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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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:icons-k-a-i:
S-k-a-i Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks so much! This'll help me with my future artworks!
Reply
:iconinushommaru:
InuShommaru Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You've done it again, with color and hair. I am guilty of the black hair, though I will admit that I have taken to adding a small touch of color to the highest level/the areas immediately affected by light. 
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:icondaemonicmelody:
DaemonicMelody Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2016  Student General Artist
Well crap, wish I had this when I was drawing my icon......
Reply
:iconsanthieen:
santhieen Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i wish i had found that tutorial earlier Q_Q
tis a lifesaver, thanks !
Reply
:iconhoutakoyaki:
HouTakoyaki Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the tutorial!!!! :D
It is very helping *rip english
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2016
glad to help :)
Reply
:iconhoutakoyaki:
HouTakoyaki Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Student Digital Artist
really?? thanks! :D
Reply
:icontamaka-media:
Tamaka-Media Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for making this! This thing saved my life XD
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2016
haha no problem! <3
Reply
:iconluna4s:
Luna4s Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was exactly what I needed...
I'm practising with hair and got stuck on black hair.
Reply
:iconashi-chu:
Ashi-chu Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THANK YOU SO MUCH. this helps a lot ;A;
Reply
: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. 
Reply
:iconbat2mayur89:
bat2mayur89 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That helped a lot, thanx
Reply
:iconglisine:
glisine Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2014
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
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
No problem :)
Reply
:iconxxhimeko-chan8xx:
xXHimeko-chan8Xx Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I can't wait to try this out! All of your tutorial really helps! Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
No problem, hope it turns out well!
Reply
:iconterrisasterrific:
terrisasterrific Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This helped me so much omg thanks :D
Reply
: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
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
no problem <3
Reply
:iconradiantheartx:
RadiantHeartx Featured By Owner May 23, 2014
c":
Reply
:iconitaloamericana:
ItaloAmericana Featured By Owner May 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankssss!
Reply
: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 :)
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
Hmm, it comes off a bit more grey to me, but it looks really nice :)
Reply
: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 :)
Reply
:icontifaxxlockhart:
TifaxxLockhart Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Student General Artist
Very helpful, thank you!
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
quite welcome <3
Reply
:iconaevrynn:
aevrynn 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.
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
haha yeah white hair can be pretty tricky. no problem (:
Reply
:iconcrimsonorigami:
crimsonorigami Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No wonder my drawing always look so messy, better get rid of all those grey black-grey-white color palette then ~
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Glad to help (:
Reply
:iconjeroine:
Jeroine Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this! :D
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
No problem! :hug:
Reply
: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:
Reply
: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 ^^
Reply
:icondahliafay:
DahliaFay Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Now I know a little bit more about colors :dummy:
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I'm glad! :hug:
Reply
:iconkilling-vengeance:
Killing-Vengeance Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
Oh my god , so amazing , thank you very much for this tutorial .
Reply
:iconstarshipsorceress:
StarshipSorceress Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
You're very welcome (: I hope it helps you!
Reply
:iconkilling-vengeance:
Killing-Vengeance Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2013
Yes , it really does since it is very accurate :) .
Reply
:iconmidarete:
Midarete Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great!
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January 19, 2013
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