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Colouring Hair

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Date Added: 12th April 2007
Software used:

Once done with that you can repeat the "softening" process with this colour as well, picking a soft wide brush, low opacity and softly colouring in the darker areas.

In the end of this step, Alicia's hair loks like this. If you compare it with the previous shot showing all her hair, it has a little more depth... that was the idea.


Now some nice highlights to finish! I picked a lighter colour and my handy 13pix soft brush, lowered the flow to 56% (that's really a pretty random number... I usually set my medium opacity brushes between 50-60) and now I start drawing highlights!

Notice that the strokes are very soft... I go over them once I figure where the stronger lights should be. In this case, that's on the left part of the strands, since my light comes from the left.

I tend to draw my highlights a little above the start of my first shadow, or in the higher curve of the strand.


Once finished with the basic highlights Ali's hair looks like this.

Notice where the highlights are placed... as I told you, I drew my in the start of the 1st shadow or/and in the higher curve of the strand...see? You can see as well how I went over and made the highlights stronger at some parts, oh, something I forgot to mention is that my highlights are always at an angle... they have this kind of shape:

If you're lost here, again I recommend you to go look at some pictures and see where the highlights are placed.

I like this effect, so I'm doing it again on my highlights XD. You don't have to if you don't like it.. it will still look nice if you

don't do it.I choose again a wider soft brush, low opacity, no shape dynamics and then I go and soften the middle part of my highlights.You can also pick your base colour again and soften the ends of the highlights as well, but I didn't feel like it, so I skipped that part.


So far she looks like this right now. You can stop here if you want... I'll add some more highlights with the dodge tool now XP.

I'll intensify my highlights with the dodge tool now that i'm done. You can do this and make really shiny highlights, slightly shiny highlights or just skip this. It's not a necessary step.

Pick a mid wide soft brush, uncheck shape dynamics, set the dodge tool range to highlights and use the exposure at 50%... you can set the exposure lower if you want less bright highlights.

Now go over your previously highlighted areas


This is how it finally looks!! yay! I'm done afterquite some time.

I'm satisfied with the result, so I won't be doing anything else to the hair now XDNow to the finished picture..

Tada! Finished pic

I softened the skin colouring a bit, see? And I found the colours where a bit bland, so I added an extra adjustment layer on top to saturate everything a little.

I hope you have understood all the tutorial without any problems... And I hope it has helped you.

Please notice that this is THE WAY I COLOUR, not the ultimate guide, not the best way to colour hair, but my own way. You can experiment with it if you want and if you feel that it suits you... great! If you find it stupid... well... that's ok too.

Tools used
Genius WizardPen Tablet, Photoshop CS, Macromedia Fireworks to put everything together.

Time spent
no idea.

This tutorial is compatible with photoshop 7 and up. Not sure about other programs.

Things shown in this tutorial can be done with a mouse, but it will take more time patience, so be prepared.


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