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paint the hair

Painting portraits is a great hobby that gives a lot of pleasure to both the artist and the sitter. However, it is better for both of you if the texture, color and flow of the hair closely resemble the model. Follow these steps to get more realistic colors in your next portrait.

Before painting the hair, you should always have the rest of the face finished first. The flesh color extends to the hairline. This is so the flesh color shows through and the hair doesn’t look unnatural. Remember that hair is much more than a layer, therefore you must paint it in layers. There are also hundreds of shades of hair color. To keep it as simple as possible, try to base each portrait with blonde, brown (this includes red), black, or gray.

Underneath paint the entire area of ​​the hair with a very light mixture of one of these colors. These are called shades. This underpainting will actually be the highlight because as you work, it won’t cover all of this. Notice where the dark or shady areas are and paint them. Now use a darker color and start stroking the strands of hair. Black is the complete opposite. Start with the darker undertones and then add lighter layers. Continue until you are satisfied with the results. It is very easy to overdo the hair. Know when to stop!

These are the colors you will use for any hair color.. Remember to apply the shades first.

Blonde (Reds) Titanium White, Medium Cadmium Yellow, (Alizarin Crimson)

Use Burnt Umber to darken blonde and red hair

Brown Titanium White, Burnt Umbrella

Use Cadmium Red or Ivory Black for red or blackish tones

black ivory black tones

Warm Black – Ivory Black and a hint of Brown

Cool Black – Ivory Black and a hint of Blue

Gray Titanium White, Ivory Black for a gray undertone

Warm gray – Ivory black and a touch of brown

Cool Gray – Ivory Black and a hint of Blue

Start the first coat or shades with a very watery mix of paint. Use a medium to large brush because you’re not painting detail. Do not try to paint individual strands of hair at this stage. Start adding more paint color to your brush and add a few more layers. Pull the brush in the direction of the hair flow. Use a liner brush to add some hints of individual strands. Add deep pockets of color to give the portrait depth. I added some deep shadow on the side of the neck.

Congratulations! You should be well on your way to becoming your own master portrait painter. As always, don’t forget to sign your painting.

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