Copic Tutorial - Colouring Brown Hair

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hi everyone! Today I have a little tutorial to share with you on how I colour brown hair. This is quite a lengthy post so I have put my actual card at the start to save you all scrolling down if you don't want to read the tutorial! :D hehe

There are so many ways to colour hair but I particularly like the feathering technique where it looks like the hair has strands rather than an overall blended look. For this tutorial I have used one of my favourite copic colour combos for brown hair. Here are the colours that I have used:

E21, E25, E29

And for my model I have used the gorgeous Anastasia. These portraits are fantastic for practicing your hair colouring as you really get to experiment with the shadows and strands as there is just so much hair! *Sorry that the photos are all crazy! This is my first photo tutorial and I don't have a tripod for my camera so all of the pics are different sizes and colours LOL*


I always like to colour the skin first as it gives a good idea of how the hair colour and style is going to suit the character. When starting the hair, I always use my lightest colour, in this case the E21, to lay down the first highlights. I use the feathering technique and just flick my brush out. With hair, I tend to use a heavier version of the feathering technique as I like it to be a little chunky and have lots of texture. When laying down the first layer, I like to leave some white space where the lightest part of the hair would be. As there is so much hair, I have decided to colour the hair in sections starting with the front near her face. This is so that I don't have to hurry too much in case the ink dries.


I then go in with my next colour, E25, and do the same thing but not quite to the same length as the colour before. You can use the lighter colour as a guide for the direction of the strokes. It is important to pay attention to the direction of the light source when determining what parts of the hair need to be the darkest and the lightest. I like to do the part quite dark, with the light source coming from the side. This would mean that all of the outward curves are the lightest as they are closest to the light source, and all of the inverted curves would be the darkest.


I then go in with my darkest colour, E29, and again do a layer of colour not quite as long as the previous. In this first set of layering I don't worry too much about the shape of the strands as you can go back in after and lay more colour down. These first three steps are more about just getting the colour on the page.


I then go back in with my middle colour, E25, and repeat the same feathering process, but this time when you feather over the darker colour, it pulls the colour down creating some blending. I also start to pay more attention to creating more texture with my strands.


I go in again with my lightest colour and repeat the feathering process.


After I have gone from lightest to darkest and back again, I like to do an extra layer of the middle and darker colours purely to focus on the texture and size of the strands. The image below shows an extra layer of E25, and E29, and now the front section of her hair is complete.


Now we move on to the next part of her hair, but to save you on so many photos I have just shown an image of her hair finished. As she has quite a different hair style the shading can be a little tough. As she has large curls, I have made the inside of the curl the lightest and the two edges the darkest to make them look more rounded. There are many different ways you can do this (and mine are definitely not always right!) but just practice with what looks the nicest for you :)
For this section of her hair I repeat the same steps as above, lightest to darkest and back again. I then go back in with my middle and darkest colours to create more texture and definition.

I then went and coloured all of the flowers, and made her up into a card.

Hope that helped you just a little bit! If you have any more questions just leave a comment below and I will try to help! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Copic colours used:
Skin: E000, E00, E11, R11 | Hair: E21, E25, E29 | Roses: R81, R85, R59 | Flowers: V000, V01, V04, V09

Challenges that I am entering with this card:

Truly Scrumptious - Anything Goes
Whimsy Stamps - Anything Goes
Just Tracy's Crafts - Anything Goes
Oozak - Spring Colours
Pretty Little Ribbon Shop - Blooms and Butterflies
Unique Crafter's Challenge - Ribbons and Fibers
ATCs & Cards with Attitude - Butterflies and Blooms
Card Makin Mamas - Flowers
Crafty Catz Weekly Challenge - Girlie Time
Make it Monday - Linky Party
Bearly Mine - Anything Goes


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  1. Stunning, I'm gonna study this and then practice, I've just picked up this particular digi too!

    Seriously, Alyce this really is totally gorgeous. You have so much talent my friend.

