Advertisement
Illustration

Easily Make Shiny Realistic Vector Hair

by

This tutorial will show the intermediate Adobe Illustrator artist how to easily make realistic-looking shiny vector hair. We'll be creating S shapes and using them to construct natural looking hair. You should have a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator tools before you begin this tutorial.

Final Image Preview

Let's have a look at the image we'll be creating.

Step 1

Start by using the Pen Tool (P) and draw a nice curved shape. Make sure your lines are smooth and don't have jagged points.

Step 2

Give the line a tapered look by using the Artistic Ink Palette. Go to the top of the screen and select Window > Brush Libraries > Artistic > Artistic_Ink. Select the Tapered-Sharp brush. You'll need to adjust the weight of your line so that the hair is thin. As you can see, I've used a weight of 0.25 pt.

Step 3

Notice how the end of the hair is thin and realistic looking. What also adds to the realism is the fact that the line is nice and smooth. Repeated practice with the Pen Tool will enable you to feel more comfortable drawing natural-looking objects. It just takes a little practice!

Step 4

Draw several more S shapes to build up a large volume of hair. Vary their weight and curvature to add variety. You can also duplicate and alter some of the existing shapes.

Step 5

Note the randomness of each hairs length, thickness, and curvature.

Step 6

Achieve a solid mass of hair by drawing an S shape and making it black. We'll place this shape behind the hair we've just drawn to fill in any white gaps.

Step 7

Give the shape a shadow to add dimension to it.

Step 8

Move the shape you just drew behind the individual hairs. See how the hair looks thick and complete?

Step 9

Small details like highlights give the hair a completely different feel. Draw several curved shapes that we'll use as highlights on various parts of the hair.

Step 10

Make the curved highlights white and place them over the top of the hair in places where light looks like it should be reflecting.

Step 11

Add more highlights and adjust their transparency to give the impression of less reflection. It's looks more realistic if a bright reflection is adjacent to a not-so-bright reflection.

Step 12

Careful not to add too many highlights as this will overpower the subtlety of the effect. This is what your hair should look like.

Step 13

The background is simply created using the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Once you draw the shape, add a nice gradient to compliment the hair. The contrast between the rich black hair and the vibrant red background helps the image come to life!

Final Image

Here is what your completed illustration should look like!

Related Posts
  • Design & Illustration
    Tools & Tips
    Quick Tip: How to Create Tapered Lines in InkscapeTapered 400 3
    I love tapered lines in Inkscape because you can make them as simple as you want, or as complicated as you need them. This quick tip will go over the basics of tapered lines, using the Path Effect Editor, and a neat drawing comprised of tapered lines entirely.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Draw Hair and Clothes for a Virtual Dress-Up Doll in Illustrator400
    This has always been my favorite part of playing with dolls: dressing them up! If you're playing along with the Community Challenge, this is where the base body comes in handy. Join me in Adobe Illustrator where we'll draw hair and clothes with the Blob Brush Tool, make a Clipping Mask, use the Blend Tool, and apply various Blending Modes to objects within our vector work to create better transitions between elements.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Animation
    Kandi Runner: Create a Ready-to-Animate Vector Game SpriteSprite400
    There are few projects more fun than drawing out video game character concepts. The colors, the clothing, and the overall design have few limitations for the concept artist. We'll be drawing a vector character ready for animating in Adobe Illustrator and more in this three part tutorial with the After Effects and Game Development teams on Tuts+. Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Create a Dark Fairy Tale Character in Adobe IllustrationFt400
    Classic fairy tales, like those collected by the Brothers Grimm or written by Charles Peraullt and Hans Christian Andersen are excellent sources for concept art. In this tutorial, we'll be focusing on Beauty and the Beast, a piece originally written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and popularized by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. Each version of the story, adapted by numerous authors into a variety of media, has its own additions and subtractions to the original story. Concept art like this gives the artist creative freedom to work with an established character and add their own spin to the tale. Fire up Adobe Illustrator and get ready to design a dark and fantastically detailed design.Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Create a Beautiful Set of Zodiac Portraits in Illustrator - Part TwoPreview 400
    Welcome back for part two of the kawaii zodiac set! In this tutorial, we'll focus on some of the techniques already gone over in the first part, complete the next six designs, and add a cute little background to each astrological sign. Get your Pen Tool ready because we're diving right in!Read More…
  • Design & Illustration
    Illustration
    How to Create a Beautiful Set of Zodiac Portraits in Illustrator - Part OnePreview 400
    There isn't a project more fun in my opinion than creating a cohesive set of designs. This enjoyment doubles when it's something an audience can relate to; enter the signs of the zodiac. Regardless of your thoughts about the validity of astrology, the symbolism and graphic interpretations of zodiac signs are a fun topic for an illustrator to handle. I'll be firing up Adobe Illustrator and building cute hair designs for little girl faces in a zodiac theme. In this tutorial, we'll be looking at creating the face and the stylings for the signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo and Leo.Read More…