Q&A: Beautiful hair
Kathleen Berkey, US
Whenever I’m painting hair, whatever type or style it is, I try and think of it as a whole body of hair that moves and flows together. Rather than trying to paint thousands of strands individually, I produce much better results when I think about hair forming into sections. Most types of hair (whether it’s straight or curly) will group together and form these sections that naturally rest together. I’ve always found it helpful to think about hair behaving in a similar way to fabric, in the way that it can rest over an object and follow the form of it, has a certain weight to it and has a natural flow. First, I sketch out the shape of the hair, thinking about the sections of hair and how they can rest together. I add a brown colour for my mid-tone and then apply lighter and darker shades for the shadows and highlights. I then introduce shadows where the hair rests over itself and would create a shadow. Highlights are in areas where hair catches the light: the crown of the head, the braid where sections of hair are pulled together and on lots of the wavy sections of hair. To finish I paint in some finer strands.
You can paint beautiful types of hair in Photoshop and they can be as realistic
or stylised as you’d like.
I break the hair down into sections and think of it in chunks to work out how the hair rests together, as I’ve highlighted here.