How To Paint Hair – Digital Painting Tutorial

Hey guys, welcome to another episode of
Ross Draws and welcome to the hair tutorial! Oh yes, I just launched my new
merch line, my new book, and that took up a lot of my time, but now I’m back in the
studio and I want to show you guys how to paint some awesome hair. Yeah, a lot of you guys on my YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, have been asking how to achieve some
nice-looking hair, so I’ve digested and tried to streamline my process on how to
paint hair. Without further ado, let’s do it! So, here is a sketch that I’m gonna be
painting today. A quick reminder again that this is a hair tutorial. If the face and
everything else looks kind of unfinished it’s not my fault, I’m mainly here to
teach you guys about hair. Yeah so I roughly kind of drew in the shape of the hair
and this is a little boring, right? I just did this as a placeholder and so we’re
gonna do something a little more interesting. And now she looks kind of
bald haha. We can totally do a crazy hair we can totally do like, I don’t know — a
ponytail? Maybe pigtails? And the first thing you
want to do is try to tap into the character. We ourselves are characters; we style our own hair. My hair is color dodged, I don’t know how you wear your
hair but this person seems very regal- you know, she looks like a princess. Maybe she’s like on the cover of Vogue or something like that. I feel like
she’s sophisticated and she should have some luscious, beautiful hair. So the
first step of any hair is identifying the shape. The shape is so important. The shape is what’s gonna hold everything together and so I’m gonna try to make a
really nice flow of shapes for the hair. That’s actually really cool and that was
their first try! And the number one thing I’ve learned in art is: shapes are
everything. If it’s something more jagged we feel a little more tension, if something’s
more soft we feel a little bit more comfortable and warm to the character, to the shape and I love relating my processes to pizza! I love pizza, we can
all relate to pizza. Pizza has such a like a fundamental step language that’s
very reminiscent to art! For example these lines and flow — think of it as our
bread. This is our container, this is what we’re going to put stuff on top. And
right now let’s add our sauce, which is the base. I’m just gonna fill in the skin
real quick. Now we have our bread, and we have our sauce, and now let’s add the
cheese! And I love making my cheese the shadow. So we’re going to softly add some shadows and I love using an airbrush Maybe ah, hmm, look at that. Ooh I like that. Wow, look at that haha. So to tighten up
my cheese a little bit? So weird, I’m tightening up my shadows a little bit. Let’s add some more specialty cheese which are more like deep shadows and specialty
shadows. So they’re usually in the pocket of the deepest shadows. I wonder what cheese this would be? What cheese do you guys like? Actually I don’t eat much cheese haha, I think it’s too pungent for me. I like softer, kind of mellower, not as
like sharp — like, I like more like a chiller cheese. So we have our
base, we have our sauce, we have our cheese, we have our specialty cheese, and now
let’s add our toppings. Let’s add the bulk of it which is a protein. Some of
you guys are vegan or vegetarian, that’s totally okay. To relate to most of the world out there let’s add pepperoni and so this is the light! So one of my favorite
tips on adding light is: I make another layer and I — maybe a soft light — let’s
try soft light. Like a teal, a blue teal? Ooh~ look at that!
Alright, let’s add some pepperoni. Coloring her face real quick- Now I’m going to try to perfect this. You
know, I’m gonna try to perfect this pizza. I’m gonna use some brushes, something with a hair stroke, like that, and then we’ll take it further. Let’s do
it! Hey guys! Welcome back and here’s the
progress of our piece so far! Yeah, it’s looking pretty solid. One tip on how to
render hair is: you always paint with the direction of a flow. So your hair’s going
this way you would want to paint like that. Even though it looks pretty good I
feel like we should mess it up a little bit, you know. This is a common problem
when we’re doing hair — it kind of looks a little alskfjaoeijasldk. You know, like. I don’t know if
there’s a word for it but my feeling is it feels a little askfjeiask. So this is my
number one tip on how to make hair look a hundred thousand times better in
fifteen seconds. We’re gonna use curves! Yes! Control + M is curves. You have your curves here and we’re just going to experiment
with the curves of the hair. We’ve been working hard at our current pizza but
sometimes we just need a fresh perspective, and so we’re just — ooh that’s really cool. Maybe it’s something a little lighter like that. Hair has shine,
