Step-by-step: De­pict long hair blow­ing in the wind

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1 I first sketch out the ba­sic shape of the hair that I want, keep­ing in mind the shape of its move­ment and the ba­sic 3D shape that the hair is built from. In this ex­am­ple, the hair is mak­ing a large wav­ing curve shape, so I make sure that this form is pro­nounced and dy­namic. I then break the shape into ba­sic planes.

2 I add de­tail to the hair shape with line art to de­fine the smaller hair groups. I do this on top of the rough-sketched ba­sic hair shape on a new layer and use a small brush that has Shape Dy­nam­ics turned on, Min­i­mum Di­am­e­ter set to 0 per cent and Trans­fer turned on, with Opac­ity and Flow set to Pen Pres­sure, set to 0 per cent.

3 Then I add the colour and light­ing to the hair, think­ing of the 3D shape it makes and us­ing this to work out where the light­ing hits it and where the shad­ows form. I clean up the hair, by mo­tion blur­ring the tips and Gaus­sian blur­ring more dis­tant ar­eas. I also soften the lines by blur­ring to soften them, but not re­mov­ing the de­tail.

Add dra­matic flair and con­trast to your im­age by mak­ing the most of nat­u­ral light for­ma­tions such as cre­pus­cu­lar rays, am­bi­ent fog and rim light.

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