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:icondraconianrain: More from DraconianRain

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Submitted on
September 29, 2012
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This is possible in PS and SAI. In sai you will need pen tool and marker/water. In photoshop two brushes. One for strands and a soft brush like below where it says 6, 19 and 19. The first three brushes displayed:
Hiar Brusj by DraconianRain

First draw a line in the direction you want your braids to be in. Curved or straight. Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.39.56 by DraconianRain

Next draw a thick diamond shape, boxy if possible. Then from about halfway attatch another diamond shape.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.40.49 by DraconianRain

Continue this all the way down your guideline. You will end up with something like this below.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.44.19 by DraconianRain

Colour a flat base. The midtone of your braid and reasons why will be mentioned as we go.Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.47.13 by DraconianRain

If you are a cell-shader this tutorial will give you an idea on what to do but this is more aimed at realism and semi-realism but ask for help if you want to see this in other styles. Moving on.

Mark out the shadows coming in from both sides focusing on a lumpy fat heart shape. Where the diamond point is make the shadow this as this is where the hair pockets itself.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.54.09 by DraconianRain

Mark out in a quick way where you expect your lighting to be. This will help you visualize roughly how the end result will look.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.55.05 by DraconianRain

Next re-do the shadows, but thicker and in segments like below. Make sure one side overlaps the other side. Make sure that the rest of the hair overlaps from the same side all the way to the finish or it won't look right.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.57.47 by DraconianRain

Place some basic edge shading, you may have to go over it with the mid tone to bulk it out like below. Make sure that overlapping side becomes more prominent.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 09.59.29 by DraconianRain

With the skinny marker tool or the thick to thin 19 brush in the beginning do some streaks of lighting. Then over the top of that, refine details of lighting with a very thin inking brush for fine hair stroke details. Keep within the shadow segments for now.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.00.16 by DraconianRain

From the left which is where I made my dominant overlap, come from the outside inwards with your strokes. On the other side go from the center outwards so you keep the middle shadow visible. If we loose that shadow then it won't be to obvious later that it's a braid.

Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.00.56 by DraconianRain

Continue with thick guided streaks then refining detail over the top with a pen tool or some kind, segment by segment and the braid will start to take shape.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.01.56 by DraconianRain

When you are satisfied, for a more realistic look, add some strands on the outside. Make them come from the back to the front. Think of them as fishing hooks on the edges of the hair.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.05.02 by DraconianRain

For the second part of the braid, overlap the top a bit like below to make it more realistic. Do thicker and more braid like shaping in the shadow outline like in the beginning and repeat the process. From here I will post images one after the other until I get to a new step.
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.06.54 by DraconianRainSnap 2012-09-30 at 10.07.28 by DraconianRain
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.08.04 by DraconianRain
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.09.00 by DraconianRain
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.10.11 by DraconianRain
Refine and repeat
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.13.35 by DraconianRain
Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.14.37 by DraconianRain

In the pockets like in the beginning, use a multiple layer and re-add the shadow or if you're good with burn tool, you can use that. For added highlights of lighting use the dodge tool like below, if useing SAI use and illumination layer. And there you go, nice braids. They are very time consuming but worth the effort. Snap 2012-09-30 at 10.36.52 by DraconianRain

Happy braiding!
Drawing tutorial for drawing braided hair.
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Littlemissmarvel Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Where did you find the brush you used in the first step? I've looked through the library and online, is it brush presets?
DraconianRain Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's in the default brushes usually very far apart from each other making them hard to find. Usually you will find them if you go to the brush menu and reset or reload default brush presets you will find them. And it's also in one of my brush packs I've uploaded here on DA for people that can't find it. Here's a link…
MystiqMiu Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014
Thank you so much for this!!! I've been searching for something like this to create a custom long braid for the Sims 3 and every other braid was a side one and I desperately needed one that's straight in the back. This'll really help me make one, so thank you again!!!
DraconianRain Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad I could help.
WaffuMonsta Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay for this! I'm doing a portrait and wanted to put braids in, but had not idea on the coloring. This should help lots!
DraconianRain Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad you found this helpful. If you need extra help feel free to ask <3
MissEde Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist
oh wow! it really is such a pain to draw braids but that was so useful thanks!
your braid looks so shiny at the end!
DraconianRain Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you <3 And glad you found it useful! They are a pain but they are worth the pain.
MissEde Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist
no probs! so need to draw a character with braids now!! XD
DraconianRain Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
XD that's the spirit 8D I have to many lol I use to have a thing for OC's with braids. I had loads of practise at one stage and now I'm out of prac a bit with the shape but at least I remember how to do it XD It's worth a try though, the results can be really entertaining.
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