Many ppl asked how I draw manes digitally. I did a little step by step tutorial to give you the general idea behind. I know this method isn't the best around, but its perfect if you doesn't have a tablet or a reliable mouse. For example I like using this method when I work on my laptop touch-pad.
I won't go into small details, but I try to write down the basics.
Please note, the uploaded pic is juts a rough illustration, but I think it's enough for a helping reference.
Ok so these are the steps:
TIP: for the hair/mane/tail/... you should use a separate layer! (BUT please note the whole thing should be on one layer with this method)
1. Draw the general shape of the hair/mane/tail or whatever you want. You need only one base color for this. You don't have to draw strokes here, just define some shape.
Tools: NO smudge, just a simple plain brush.
2.a. open your color palette and choose some additional colors you want to add. (usually it's the darker and lighter tones of the base color you picked, but it can be anything you like)
2.b. now change the width of your brush, make it smaller to draw "thin" strokes. Check the reference image and try to make something similar. (Imagine how the hair strands would fall, and try to follow it with your strokes "over" the base color made in step 1.)
Tools: a simple brush, no smudge! Choose something that you can use to draw "thin" strokes.
3. now pick up the smudge tool. You should choose a small brush width here, but try it yourself which one suits you more. According to the reference pic -> smudge the strokes together, but follow the lines you drawed!
(important: avoid messing it together. Try to keep the general flow you did earlier.)
Tools: smudge with a suitable brush setting
TIP: The more you work with it the more beautiful the strokes will become, this applies for the width of your smudge tool too. if you choose a very small brush you can do more realistic and natural looking surfaces! As you can see I didn't go with a small one, but I hope you can get the idea
4. Pick up the dodge/burn tool. Imagine how would the light appear on the surface. According to this add lighter and darker areas with the dodge/burn tool. The more you dodge a given target the more "shiny" it becomes, the more you burn an area the more dark and "strong" it appears. Try to check the last step, sou you will get the idea what it is for
Tools: simple dodge/burn tool the way you desire it.
5. switch back to your smudge tool. Try to work the additional parts together to smooth and blend the surface. You should follow the stroke lines while you smudge!
The tip I gave at step 3 applies here too!
Tools: simple smudge tool with a small brush
6. This last step uses smudge and the eraser. As you can see I added some additional strands here. This way it will really look like hair/fur/mane or whatever you want. You can play with this step easily, just try to use smudge on the edges, this way you can make the threads and strokes. If you use a very small brush for this, you can make beautiful and thin threads. In my ref pic I used a medium sized one. It's not really good, but still you can identify it
(or at least I hope so lol...)
So the more time you spend with this method, the more natural and realistic it will become.
If you don't understand something feel free to ask!
I hope this tutorial was helpful.
(and sorry for my bad english! >.<)