generally used in animations and manga/comic book style art as well as 3d renderings where there are no gradients used between the shaded and normal areas.

    To keep this tutorial beginner friendly it will focus on applying the bare minimum shading generally used in anime in most normal lighting conditions.

    You can also apply the tips in this tutorial to drawing other anime characters. You can simply add more steps if you want to color a more complex character.

    For help with picking a color combination for your character you can see:

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    Finalizing The Hair Shading

    Check that the volume of the hair and strands are going in the right direction. Light source works, and the hair looks good even if the canvas is flipped. . If everything is looking good, share your work and be proud of what you have accomplished.

    I hope this step-by-step post was educating or at least gave you some new perspective on shading hair.

    Sorry for the video not showing the actual shading process, but I still wanted to show the drawing process to you.

    Available resources for this artwork

    • PSD-file

    Get The Shading Going On The Anime Style

    The next step is to lay down the first shadow color, I more than often use slightly cold shadow color. Pick something like #aea4b3, for example. Shading hair is slightly different from shading other elements. Hair has lots of strands. So the goal is to illustrate those strands and volume.

    As we are shading the hair, we do not draw individual strands, but focus on volume and main shapes.

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    Paint The Shadow Color Of The Hair

    Use a Flow Airbrush to roughly apply the shadow area of ââthe hair.

    Next, draw the shadow of the hair with a clear brush like a Fountain Pen following the process of the highlights.

    By drawing fine shadows on the hair, you can express the luster of the hair.

    Please draw the flow of hair while referring to the layer of the photograph that you referred to.

    The shadow color of the hair is applied less often than the highlights.

    It is also good to express with only an airbrush without drawing the shadow of the hair.

    I think the most important thing in coloring hair is the color of the highlights.

    The reason is that by spending time coloring the highlights, you can create illustrations with various impressions.

    If you want to draw a high-impact illustration, you may try adding a completely different fluorescent color to the highlights.

    In recent illustrations, illustrations that add flashy fluorescent color as an accent color are popular.

    So, if you feel confident in drawing an illustration, try using a fluorescent color!

    Coloring & Shading Order


    When coloring and shading a drawing you want to start with the largest areas of the drawing first and work down to the smaller details. You will also want color in your whole drawing before applying the shadows.

    If you are going to be drawing on paper be sure to leave the highlighted areas white. If you are going to be coloring digitally you can add the highlights after you color the entire drawing.

    You may also be interested in:

    Also Check: What Type Of Anime Character Are You Buzzfeed

    Blending Highlights And Adding Final Reflections

    Woohoo! You made it, friend! Youre now ready to color anime hair using this technique and make it look appealing! If you try it let me know how it went!

    Ill be reading your comments, let me know if you have any question or need clarification!

    Sharing is caring!

    • Pin

    About Lucia

    I’m Lucía and I help creative people embrace their passion for art and empower them to become the artists they always wanted to be. I work with growing artists to help them unleash their potential, improve their skills and protect their art.

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    Hair Coloring Tutorial by AzuraAto on DeviantArt

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    Blend It All Together

    All thats left to do is to blend in all your highlights and shadows! On a new layer, blend in your hair by using the eyedropper tool and colouring pigments in back and forth. In MediBang, you can use either the watercolour brush or the acrylic brush, or you can take a different brush and turn on opacity by pressure in the brush settings.

    You can add extra highlights and flyaway hairs to make your hair feel more natural, but if you add in extra highlighted flyaways, make sure you draw them in highlighted areas, and not in shadows!

    Heres a tip: Blend in the hairline so it feels more like its naturally growing from the head!

    And there you have it! The rendering process is about the same no matter what hairstyle you do, but make sure you follow the flow of the hair and blend in the direction that it grows for the most natural looking results!

    We often get requests for hair tutorials in our Cartooning and Anime classes and our Digital Art classes, which you can find on our website! Be sure to also check out our free digital art tutorials playlist on YouTube, and our other digital art blogs on our website for all your digital art needs!

    Recent Posts

    Applying Colors To Anime Characters

    In the below examples you can see how colors and color combinations can be applied to an anime style character in different ways.

    Please note that for these examples the colors will only be changed on the hair, eyes and clothes. The shaded half of the color circles represent the color used on the shaded areas of the character.

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    How Anime Hair Is Shaded

    Generally anime and manga hair is shaded without gradients and has hard transition between its light and dark areas. This makes the shading process much faster but at the same time a little tricky as it can be difficult to figure out where the boundary between light and dark should be placed.

    Where the actual shading is placed depends on the lighting conditions the artist wishes to show.

    Anime characters are generally shaded in two ways:

  • Generalized shading where there character or object are well lit from most sides
  • Shading with strong one directional light source
  • This particular tutorial will focus on the more generic shading as its very common and can be used in most scenes. Please note however that even in the well lit lighting setup the strongest light will generally comes from somewhere above . This means that shadows will tend to form towards the bottom parts of the hair.

    Dont however confuse this with a one directional light source form above which would be more like shining a flashlight down on someone in a dark room.

    For examples of shading in one directional lighting see:

    Finally also keep in mind that anime/manga style shading does not need to be perfectly accurate or overly realistic. The goal is to have just enough basis in reality so that it looks believable.

    Use Painter As Your Anime Drawing Software

    How to Color Anime Hair in Photoshop CS6 – Coloring and Cel Shading Tutorial (Lucy Heartfilia)
  • Draw the front section of the hair. There are different ways to approach this step, depending on the hairstyle you want. For this tutorial, were going to go with swooping bangs.
  • To achieve this look, youll need to draw a few spiky sections. The sections should come down from the hairline and curve to one side.

  • Outline the top, sides, and ends of the hair. Sketch curved lines along both sides of the head, down to where you want the hair to end. The lines should start at the center, slightly above the head.
  • Start by following the curvature of the head, and then straighten each line once youre halfway down. Afterward, connect each end of the hair to the hairline using a line.

  • Add some details to the hair by drawing several lines from the roots to the ends of the hair.
  • Get rid of the lines that indicate the head and the hairline. These lines are usually not visible since theyre covered with hair.
  • Color or shade the hair, and youre done.
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    Digital Soft Hair Coloring Tutorial

    Program: Clip Studio Paint

    Hey guys! Some people have been asking how I color hair, and my old tutorial is outdated, so I decided Ill make a new one.

    Note: Just know, this is not the correct or right way of doing things, but just one way I do it. Ill also be teaching from CSP, but as long as your program has the same or similar features, you should be able to apply this to your own.

    So without further ado.. heres the tools I use with this particular style. First, I line with the texture tool. But any tool for lining works.

    Next. I use the mapping pen, which is a sharper version of the g-pen.

    Then, I use the standard watery brush, for smoother application.

    And the last tool I use is airbrush.

    Now, Ill quickly teach you the terms youll need to know to understand the rest of the tutorial. First, clipping. Clipping is when you take a layer or a folder and make it so that whatever is clipped on the layer above will not go over the edge of the layer underneath. To do this, all you have to do is press the can-looking button right here, and a red line will appear next to the folder or layer if it is clipped.

    Lastly, color balance. Ill only briefly mention this at the end, but in order to color balance.. well, just look at the picture below. It will bring up a menu of notches that you can adjust to change the color. If you press shadow or highlight in that window, you have more control over the overall look.

    Step 1: Draw the line art


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