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Vector hair
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2.2 Hollywood Blonde: Rendering the Hair

Hey all, welcome back to Creative Vector Hair on Tuts+. My name is Sharon Milne and in this lesson I'm going to show you how to render this blonde, glamorous hairstyle inspired by Hollywood red carpets. I have my sketch layer on top of my base layer so I can see the shapes of the soft curls as well as the direction of the hair. I'm going to lock those layers and then place and then create a new layer. I'm going to use a dark, sandy stroke color from the beach pallets I've got from the Adobe Illustrator swatch libraries, and then use our tapered brush. I'm going to set the Blending mode to Multiply. This is so when I draw the strokes, I can clearly see them against the hair base and sketch. Using the pen tool, I'm going to first follow the sketch to define where the curls and parting are. This is so I can hide the sketch to make it easier to see my strokes. Anything you can do to make rendering easier for you, do it. I then reduce the stroke weight 0.5 points, so it's more in proportion with the mass of hair that I'm working with. Then I'll reduce the Opacity to 20%, so I can build up on the strokes. The initial strokes I draw help to determine the direction of the hair. I draw these with the paintbrush tool. These are structuring strokes which help make the process a lot easier. So I start by first drawing strokes along the hairline and parting. I then use them to the connect the hair to the edge of the shape. I use the same process for the hair under the curl of the front of the hair, otherwise known as a cow's lick, and structure the hair from the partings and hairline. It may be tempting to draw long strokes for the long curls. This is great if you've got steady hand, but chances are it will end up getting a bit too chaotic and messy. So draw shorter curved strokes along the wave in the hair until the area is covered. I then go in and select the initial guiding strokes for waves and parting, and increase the Opacity to 50%. Let's now start adding hair to the back part of the hair. Create a new layer on top of the shapes for the back bases, and with the same settings, create strokes in the same way as you've done on the top of the hair. Again, we're creating guiding strokes. One of the reasons you work with low opacity Multiply strokes is so you can layer them upon each other and create darker and varied tones. So let's begin adding strokes on top of each other to create parts of the shadowed areas of the hair. This is typically in the troughs of the curls, under the cow's lick, in the parting and the root of the hair. This further defines the shapes of the hair and helps to bring more dimension to it. Then when you finished with one tone, select all the strokes and group them together. Do this with the hair in the back too. This is so it's easier to go back to any group and play with the settings, should you need to. Let's start adding some gradients to the hair. Using transparent radial or linear gradients, depending on the location where they are placed, can help add gradual shadows and highlights to the hair. So I'm gonna start by creating a transparent radial gradient using the dark sandy color on both of the points, and setting the outer point to 0% Opacity. Then using the pen tool for accuracy, I'm going to use that gradient as a fill to add one shape to part of the darker areas of one of the waves. I then set it to Blender mode Multiply. Use the same process to add further gradients throughout the hair to add shadows and definition to the curls and masses of hair. Remember to use the gradient tool should you need to reposition the gradient source. Then when done, group these shapes together. Duplicate the hair base, and using the Appearance panel, add multiple fills with the gradient. Using the gradient tool, place the source at the parting, the roots, the edges of the hair, and under the cow's lick. I then add gradients to the back of the hair. I then go around the hair to modify the shapes, so they more accurately fill the given areas of the hair. I use the direct selection tool to modify the handles and add some additional gradients where required. I feel rather happy with the shadows, so it's time to add the highlights and shines. You do exactly what you did before, however this time, setting the Blender mode to Color Dodge, and Opacity to 50%. You'll find at this stage the hair really starts to pop, and you can start seeing a more detailed and realistic style of rendering. However, don't be fooled, we've still got a lot to do. When you start playing with the contrast of the hair by adding shadows and highlights, sometimes you need to go back and add or modify the previous shadows you've laid to balance out the contrast. So I'm going back into the hair base layer to add further shadows. This time the new fills will be set to Blender mode Color Burn, and Opacity 60%, to add a darker but slightly more burnt orange hue to the hair. If you remember, when I was initially putting down the guiding strokes, I also began adding shadowed strokes to add dimension to the waves and parting. Well now it's time to add shine and highlight to the curls. I'm going to use the light sandy stroke color with our tapered brush, and begin adding strokes to the peaks of the hair. These strokes will be set to Blender mode Color Dodge and Opacity 15%. I find if I use Blender mode Screen I will get more of a white tone to the hair, whereas Color Dodge helps to add tones that are less white and complimentary to the hair. This works well with blonde hair, but if you do it with darker tones you might be better using Blending mode Screen. This is when you'll have to experiment with opacities and Blending modes, as it always depends on the underlying colors you use. Now to balance out the contrast, I'm adding shadow strokes set to Blending mode Multiple, Opacity 40%. I first add to the hairline and the parting. When you're adding these strokes, overlap them slightly onto the skin to create a more blended, natural look to the hairline. Then continue adding the strokes across the rest of the hair. As much as I'd like our hair to be very sleek and smooth, it doesn't happen. You have slight bits of hair flying out from the bulks of hair, so we're going to draw these. I'm going to use a pale, sandy color set to Blender mode Normal, Opacity 80%. This is so it takes on any colors from the underneath. I'm adding strokes to the tips of the hair and the sides. I also add these strokes into the main bulks of the hair to help blend in more. I always feel the hair looks more realistic and more natural with these strokes, and it adds a subtle movement to the style. And with that, we're finished our rendering. Next time on Creative Vector Hair, I'll take this finished rendering of the hair to produce four different variations by showing you some handy tweaks. Thanks for listening.

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