I love to render thick manes of long hair. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m familiar with them. From age fourteen to thirty, I dragged around my own head of long heavy hair that reached nearly to my ankles. Why, you may ask? Couldn’t really tell you. I just…grew it.
It’s much more fun to saddle my characters with outrageous tresses than to actually wear them myself. There is not however, any real secret to confide about how to render quick and easy digital Photoshop hair. There is however, a bit of a shortcut. In a word, it’s a brush. A “hair” brush. Make a few of them. They’re really useful for getting the strands going, after you’ve laid in the values that forecast the shapes of the curls or bunches of hair.
I always work at least five times bigger than the print size. *First -I lay in the shapes of the darks and lights *Second-I use my “hair” brushes or make more to fit the tresses. This creates many quick layers of hairs to build dimension. *Third-I use a big round soft brush with low opacity and a cool color to “glaze” areas I want to push back *Fourth-I use my “hair” brushes where appropriate, usually with a lighter warmer color *Fifth-I use a small round brush and begin to draw each hair. Sometimes I repeat steps 3 through 5 many many times until I achieve a messy organized chaos. For me, that’s the look that works.