Friday 23 August 2013

Tutorial: Colouring Red Hair

Hi everyone! Simonne here with a little tutorial to share how I colour red hair with Graph'it Markers.  I have used a Saturated Canary digital stamp called "Fancy" for my sample image today.  I was lucky enough to grab her when Krista was giving her away for free last summer, but you can buy her here from the Saturated Canary digi store.

I always like to colour the skin first when colouring characters.  I always use (from dark to light) 4180 4155 4115 4125 4120 for the skin, then 4135 blended out with 4145 for the blush. On this image, I also added a bit of 4145 to her eyelids and to some of the darkest shadows to warm them up a bit:

These are the Graph'it Markers I am using for my red hair combination today - 3190 3180 3170 3130 4180 4155 4115:

When colouring hair, I always use my lightest colour first. I use quick, light strokes, working in the direction of the hair, and lift my pen off the paper at the end of the stroke. For this image, start your strokes of 4115 at the hairline (which will eventually be the darkest area) and work up towards where you want your highlights to be (the middle). Do the same from the top, working down towards the highlight area. At this point, leave the part you want to be highlighted uncoloured:

Next, add 4180 over the first layer of 4115, working in exactly the same way, but making the strokes a little shorter:

Now start to work on the darker areas. Working in the same way you did for the first 2 layers, add 3170 where you want your shadows to be:

Now add 3130. Again, start your strokes at the hairline, but this time make them a little longer than your previous strokes of 3170. You are trying to blend out the 3170:

Now add 4180 over the top of 3130, again making your strokes a little longer than before. Ensure you still leave your highlights uncoloured. Then use 4115 over your highlighted section and blend into the other areas:
I think this is actually quite a nice red hair color combination as it is!  You could choose to finish at this point (perhaps just tidying up a few areas), but if you’re like me and prefer to add really dark shadows to your colouring, read on......

We are now going to deepen the shadows.  Working from the hairline towards the highlight (and using quick, light strokes), add 3180 where you want your shadows to be:

Now add 3190 to small sections (as shown) where you want your very darkest parts to be:

Blend out 3190 with 3180 and then 3170. Make each colour's strokes a little longer than the previous ones:

Blend out further towards the highlighted area with 3130 then 4180.

Finally use 4115 to blend the highlighted area into 4180. (I found that the contrast between 4180 and 4115 was too harsh for my liking, so I added 4155 to blend 4180 into 4115). Now all you have to do is repeat the whole process on the other areas of her hair!

I hope you've found my tutorial helpful. (This is the very first time I've done one, hehe!)  So now you've seen me colour red hair, why not have a go yourself and join our Red Hair Challenge - you have a whole week to enter to win some fabulous GI goodies!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!



  1. Your tutorial is fabulous! Great work hunny!
    Hugs xx Cara xx

  2. Wonderful tutorial Simonne, love the colour combo you chose, and you've explained the process wonderfully. Beautiful image too

  3. Super easy to follow and of course stunning!
    Thanks Sem!
    Tammy Louise

  4. Excellent tutorial. Tips noted. Thanks x

  5. Fab tutorial hun and what gorgeous colouring
    Claire xx

  6. Great tutorial thanks, love the hair colour ... ace colouring.

    xx Lizzy xx

  7. Thank you, that is a good tutorial, I don't have Graphit's yet, but I have Promarkers and will try with them.


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