it has complexity, and usually when we’re painting hair it looks a little dull,
like this! Womp. It feels like it should be more alive and so — woohoohoo — that’s way cooler and better it has like a kind of like a rainbow transition over
here. And now we have our new pizza! And so after I have something like this I
love to add like a kind of a shadow and light passing it, and so I make a new layer and I’m gonna start to overlay. I’m just going to try and soften up some of these
shadows and light. Before, after. Before, after. You can tell
that it kind of gives it a lot more form; it punches things out.
Brings that more of like a sculpted 3D look. Now I think it’s time for some
color dodge! Yes! This is our topping, we need some light, we need some awesomeness, we need some uh, I dunno, some cilantro. Whatever you guys like on your pizza, let’s add some color dodge, let’s add some accent toppings. Ooo~ oohoohoohoo! Look at that! Hold on, deepen it a bit — gorgeous, wow! So what’s this meant to do: it’s gonna blast your hair with some luscious, luscious color dodge and then we’ll refine it. I’m going to blend it a little better.
It’s all about transforming, refining, transforming, refining. So we just spent a
lot of time transforming it, let’s uh let’s perfect this a little. It’s come a long way! Oh my gosh. Alright, it’s time for another
trick. It’s time for a super trick that I love to use to make my hair look awesome and that is: the mixer brush! Yes, the mixer brush is absolutely amazing, and it’s so
versatile. It’s probably my top 3 tool that I always use in every painting,
especially for the hair. So let’s do some mixer brush. What a mixer brush does: it
blends everything! Yes! It just blends everything! Ooh look at that! Ooh that’s so gorgeous. Maybe you can use a bristle brush like that, or something
like this? Ooh look at that, that’s gorgeous! I always play between these two mixer
brushes. Something with a lot of texture and then something with a hard edge. And then now I’m gonna switch to a slightly harder edge- We’re gonna carry this line over, okay? Oooh~ And now it’s time to add: our strands! Yes! A lot of people think painting hair is this. Doing this for 100,000 times. This
is actually my last step: finishing your pizza with some salt, some oregano, I don’t know what you do to finish a pizza but basically some beautiful accents. I am
so precise with this because one little line can make it or break it. And so I’m
super meticulous about where I add these strands. Wow! That really made it a lot
better. This is before and after. See the individual strands — before and after. And
that brings like a whole ‘nother depthness to it and the rest is just refining and
rendering and making it perfect. I hope you guys enjoyed this very streamlined
process on how I do hair. So we have our bread we, have our base sauce, we have our cheese, we have our proteins, we have our toppings, and then our super specialty
toppings. Yeah! So I’m gonna probably spend a few hours perfecting this,
rendering, and making this piece awesome. I’ll check back in with the final! I’ve had this hair for like a month.
I actually really love it, do you guys like it? We should dye Milo’s hair, maybe like red or something? Hey guys! Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and hopefully you guys
learned a thing or two and make your own character with awesome hair. And if you
do, please tag me, I would love to see what you guys come up with. Oh! And some of you guys are wondering when BLOOM will be back in stock. Thank you guys
everyone who purchased it, it recently sold out on my store but I’ll let you
guys know when its back in stock. Follow my Twitter and Instagram for updates. If
you guys want to learn more with bonus content and video demos where I dive even deeper into how to render hair, you know where to find it!
Please come check out my Patreon. So if you want a chance to win a book, print, shirt,
this video’s question is: if your hair could have a superpower, what would it be? Ooo, maybe Milo’s can catch on fire or something? For me I’m a pretty simple guy,
I just never want to go bald. But let me know in the comments below and we’ll
choose a lucky subscriber. Also, thank you everyone who bought something from my new collection: a shirt, pins, prints. And makes me so happy when you guys wear it outside in the real world. We’re almost at a million subscribers! Oh, oh man. I’m
planning a huge livestream party for my fans and friends and I would love to hit
a million on stream and share that special moment with you guys. Keep your eyes and ears open for when that is. Don’t forget to subscribe and remember:
every day is a color dodge day!


  • Ross Draws

    WE’RE ALMOST AT 1 [email protected]!! Planning a 1 mil livestream on Friday, Oct 18 to celebrate with everyone. There’ll be buncha giveaways on stream and live drawing! MARK YA CALENDARS. Can’t wait 🎈

    I hope you enjoyed the Hair Tutorial! If you want a deeper video demo, it'll be available on my Patreon!

  • Marta Strzelec

    I immediately gave you a sub after the pizza reference. 🍕💛🍕

  • Dream Hope

    Dont u know what is a tutoriol

  • Radu Teodor Ghiordunescu

    My hair has the super power to explode after every shower

  • fabiola michel carballo

    She look like the vocalist of hey violet

  • [shenigan] Divine

    Me*new in the art scene *: this is just the Cheese ??!!!
    Ross:Let's add the toppings
    Ross:Now the speciality toppings
    Also me: nvm I quit* burns pen tablet* I feel bazebulableh lol

  • Glam

    The one struggle. My hair always looks stiff.

  • zairah_meh girl

    which drawing program du you use ???

  • jason clarke

    i hope you do go bald.

  • Jenseng Tea

    Hey, ross! I would love if you could do a tutorial on layers! Could you go over which layers go on the bottom or top, masking layers, sketch layers, etc.?

  • Amethyst Gacha


  • Hunter Warrior

    Hmm…. Chill out…. I think it sounds like Mei from Overwatch.
    Ooohh…. Shiny…. Sounds like Plag from Miraculous ladybug

  • Icy Diamond

    So… You have to have talent to draw hair? Welp, guess I’m never drawing hair!

  • ballet artist

    Can you put what kind of webcam and software u use in the bio. It would be really helpful for ur who watches ir videos

  • Filippo Ardito

    I would like to have the power to instantly grow hair and make it disappear just as quickly XD

  • M.J Designs

    You just keep getting better fam! I struggle with hair so I frequent this video, different style but very helpful! Check me out, I would love any critiques & suggestions THANKS!!!

  • benjatox1

    How to make a pizza

  • Thao Thu

    May I ask which version of Photoshop are you using ?

  • Wilted Stars

    Crying in ibis paint

  • RuruRian Kun

    What's your book called?👀

  • Jeralyn Bonga


  • Tiara Stokes

    The scream at 1:02 😂

  • Vengeful Wing

    Ok i need help how do you not go out of lines while doing base color btw am using krita

  • YTB7743

    u better not move so quickly near animals, it will give them stress, especially to cats.

  • Alexandrea Schroeder

    My hair would definitely be able to grab things because I have alot of curly hair that I get things stuck in often.


    nice tutorial, thanks a lot Ross sensei

  • Gage Callahan

    Ross, can you list some of the brush types you were using in this video? I was following it and used the air brush for all the fills to try to match what you were doing with the first brush, then you said you use an airbrush for the shadows and I was like "welp that cant be good"

  • Undrakh-Erdene Otgonbat

    well he is Good Artist but not good teacher for me. Goodluck and Thank you.

  • Miya Kailani

    When you have an associates degree in multimedia – graphic design and animation and they don't even teach you this kind of stuff…. 🙁 Man…

  • Teberik Pala

    lmfao you only showed the base

  • Marija Siketic

    Why do you only draw girls if you draw guys and i just didn't see it correct me if i'm wrong

  • Mohammed Riaz

    Hair that never fall and that never gets affected by anything other than myself

  • Gabriel Coronado

    ‪World Premiere & Drawing FROZEN 2 Elsa (Digital Artist) vía @YouTube‬

  • Efahs~Gunst

    In my opinion this is not a tutorial. You literally said "you make this an this… you need shadows and light… " but you dont explain WHY you draw your hair like this. You draw beautiful hair, but in the end most people in the comments are frustrated, because they havent learn anything and dont know how they can use your methods in ther own painting. An example: they know they need highlights now but they dont know where to place them. Your art is cool, but i dont think anyone can draw hair like you do after seeing that tutorial.

  • Lu Shelly

    Good metaphor!

  • Ash Oof

    the effects make the video less boring and more fun and exciting

  • Sandeep Agarwal

    You are a great artist but your examples are very bad 😆😆

  • ღ•. ̧Moonlight Galaxy ̧.•ღ

    This is how much times Ross said Oooo

  • Gera Ambros

    hello friend could you make a video where you teach to make eyes

  • Jennifer Versteeg

    So the bread.. okay got it ! Adding sauce… no problemo ! Cheese.. nailed it ! Toppings.. can do! Super toppings….



    Anyway, great tutorial, I love how you're explaining everything step by step and also explaining why. And the pizza metaphor did make it a LOT easier to understand as well. I was just really baffled at the end, especially going from pizza to rendered piece of amazingness xD
    But definitely a fan, I instantly feel inspired !

  • Stella Martin

    luv the pizza method but now im SOOO hungry

  • MiaTinyARMY

    Thanks to this tutorial, I'm not afraid to render hair digitally anymore. I usually blend the colors with wrong shadows and leave it like that.

  • GURU

    Ничего не понел но очень интерестно

  • Lucci McD

    Lol Cheese is the best!!

  • ConuGonzalez

    Omg, I just remembered I saw you at AnimeNYC. You seemed super familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it 😭😭

  • Bernadette M

    Steps to draw hair according to Ross

    1. Bread (shapes)
    2. Sauce (base color)
    3. Cheese (shadows)
    4. Proteins (light)
    5. Toppings (more shadows and light, mixer brush, overlay)
    6. Super toppings (individual strands)

    Sorry if I got any of the steps wrong!

  • Cyanide

    This tutorial sucks tho.
    It looks cool when you draw it but you don't show what brushes you use, what opacity, what layers, what thickness of the brush…

  • Gabor Gabor

    How expensive is that tablet 😭😭😭

  • Scrub

    Instructions unclear, I tried drawing hair on my pizza and put my tablet in the oven

  • apoorv yadav

    Can you do a male Character hair tutorial

  • GeoKorf

    fuck you

  • Gray Fox

    Love how his end piece look 75% better and different from where he ends the tutorial

  • chris sanders

    Im gonna give this a shot

  • dou salem

    I was really curious how you make hair , you make it amazingly ❤ thanks for the tips

  • Lilo and Stitch

    If you were drawing on a page there would be no colour dodge 🙁

  • christian paul Angeles

    I thought it was literal manual painting. Tsk

  • tera doodle

    Dude I'm a first-timer to your channel and the first thing I thought was "That is a nice drawing tablet." And then you mentioned art is like pizza and now I'm one of your subscriber's.

  • xCrossu3u

    Friend: So.. how do you draw so good?

    Laughs in Pizza

  • Toongamer

    Your videos are so expressive while still being extremely informative. I love this dude

  • Jerne Devera

    I'm in love…. 😊😊😊😊

  • Debbie Speare

    I'm gonna buy him out I swear these are so majestic

  • Brinley Triggers Me

    Me: Unsaturated, flat, lacking in definition
    Ross: zibibexhehbinzehb

    Ah yes, I completely understand.

  • Creamy

    What app is being used?

  • Anaz Adanan

    she looks like maleficient

  • Ardeact

    this tutorial is alright but entertaining at least! the last part was kinda like "Finish the rest of the damn owl" vibe

  • Bush Boy

    it looks like jade west got into a pretty girl phase…I like it

  • Annabelle Playz Galaxy

    Oct 18 is one day before my birthday

  • Nitros Koneko

    What tablet is he using ?? :O

  • The scene

    I love that there’s a lot of overwatch voice lines 😂

  • Ags Id

    Mampir om tante mbak kakak adek nenek…
    Jangn lupa disubrek biar kaya orang orang… Wkwk
    Hey kalain yang ingin mendapatkan subcrieb begitu kan 🤣
    Seadanya ajh cuy optimis ajh atas karyamu..
    Jangan lupa subcrieb ya :v

  • Ashwath A

    Always happy to find a tutorial by you!

  • :P _

    after attempting to draw hair again, i have concluded that this man is hacking

  • Meghan H.


  • Gamerboychris 05

    What kind of painting app is this? Tell me in the comments below to answer so I can draw my character from my portfolio

  • Z3r0_Art

    I tried out the tutorial! 😀 what do you all think? I’d really appreciate the feedback 😄

  • Bleiddyn Pictures

    Almost looks like a younger Tiffany Amber Theissen

  • TSAT

    It is much simpler yet effective and useful! <3

  • Mohammad Bn

    your art tutorial isn’t boring at all and it’s awesome

  • Naomi Yeoh

    Does anyone know where I could get that airbrush effect for the shadow part? I tried looking online for one I could download but I can’t seem to find any that look similar to his

  • Heinrich Barbarosa

    Pizza is code for Pedophiles….not accusing but just letting you and the community know.

  • Atxada

    10:40 u have a good taste of music brother

  • Fira lyn

    I read the comments first and I just don't believed it then "pizza". AHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA 😂

  • Miu Chan

    What is the program you use? Or does it come with that special tablet?

  • Guard Dog

    Ross, you're a good artist, but damn…. you talk too much.
    More painting, less yakking.
    … and less pizza talk; you're making me hungry and it's too late to run out and get a pizza.

  • Pauline danse sa vie

    She really looks like Fallon in Dinasty 😂😍

  • Mirage Fox

    send your book to Brazil??? i love your work Ross… excelent tuto… hugs

  • Sonja Baron

    Can you please do a tutorial than is on regular paper with regular pencil? (not on the cool screen that you have)

  • RainySense

    Pero….en realidad ….no ha explicado lo más importante no? La gente que haya entrado pensando que va a aprender… habrá quedado a dos velas

  • Typical Mouse

    What app do you useeee

  • Waengchu

    glad i have watched this video.. i've been avoiding doing hair in the past months but i guess, i'll try later with this guide.. thank you so much ross

  • Alexis Spaghetti

    crying in amateur artist

  • Leydi Duletzke

    Are all Ross' artists?

  • Harmonyny

    I'm new to drawing tablets and devices this channel and when I seen that thing I was
    I was s c a r e d

  • Blue Kookiedough

    But what if it’s a cheese pizza? Does that mean no highlights and such?

  • Andrea Kurth

    Did anyone notice the widow maker oú-la-la?

  • Mushi Plays

    Loved this! Thank you!

  • Hắc Miêu Nhi

    Perfect <3

  • Fluffy Potato

    Ross: Peperoni
    Me: Pineapple

  • LinFeng1992

    Do you draw lines mainly use brush or pen tool?

  • LinFeng1992

    Also, what’s the anime at 6’25” anyone knows? XD


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