Friday, 19 August 2016

How to become a confident hair colourist in just 10 years!

The most common question that I'm asked on social media is " how do you colour hair like that?" I'm not going to lie, hair is hard to colour, It takes practise to get it to look somewhat right. So, I thought I'd share some tips about how I learned myself to colour hair in 10 years, (you read that right, it didn't happen over night)

The first image I coloured was a Tilda stamp, the finished colouring was flat and lifeless. I was so disappointed with myself, but posted the pic online anyway, along with a negative status. A lady answered with encouragement to keep going (at this point I was ready to throw in the towel) for some reason I decided to carry on.

I was inspired to learn how to colour by other online colourists that were further a long the line of their colouring experience. I wanted to be as good as them and be able to add depth of colour in order to bring an image to life. So when you read or are told not to compare, well my advice is do compare and use the comparison to be inspired by those colourist and remember they are only further along the road than you, it's up to you to catch up with practise and the desire to become a better colourist.

Don't get hung up on techniques. Colourist develop their style over many, many years. In my experience it is so difficult as a beginner to master their technique straightaway, All I seemed to do was set myself up for a fall, which filled me with too much frustration. Eventually I came to accept that I was at the early stage and needed to give myself the time to learn and develop my own style.

Watch youtube vids, especially colouring hair with coloured pencils. In my opinion these ones will help you to achieve a better understanding of the flow of hair and how to define hair.

To help define strands and sections of hair use a coloured pencil after using markers. Markers and pencils work so well together and you'll be happier with the end result.

Practise is important to build up muscle memory, the more practise you do, the more the mind remembers the action and if you keep practising, one day you'll have a Eureka moment and think "By jove, I think I've got it!"

More importantly enjoy the process. I learned to relax about it. Keep a folder of all your coloured images. Use the images to chart your journey. By looking back at how far you've come as a colourist, you'll be able to judge how far you can progress as a colourist. And those colourists that you compare yourself with today, you'll think I got there, I'm as good, if not better! You'll be searching for your next colourist candidate to be inspired by....Happy colouring

Join me at Art by Barb group, where you can collect this free image and sentiments. Ask me and my members for helpful advice and tips about colouring. Come Join in the fun!


  1. Thank you for those words of wisdom. You are exactly right in what you say and I think it is good to stretch yourself and have a goal to work towards in your coloring weather you be a beginner or a more experienced colorist their is always more to learn and we can learn off each other.
    Caroline x

    1. I completely agree with you Caroline, we never stop learning xx

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  3. Brilliant advice! I often combine markers and pencils, to me this seems to add more depth. Your colouring is as amazing as your artwork x

    1. The pencils definitely do add depth. I'd be lost with out them. Thank you for your kind words about my colouring. I have spotted a new colouring candidate on youtube, she's amazing at colouring hair, need to get