Step by Step - How to Edit & Draw Hair! / KylieJay🌻

Hey guys! Welcome to my step by step tutorial on how to edit and draw hair!

Please note, I am NOT the best at hair. This is a very basic tutorial and there are many other artists who are much better than I am! But I have been asked very frequently over the last couple weeks about how I do hair, so here it is!

I may also do a full tutorial on my YouTube channel, if that’s something that interests you, please let me know down below :arrow_down:

To keep this post as neat as possible, I’ll put the different types in drop downs so you can quickly view the one you’re most interested in.

Edited Hair

•Okay so the first thing you wanna do is create a new layer and put it ABOVE the actual hair/image/base color⬇️

•I use the oil (hair) brush for hair. It works really well and it’s the most natural hair brush I’ve found because i personally like when my hair looks more defined. You will have to watch an ad to unlock all the brushes. No paying, just a quick ad!:arrow_down:

•Turn on force fade start and end 100% for both so it has a smooth start and finish and blends into the base hair color⬇️

•Use the eye dropper and pick up the lightest or darkest shade. Doesn’t matter which you do first. I usually start with highlights, then add shading, then go back with brighter highlights. Once you select the lightest color, use this wheel and move it to a lighter shade than it currently is.:arrow_down:

•Size the brush to whatever you think looks best strand wise. My Canvas is roughly 2500x3000 and this was an ideal size for me. Also play around with the opacity. Towards the back end of the end where the hair is overall darker, I tone the opacity down so it looks more natural.:arrow_down:

•Make a new layer and put it under the highlight layer. Then select the darkest shade in the hair, pull up that color wheel and make it slightly darker. Put this where all the shadows in the hair are.:arrow_down:

•Once you’re all done with that, you can adjust the layers overall opacity. I turned the dark shading down to 75% so it blends with the hair better, while still providing a nice contrast. I also turned the highlight layer down to 83%. Create a new layer and this will be for the wispy hairs.:arrow_down:

•Turn the opacity up higher for this. Select the overall color of the hair. You can also add wisps of the highlight color as well as the shading color for more dimension. For my example, I only use the base color.:arrow_down:

•And you’re all done! I only did half the hair so you can see the difference. It definitely takes a lot of practice and i still struggle with hair now and then. I also do a lot of jumping around between layers and adding darker or lighter colors here and there. Just keep practicing! :blush:

Drawn Hair

•First you want to start with your base color and draw the basic shape of your hair. I drew it using the Oil (hair) brush. You can use it for free after watching a quick add, no purchasing necessary! This is the best brush I’ve found for hair, as I like mine to be more defined and this brush gives that look. Add a layer above, this will be for your highlight. Use the color wheel to move a couple shades lighter than your base color. MAKE SURE you turn the force fade on to 100%! This will help blend the highlights and shadows into the base color.

•Draw your highlights where you want them in the hair…I’m not real my sure how else to describe that :joy: but this will determine the shape and flow that the hair takes. You can also start with the shadows of the hair, but I personally like starting with highlights.

•Under the layer with the highlights, create a shade darker than the base color for the shadows. Whip this around in the areas that are not highlighted.
Gosh, I’m so great at explaining…lol

•Here I have added another highlight layer which is lighter than the previous, as well as another shadow layer. When I draw hair, I have a lot more layers and I also have anywhere from 4-7 different colors and sized brushes to get as much dimension and shapes as possible.

•Layer 6 is the base color, a small brush size and I created wisps of hair for a more flowing and natural look.

•Layer 7 I used the alcohol marker with a cream/white and smudged that on the even more highlighted parts of the hair.

•And that’s it!! I do have some more details for drawing in my other drop down of edited hair. But that’s pretty much it!

NEW - Smudging Hair

So this is a new technique I accidentally discovered (for myself lol) and I love how it looks on Ink characters! It’s really stylized but still really simple for an Ink character and doesn’t take that much time to do.

Start by outlining the hair and then filling in the outline with the darkest shade of the characters hair.

Add a new layer, pull the next lightest shade, turn on force fade and whip the color around on the areas of the hair that you want highlighted. Select the smudge tool and drag it with the flow of the hair!! This is super important. If you go against the flow, all the lines blur together and it doesn’t have the same effect. You want to pull the ends of the color you just laid very slightly.

Add new layers, each time lightening the color and smudging.
If you choose to add darker patches for more depth, put this layer under the highlighted layers, but above the base color layer. Below I will have a picture with an idea as to how many layers you could have to achieve this, roughly.

Make sure you’re adding new layers every time you lighten the color and add more highlights. The point of this is to have depth building up and you won’t have that if you accidentally blend all the layers together. The top most highlighted layer should be (if you choose) just off pure white and should be the smallest highlighted strands. Each highlight layer you do should get smaller and smaller and be more selective of where exactly you’re putting it so you can see the progression/build up of shading.

Roughly how many layers used. 1 for base, 1 for depth, and the rest are building up the highlights.

Finally, erase the extra color and you’re all done! At this point you can add more highlights, hair strands, decorations, whatever you want!
The key with this (and pretty much any style) if you use a new layer every. single. time. you change a color or want to add on top. This also makes it easier to go back and adjust opacity/fix mistakes.

This character was made for @/kylee.3012 :sparkles:

Got any questions? Did I explain this too poorly? Lol. Just send a comment and I’ll reply ASAP! :heart:

I’m not really the best at explaining so feel free to ask if you have any questions!
You can also view my art shop here, though I’m not currently taking requests at the moment.
You can also view my YouTube channel which I have some tutorials of my edits, as well as a compilation video @ KylieJayx3.

Thank you for reading my thread tutorial and I hope it helps!! If you have any suggestions for me to improve this or if you have any questions, please let me know :blush:


this seems rlly helpful!!
i’ll definitely try this out later :blob_hearts:


Thank u for this🙃I’m not the best at hair but I’m def gonna try this out👍


This is SO good, I tried it out and it helped sm!


Good luck!!! :grin:


Of course! Just keep practicing! :blush:

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So glad to hear that!! :star_struck::heartpulse:


“I am not the best at hair”
make it make sense -_-


Thank you so much for this. :heart:


Bump! Don’t sell yourself short your hair is amazing


Amazinggg :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:
Thank you for sharing this tutorial!!!


I just don’t want anyone thinking that I think my way is best! Cause there are lots of other amazing artists out there who do hair very well :relieved:


Of course!! :heartpulse::heartpulse:

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Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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You’re very welcome!! :star_struck:

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Your hair shading is always so fabulous :chef: :sparkles: bump

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Thank you so much, love :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::heart::heart:

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@Randomwriter07 since you asked to be tagged :heart:

Thank you for making this!! I bookmarked the thread haha

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Of course!! I feel like hair is usually the most difficult part of drawing, even though there’s so many ways to do it haha :joy::heart::heart: