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Light and Dark: A Tutorial on Black and White Hair by StarshipSorceress Light and Dark: A Tutorial on Black and White Hair by StarshipSorceress
EDIT: A real life example of silver hair I made for someone which might be useful to show other people as well: sta.sh/02fwsbsid643

I got a request for white hair palettes and felt I needed to go a little more into detail about white hair as well as black hair, and the common mistakes I see. I hope this is helpful and if you have questions or tutorial requests, just post a comment asking c:

Made with Paint Tool Sai and Intuos 4 Tablet

Other Tutorials and Resources:

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:iconcolorprincess:
colorprincess Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you so much this is very helpful to know what colors to blend together to create the color that you want. 
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:iconbat2mayur89:
bat2mayur89 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That helped a lot, thanx
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:iconlemon-dog:
Lemon-Dog Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what if you want the white to look dirty? 
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014
i probably still wouldnt suggest using greys for it..though you can if you want cause I'm not stopping anyone at the end of the day XD But maybe use desaturated browns? It really depends on what type of dirty look you're going for.
Reply
:icondragontamer83:
Dragontamer83 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! this is very useful!
i cant wait to try it out! =D
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
No problem :)
Reply
:iconxxhimeko-chan8xx:
xXHimeko-chan8Xx Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't wait to try this out! All of your tutorial really helps! Thank you! :)
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
No problem, hope it turns out well!
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:iconterrisasterrific:
terrisasterrific Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This helped me so much omg thanks :D
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 29, 2014
glad to hear it was helpful!
Reply
:iconradiantheartx:
RadiantHeartx Featured By Owner May 19, 2014
This is SOO usefull, thank you very much for explaining
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
no problem <3
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:iconradiantheartx:
RadiantHeartx Featured By Owner May 23, 2014
c":
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:iconitaloamericana:
ItaloAmericana Featured By Owner May 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankssss!
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
welcome!
Reply
:iconnicarox:
NicaRox Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
Would this still be called black hair?
nicarox.tumblr.com/post/831750…
Helpful tutorial :)
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
Hmm, it comes off a bit more grey to me, but it looks really nice :)
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:iconcontinental-issues:
Continental-Issues Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Student General Artist
The explanations really helped, however I believe there are other factors for white hair, and not just the environment:
If the hair is of an albino person, make it exceptionally pale blond"
If it was bleach and toning,use just a slight violet-gray base
/Do use a gray base if you /want it to seem unclean, like for fur
If the lighting /should affect the hair colour, still make your highlights either very desaturated compared to the base, or make your highlights still be very light or white, since this is /white hair

Also the blue undertones for black hair might be best used for unnatural black
And the brown undertones for someone with natural black hair or happened to find really good dye they put over brown hair.

Just thought this might add some more explanation to palette choice c:
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:iconvirllanda:
Virllanda Featured By Owner May 1, 2014
 Thank you for this, I had a problem with shading white hair and it helped a lot ^^
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 7, 2014
no problem :)
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:icontifaxlockhart:
TifaxLockhart Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Very helpful, thank you!
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
quite welcome <3
Reply
:icontheshadowempress:
TheShadowEmpress Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful. :) I've got an albino OC (well, two of them) and have absolutely no idea how to shade white hair.
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
haha yeah white hair can be pretty tricky. no problem (:
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:iconcrimsonorigami:
crimsonorigami Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
No wonder my drawing always look so messy, better get rid of all those grey black-grey-white color palette then ~
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Glad to help (:
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:iconjeroine:
Jeroine Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this! :D
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
No problem! :hug:
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:iconosowyn:
osowyn Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:'O this helps SO much! thank you for explaining this, really I made such an improvement in my hair <33
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013
You're so welcome, I'm glad it helped you improve! :hug:
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:icontatoonthesky:
Tatoonthesky Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
Your informations are precious! Thaks or helping, now I know what to do when I paint some white hair! XD
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
No problem, happy to help ^^
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:icondahliafay:
DahliaFay Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Now I know a little bit more about colors :dummy:
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I'm glad! :hug:
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:iconkilling-vengeance:
Killing-Vengeance Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
Oh my god , so amazing , thank you very much for this tutorial .
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
You're very welcome (: I hope it helps you!
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:iconkilling-vengeance:
Killing-Vengeance Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013
Yes , it really does since it is very accurate :) .
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:iconmidarete:
Midarete Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great!
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
thanks! ^^
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:iconelastiboy:
Elastiboy Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool! This is a very useful tip.
I shall take this in consideration from now on... :D

Thanks for sharing!
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
No problem, hope it helps! (:
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:iconskrlt:
skrlt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you, this helps ^^
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
I'm glad (:
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:iconluminamaridia:
LuminaMaridia Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Thanks!!! :D
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
no problem! (:
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:iconcirque-b:
Cirque-B Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really helpful, thanks! I needed a way to figure out how white works /as i've used the grey colouring before. I think it's good for just dark looking as you had described it as giving a dirty look/ but I needed to kno how it works in general XD his is truly helpful, I'll be working more with white thanks to this c:
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
I'm so glad to be of help to you (: White hair can be really fun to paint once you get the hang of it! <3
Reply
:iconcirque-b:
Cirque-B Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed so ^^ I found myself using purple for a default hue lol
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:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
Haha awesome, I bet it looks great :3
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