Can you help me paint wet hair be­ing flung in an arc?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

Richard Gill, Canada

Naiha replies

Wet hair needs to be treated dif­fer­ently com­pared to dry hair. Its prop­er­ties change when it’s drenched, and this needs to be clearly re­flected in your art.

I use form to paint hair. First, I imag­ine the move­ment that I want to cap­ture – in this case a dy­namic hair flip. Next, I look for ref­er­ence images for the finer de­tails of how the move­ment should be por­trayed: for ex­am­ple, the po­si­tion of the head and hair at cer­tain mo­ments.

After I’m sat­is­fied with the gen­eral pose of the character and their hair, I fo­cus on how to give it the wet feel. Wa­ter changes the weight and the tex­ture of hair dra­mat­i­cally. Hair strands be­come heav­ier and darker, and are re­duced sig­nif­i­cantly in vol­ume. It’s also at its max­i­mum length when it’s wet, and strands tend to stick to each other, form­ing clumps.

When wet hair moves in an arc, it’ll be straighter than dry hair. The clumps will move as sep­a­rate en­ti­ties in the di­rec­tion of the arc. The closer the hair is nearer the scalp, the straighter it ap­pears. The wet clumps then start to thin out, and be­come sep­a­rated near the ends, which is caused by wa­ter drip­ping off it. Once I es­tab­lish the hair’s form it be­comes eas­ier to paint.

De­cem­ber 2014

Study how wa­ter changes the hair, the flow of the hair and the anatomy of a sin­gle clump, be­fore start­ing to paint.

Putting your re­search to­gether to come up with a rough form will serve as a guide and help you fin­ish the paint­ing.

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