    Kasey ~ in Oz

  2. ALYCE! Holy crap this is so awesome! It's a beautiful card and your coloring is amazing. Thanks for the tutorial! :)

    Annie Rose

  3. Wow Alyce, this is stunning! Your colouring is amazing! I absolutely love this! Laura x

  4. ooooooh alyce!!! oh this is just gorgeous hun and her hair looks absolutely awesome, I loved looking at your tutorial too.
    huge hugs Lou xxx

  5. Alyce such a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Beautiful card and a great tutorial. Thanks Alyce!

  7. Beautiful coloring and fabulous tut!


  8. Wow...this is absolutely gorgeous! Your coloring is fabulous and I love the design of the pretty! Thanks for playing in the Unique Crafters challenge!

  9. Beautiful Thanks for the tutorial I am going to practice practice practice...Thanks for joining us at Whimsy's Sassy Raggedy

  10. THAT is spectatular! You do the most amazing work Alyce!!!


  11. Holy cow Alyce, this just blows me away!! She is drop-dead gorgeous, so real! Thanks for the pics, really great tutorial! I will have to try this copic combo. The card is amazing!!!! (i'm picking my jaw up off the floor.)

  12. Oh Alyce, my goodness your card is gorgeous! I don't know what to say because it is so beautiful. I'm glad you put the coloring tutorial too and thankful with your busy schedule that you would take the time to do it. I think it will work with colored pencils too. So I am saving this, for sure! I stopped by to say Thank you for entering ATC's Card with Attitude. If time, enter your card in our sister challenge, Fat Pages. The link is one our side bar. We are starting Top 3's too! So happy you were my rotation to comment on! I have been meaning to stop by and peek at what you have been up to. So happy to see your lovely creation.

  13. Hi Alyce, brilliant tutorial great instructions and pictures, thank you so much for sharing.
    Lorraine x

  14. Another beauty Alyce...and wonderful tutorial too hun :o)

    big hugs Vicky xx

  15. Great tutorial Alyce! I do my hair pretty much the same but always nice to see it step by step to tweak my technique a bit!

  16. Awesome tutorial. I really love this image

  17. Oh you are an ANGEL! I needed this tute so badly. I've been doing it backwards and I never had enough highlight left. Now I know why! Thanks so much sweetie! Your card is drop dead gorgeous. Huge hugs!

  18. alyce this is amazing! thank you for the tutorial! now a tutorial on the flowers please? they are fabulously colored! have a great weekend!

  19. Fabulous card !

    Thanks for joining the Pretty Little Ribbon Shop challenge.

    Sarah x

  20. Great card, love the image and the tutorial, thanks for joining us at ATCs and cards with Attitude this fortnight

  21. oh my word, only one word needed alyce........................... AMAZZZZZZZING!!!!!! ;D

    xx coops xx

  22. oy!! I want this card!! hahaha!! I bet a lot of ppl do. It's GORGEOUS Alyce! Loved the tutorial and so love that gorgeous image you colored. It's perfect for the tutorial. TFS hon!

  23. OH!!! So gorgeous!!! Hugs! Leah Ann

  24. Hi Alyce :)
    I'm so happy you made this unbelievable tutorial. I just can't stop looking at it. Thank you SOOOOO much. You are beyond inspiring to me.

    Hope you're doing well..
    Lisa xx
    I'm off to go look at this again. :)

  25. Just had to say one more time, this is crazy amazing. My daughter and I sat here for 5 minutes just scrolling up and down and up and...well, you get the idea. Thank you again Alyce. You are so talented!

  26. Wow, simply gorgeous, Alyce! Totally love your coloring and hair tutorial, along with the gorgeous embellies on your card!

  27. This is STUNNING!!! Alyce. Wish I could take lessons from you as your colouring is Beautiful..Loz

  28. Stunning simply Stunning. So glad I saw your card at MIM.

  29. I've tried typing this comment like a dozen times now, but I just can't find the words to say how amazing this cards is!!

    Brilliant tutorial too!!

    I'm going to give up now on trying to find the perfect superlatives and just got gaze at your card for a while longer, lol!

    Thank you for sharing with us at Make It Monday this week.

    Michelle :o)

  30. Wow Alyce
    A stunning and beautiful card and fabulous tutorial and thankyou for joining us this week at CraftyCatz
    Hugs Dianne xx :)

  31. well what is there to say !!! jaw dropping gorgeous amazing totally wow wow wow that is one stunning card alyce and while im here i'll say thanks so much for joining us at truly scrumptious this week
    hugs sara x x x x

  32. Your colouring is just so amazing and this is a fab tut. xx

  33. wow! absolutely amazing coloring, Alyce!!!! i just adore this beauty. can't stop staring at it!!! fabulous work as always!

