Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting a woman's hair, part of Digital Painting: Transforming a Portrait.
Okay. Well, now it's time to work on the Mom's hair. And, as I mentioned, each one of these subjects has a different hair type and style. So it gives us a opportunity to play with how you would render some of these different styles. And for Mom, it's the long straight hair look. And we're going to begin similarly to the way that we did before. And we're going to use the just add water brush at kind of a wide setting, to remove all of the detail from the hair.
And then, we'll come back and start to impart some individual hairs into it. With the end result being that the eye will connect the dots. And even though there are 100,000 hairs on this person's head, we'll only have to render a very small subset of those in order to fool the eye into thinking it's seeing much more detail. So let's get started. So, let's make sure we've got the hair layer selected. And I'm now going to go up here and we're going to adjust our brush up a little bit to a wider size.
I'm going to go up to, maybe not 100% in this case because the hair takes up so much space on the image that we can't have it 100%. But let's get started here. And I'm just going to go in, oh, we also want to make sure that we turn our resat down to zero, and now I'm just going to go in and follow the hair, and it looks like I can even get a little bigger here. So it looks like I will, up to 11, almost. So the idea here, as I've been saying, is to initially, we're removing the detail from the hair because that's photographic detail, that's exactly what the camera and in general what our eyes see.
And we don't want to look like a photograph, we want it to look like a painting. And I keep stating it, but by fooling the eye into thinking it's seeing more, that is more of a painterly technique. The camera doesn't know how to do that, it just records exactly what it sees. And here we can interpret it to be what we see and obviously we're using the photograph as the source which is a good thing because it does ensure that we're not going to stray too far from the look of the original person.
But it also means that we the opportunity to render this in a way that is not photographic. This part is pretty easy because it's very simple to just, especially in long straight hair like this, we can simply follow the directionality of the hair and wipe out the detail. And here is another spot where the, whoops, where the rotate tool really comes into use.
And one of the things that I try to do as much as I can, while I'm in the activity of painting or blending as we're doing here is, I try to make my strokes quickly, as much as I can. There are places where you want to have a little more surgical precision. But for the most part, now, a lot of these areas, I want to work with a certain amount of repeditity within my strokes. Partially what that does is it gives it a more spontaneous look.
And at least for my own style I like it to not always be absolutely perfect. It's all those little analog hiccups that happen in real physical art that makes it hand rendered. The hand is not perfect so there's going to be little inconsistencies from reality. And quite often an artist will get very stylistic, and render things maybe not even in the same proportions.
You know, they can really change things around as much as they want. Now, that was one area that I wanted to just point out. That is just the very tip of an earring, and there's so little there. We have no idea what the rest of the earring looks like, but this is a ideal, one of these cases of what is it. In this case, yes. We know it's an earring, but it's just calling attention to itself, and there's not enough there to tell anybody what it is. So that's the kind of thing that just gets eliminated, because it's not obvious what it is, and we don't know what kind of earring that was.
If we had some more information, it might have been possible to detail it a little bit more but there's just not enough there. However, when there are earrings and they are visible, generally I would render them similar to the way we've done the pearls on the mother and the girls little earrings too. So, the earrings on the mom would've been another area that would have gotten picked up but we didn't see enough. Now, when I get to the ends of the hair, it's hard to show this, but I'm swiping in such a way that the ends of the hair are going to be lighter pressure.
And we're going to have to do a little detailing down here since there was hair, if we turn this off for a second. See th, there was hair there, but it was kind of spilling over in a inelegant way. I'm not going to have all that hair up here. I'll probably even maybe paint some skin in around here and just have some hair falling kind of in the same attitude as the rest of the hair when we get to that part of the detailing.
So once again here, I'm just kind of ramping off and, pressure as I, quickly do these strokes. We've basically now got the hair kind of flattened out, so our next step will be to, start to reintroduce hair back into there. Although, I may just handle this right now just to fix it. So, I'm going to go back to the skin layer. All I need to do here is I'm just going to grab color right there.
Let's crank this up and we're just going to, and I may end up deciding to kind of hide some of this with hair but I want to at least get a sense of skin in place and then cover it back up with hair so it's making sense is what's going on there. And it's also, it's much darker down in here, I'm sure because there's no shadow. Excuse me, there's no light. On this side of her, so we'll go back and soften this up and even this is going to lighten up somewhat from the back lighting.
So this and add that in there and then let's soften all this up. Kind of split the difference and hide a certain amount of that with hair that we render. And so let's go back to the hair layer now.
These techniques work with subjects of any age or skin tone, and are perfect for memorializing moments a photo can't quite do justice to.
- Building the image nondestructively
- Extending the edges of your image for gallery wraps
- Removing distractions
- Handling patterns
- Making preliminary tonal adjustments
- Blending skin
- Adding lighting
- Using vignetting to focus on the subjects