Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Vector hair
  • Overview
  • Transcript

5.1 Modern Long Hair: Sketching and Base Shapes

After some initial theory work, you'll learn how to sketch out a series of styles for a modern long hair style with a shaved patch. Then you'll go on to render the base shapes.

5.1 Modern Long Hair: Sketching and Base Shapes

Hey all! Welcome back to Creative Vector Hair on Tuts+. My name is Sharon Milne and in this lesson, I'm going to start our fourth project. And that's creating a modern hairstyle of long, straight hair with a side undercut. Which is another name for part of the head which is shaven. You may have seen this sort of style on people like Natalie Dormer in The Hunger Games series. It's a fun style to create. In this lesson specifically, I'll be going over the sketch phase, and then creating the base shapes for this design, so let's get started. I had a very specific design in mind for this hair project, and it's half based on personal reasons. You see, for those who know me, I like to experiment with hair colors, and recently I've decided to shave part of my head. However, I have short hair and a shaven patch, so not long hair. So I wanted to replicate this design into vector. Now whilst this might be a new style, it will give you insight on how to create an all-over shape and head. So that is another style to add to your arsenal. I'm still gonna go through the motions, more of a best practice way of doing it, so I'm creating a realistic representation of the style. Therefore, I'll be starting with the sketching out of the skull, using the blood brush tool as I've done in previous projects. With part of the hair shaven, I'm going to need to show the skin underneath the hair. The shorter the hair, the more exposed skin you'll see underneath. So, I go into the portray layer and sample the color from the skin and place it in the side and the new layer. Creating a new layer below the portrait layer, I draw around the guide with the skin color to fill out the rest of the skull using the pen tool. I use a direct selection tool to tweak the handles to create a more smooth shape. It does not have to be perfect when it is such a small area, but if you have got a full shaven head you may need to be a bit more strict with the curves. The problem you may have is that the original portrait did not have a shaven head. How do you know what colors would be merging into the area of the skull. You have to estimate what this color would be. Now we know from looking at the portrait that the light is in front of the subject. So therefore, towards the edges of the skull, it should be darker. What I need to do is then fill out the new shape to blend in with the rest of the skin tone. So you don't have any broken edges for what would've been the hairline. As the skin shading, in this case, has been constructed with several shapes of low opacities and gradients, you can just eyedropper the edge of the vector. And that will blend in with the rest of the skull. At least not an illustrator, that is. So I'm going to screenshot my illustration and paste it into a new document in Adobe Photoshop. I then use the eyedropper tool to sample the darker color around the hairline and apply it to the new shape for the head underneath the portrait. Then with a new layer on top of the portrait, I add some additional shapes with the pen tool to hide some of the darker areas. It's still not blended into the forehead, so let's take this another step, further. Using the sampled color as a stroke color, I use a default bristle brush in the brushes panel to draw around where the forehead meets the new shapes to help even out the color. Bristle brushes are great for adding soft color into transition without creating a hard edge. These strokes are set to blending mode normal, as I don't want to alter the color of the head behind the portrait. Now that the skull is rendered, it's time to start sketching out our design using the Blob Brush Tool. I'll start in the same way as I would with any other design and map out the hairline to the portrait. I then draw in the side parting. This is important as I want the shaven part of the head to be at one side of the parting. The first mass of hair sketched is the hair coming away from the shaven area on top of the head. I'm going to sweep across the front of the forehead. Due to the thickness of the hair, remember to create some volume around the parting. Then create the volume behind the shaven patch. Make sure that the volume is similar to the one of the hair on top. As this sketch is right now, it is very similar to the hairstyle I've had a couple of months ago, but we're wanting longer hair for this design. I'm going to lower the opacity of the design, and use it as a guide to create a longer hairstyle. I'll be keeping the shaven patch in exactly the same place. The top half of the sketch will be more or less the same, with the tweak of the cowl's lick at the front exposing the hair line. The back of the portrait will show the hair flowing down behind her shoulders. I finished off the sketch by tidying it up with the eraser tool and then refining the hairlines. Now that I have the sketch in place, it's time to begin rendering the base. Let's start with working on the hairline. I'll be using the paintbrush tool and the tapered brush. So nothing is new here, apart from the actual placement of the hairline. When you have a shaven patch, the hairline is redefined. It's not just along the front of the hair but it's also around the area which has been shaven. Of course, there's technically a hairline all along the front of the hair, but this shaving patch has hair so short it wouldn't make sense to render it in this method, as we're catering for the longer hair. So, as you would, draw your strokes in the direction of the hair, and make sure as much of the strokes overlap. Then select all of the strokes and Object Expand, and then Pathfinder Unite. You won't have one solid shape. I'll give you gold stars if you can do this with one shape. So I'll be going back with our trusted block brush tool and combining all the shapes together. I go in with the pen tool to complete the hair on top of the head. Note that I cut the shape around the ear as the hair around the ear will be in the base shape behind the head. Remember to draw this shape around the middle of the hairline shapes. Then let's go back to the block brush tool and unite the shapes and the gaps. For this to work as a shortcut, the fill colors must be the same. However, you've got no reason to change the fill color as you do in these bases, so don't worry. You may have noticed that the hair overlapping the face is unnaturally smooth. Hair isn't like that, right? Well, to rectify this, I am going to go in the triangle tapered brush and draw strokes coming down from the hair. This will create a more natural base for this area of the hair. Then I select these strokes with the hair base, go to Object Expand, then Pathfinder Unite to make them one shape. For the hair in the back, I create a new layer below the skin and portrait layers. Then with the pen tool, I draw the shape for the hair. Be sure to zoom in and use the direct selection tool to make sure that the lines that meets the top and below bases have some curves. It needs to give the appearance that they aren't two different shapes. So this will help ensure that you've got a convincing base shape to work from. And with that, our base is all complete. Next time on Creative Vector Hair, I'll be showing you how to render this hairstyle, including the long hair, and the shaven patch. Thanks for listening.

Back to the top