  34. What a beautiful card. You've coloured her so well and I love all those little details on this card. Just amazing. I saw your card on Make it Monday.

  35. Stunning card Alyce and thanks so much for the fabulous tutorial. You're awesome ! Hugs, Pat K.

  36. WOW...amazing colouring...I would love to be able to do this...I seriously need to practice...
    I will be studying this and having a go
    Saw you on Make it Monday
    CLaire x

  37. Thank you so much for this tutorial Alyce. Your colouring is always so perfect and it's lovely to see how you do it. Must get practising now! Sarah xx

  38. Hello Alyce. I saw this STUNNING card on MIM..Faye

  39. WOW!!!! WOW!!!! I say what everyone has said. This is stunning. Thank you I do not know what else to say.

  40. Wow what amazing colouring and thanks for the tutorial, I have got Copics but am not good with hair and skin so this will help me loads.
    Congrats on winning our challenge over at Pennys Challenges Hugs Julie x

  41. Oh WOw this is nothing short of stunning Judy x

  42. Your coloring is so beautiful..jaw dropping gorgeous..Someday..I hope I can be just as good.thank you so much for sharing the technique. You are the bestest

  43. Hi hunny,

    Fab card and yey too u for winning lotsa challenges with it!
    Have tried your technique on my Summertime card, not as good as urs but hopefully i will get there, eventually,lol
    Saw u at MIM Too hun
    Kenzie xx

  44. what a beautiful card, love the colouring, thanks for sharing your creation with us at crafty catz x carol

  45. Hi Alyce
    Amazing tutorial - I think I might be dropping back a few times to check it out.
    Brilliant card too.
    Suzie xx

  46. Thanks for sharing Alyce... your colouring is just divine...I am just starting with copics, so am taking in as many tips and tutorials as possible... you make it look so darn easy.. if only it was LOL!! absolutely beautiful! XOX Tania

  47. Great card (and tutorial although don't use copics myself). Saw your project on Make it Monday and had to come over and take a closer look. I’m enjoying looking at all the amazing inspiration.
    Crafty Blogocks
    DT Member for Catch The Bug

  48. Got caught up in your tutorial, nearly forgot why i ended up on your blog!! lol. Great Tutorial thanks!! and now.... Thanks for joining us at Bearly Mine, good luck and hope you will join us again.

  49. This is absolutely gorgeous! And your colouring is perfect!

  50. Absolutely STUNNING! What a great tutorial and I love the colour combo you used! Great job!

    I saw your project on Make It Monday!
    (I am #193)


  51. thanks so much for taking the time to make up this tutorial! I think the way you do the hair is lovely and I am looking forward to practicing this technique!
    Beth P

  52. Truly beautiful! I have these portraits and as soon as we have a quieter household next week I'll be bringing them to life in glee~~! hehehe..
    You've done a lovely job hun. :0)
    I'm so happy that you joined us this week with your lovely creation!

    Hugs Krafty Karen - DT for Make It Monday.

  53. Wow, this is gorgeous. So pretty in every way and a brilliant tutorial. Saw your work on MIM and came to have a look at your blog.
    Liz xx

  54. Wow this is just gorgeous. I love every detail. I saw your project on Make it Monday - thanks for sharing.
    Hugs Sheryl xx

  55. Wow this is gorgeous,lovely image and colours,great tutorial . Thanks for sharing wth us at Bearly Mine this week. luv gina xx

  56. Very impressive! Great, detailed card and a perfectly colored image along with a tutorial. You are very talented. Thanks for joining us at Unique Crafters Challenge.

  57. what a truly beautiful creation! thanks for playing along with CMM!

  58. Absolutely stunning card. One of the best I've seen.

  59. All I can say is WOW. how happy was I,when I saw your gorgeous card AND tutorial . Thanks for doing the tutorial I am always looking to improve my coloring.

  60. wow how beautiful thank you for sharing your colouring techniques the result is absolutely stunning x

  61. her hair is fabulous, doubt I would be able to recreate that even with your great tutorail but I'll have fun practicing x

  62. Thanks for this tutorial! I so desperately want to color like you! :)


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