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3.1 How to Paint Hair in Photoshop Without a Tablet

In this lesson, you will learn how to create a set of custom hair Photoshop brushes that can be used without a tablet. This set of brushes is ideal for painting flyaways and hair extractions.

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3.1 How to Paint Hair in Photoshop Without a Tablet

Welcome back to The Ultimate Guide to hair in Photoshop. One of the most overlooked tools in a photo manipulators arsenal, is a good static hairbrush. Brushes that offer no fancy pressure sensitivity options, but can still help build you a full head of dynamic feeling hair. These kinds of brushes are also ultra quick to make yourself, and even quicker to use. So let's start off with any stock image with a whole lot of hair, on a simple plain background, just to make things a bit easier. The darker the hair the better, but as you can see here, blonde will do, just fine. Assuming it's not platinum. Next, you're going to create two adjustment layers above your image. The first being a black and white gradient map, to make the image grayscale. The next will be A Levels adjustment layer. Now just like in a couple of the earlier videos, we are going to play with the level sliders until the hair strands are a solid black, and the background is a solid white. You don't want to push the contrast too far, or else your strands of hair will become crispy and over processed. We can clean up any leftover background a little later on, no need for perfection. But first, let's choose a section of hair with the lasso tool. You want to try and focus on a section of hair that is a standalone section. Kind of meaning it's separate from the rest of the hair, and its own little chunk. Once your section is selected, add a layer mask to the image. Next, hold Ctrl and click on the layer mask, and then hit crop. The crop will become the exact size of your new strands of hair, which is precisely, what we need. Now we can take a soft round brush to clean up and mask out any areas of the background that may still be left behind. You can also make any final tweaks to the adjustment layers, if needed. Finally, let's create the brush by going to edit the fine brush preset. And that's it, no fiddling with brush settings this time around at least. Let's jump into an old PSD of mine and give it a test. Here, I Use this brush to add even more of this flowing whipping hair. When using this type of brush, try and use the brush settings panel to adjust your hairs angle and to flip the brush both horizontally, and vertically, adding some variation in your hair. You can also use a soft brown eraser brush to clean up any harsh edges or repetitive hair strands. In reality though, you are better off with a few different brushes to choose from. In this image I use a combination of the brush we just created along with a few brushes I made with the red haired models from before. With them I was able to recreate this models flowing along hair in just a matter of minutes. These are an excellent tool for any artists to have in their back pocket. Even if you have a drawing tablet, go ahead and give that pen arrests. Speaking of which, though, this couldn't be called the Ultimate Guide to hair in Photoshop without covering tablets and creating our very own pressure sensitive hairbrush, coming up next

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