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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:20 pm
by marcib
This is for a student who is having a little trouble with hair

reference photos



I erased the hair is Paint Shop and then printed out a copy for myself and put the copy inside a plastic page protector so I could paint on it.

Apply solid coverage of darkest color ( if the photo shows one side of the hair to be dark and one side light.. or if some large sections of hair are lighter or darker, you can paint those lighter or darker .. but this is basically to lay out the texture of the hair. As long as you ultimately have enough light pulled out when you are finished with this complete texturing , you can then add more darks and also do washes of color to change the color and value of diffferent sections of the hair )

Them using a texture brush ( this can be jane marcks' tendril brush , which is what I used, splayed out so that the hairs are as seperated as possible .. or a hake brush or rake or grass brush or any sort of brush that will let you scratch through the paint to make hair texture . )
Starting with the hair sections that are underneath other sections, sweep the brush across it as if you were brushing the hair. Follow the direction of the hair growth and do a continuous stroke so you dont have hair texture starting and stopping in the middle of a strand .
Then do the same for any sections that lay on top .


Continue to refine the hair textures...pulling out highlights by using a brush dipped in brush cleaner and blotted well... and by pulling little single hairs across strands and doing flyaway hairs on the edges .....
You can use the brush to take away color ( highlights etc ) and also to add color ...

Make sure all the strands start and end in a logical place ( Ie. hair grows out of your scalp .. so a hair texture will not start in the middle of a strand of aware of the hair style ... long hair will usually not have short flippy strands coming out of nowhere . It will all be a similar length ....)
This isnt as refined as I would have it if I were working on a portrait . I would be doing more work to make sure that I dont have all those choppy little hairs ... but this , hopefully , gives you an idea of where to start.

It takes as much time to do hair properly as to paint any other aspect of a portrait .
After this texturing fire, the hair will look a little harsh .. but in the next fire, you will wash color over it and also add some dark strands as needed and this will tie it all together .

Here is a current piece I am working on :


Basic start of the hair ... just laying in strong dark color .


starting to lay in the direction of the textures with the tendril brush


adding some cross strands and flyaway hairs ( note that I have pulled some highlighted strands into the water as well .. to do this, the background color was wet as well as the hair )


Refining the textures a little more ... I will still pull a little stronger highlight out in a few places before I fire this ... Then on the next fire, I will do color washes over the hair ( browns and yellow browns ) and add back in some of the darks that got lost as I was texturing it ...


Hope this helps.

Re: hair

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:42 pm
by Bev Tidd
This is a really good hair lesson for all of us. I'm one who really learns from the step by step photos along with the description of what to do. Thank you Marci!!!

Re: hair

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:17 pm
by marcib
Hi Bev, Glad you found it. I posted it for a student from one of my workshops from last year .