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4.6 Creating Shadows and Highlights for Hair

In this lesson, we’ll be looking at adding detailing to the hair. We’ll be adding a new base shape, shadows and highlights to add depth to the flat silhouette hair.

Color Guide

  • Hair “base”: #3c3029 / Blending Mode Screen, Opacity 40%
  • Hair shadow: #130500 / Blending Mode Normal, Opacity 50%
  • Hair highlight/shine: #3c3029 / Blending Mode Screen, Opacity 50%

4.6 Creating Shadows and Highlights for Hair

Hey all. Welcome back to Vector Portraits for Beginners on Tuts Plus. My name is Sharon Milne, and in this lesson, we're gonna look at adding shading to the hair. With how the hair's been rendered in silhouette, there's technically no line art for it. It's already one big massive line art. So therefore, it doesn't have any base color to it. So the first thing we're going to need to do, is create a base color for the hair. Start by creating a new hair layer above the hairline art layers. Drag the layer with the base shapes in above the hair layer. We're gonna be interested in the base shapes for the hair and we're gonna set it to Outline mode. This is so we can clearly see the outlines for the fringe or the bangs, and the outline of the skull, and for the dimensions of the bow. For the detailing of the hair, we're gonna be using our tapered brushes, specifically the original tapered brush. This is gonna be used throughout the hair shading process. I'll be using the Paintbrush tool, however, you can use the Pen tool if you wish. I'm using a tablet, so it speeds the process up using the Paintbrush tool. If you're using the mouse, I would recommend using the Pen tool. It will take a bit longer though. I'm going to be using the brown which is being used for the line art. I'm setting the Blending mode to Screen so you can easily see the strokes. Start off by drawing the strokes for the bangs. Follow the curve of the hair and don't worry if the strokes are overlapping. Then go around, draw in the strokes for the bow for each one of the sections. When you're finished, start working in some strokes that go through the thicker masses of hair. So let's make the hair all one color now. Select all of your strokes and go to Object > Expand Appearance. This will change all of your strokes to fills. Now we need to combine them all by going to Pathfinder and Unite. I'm going to reapply the Blending Mode Screen and change the Opacity to about 30%. And here we have our base color for the hair. We're going to need to add some shadows to this. And we're going to add some shine to the hair. So let's look at the shadows first. We want to keep it simple and focus on the key areas of the hair to help define these regions. The first area will be along the hairline. Hair, regardless of color, will always be dark at the root. This is because it's first, in shadow, and secondly, the longer the hair is, the more exposure it's had to the sun. The sun does have a lightening effect. The next area we'll be adding strokes is between the skull and the bow. We'll want to define the bow clearly, so it's not as confusing for the viewer to actually have a look at the portrait. So let's go ahead and add these areas of shading. As before, when you're done, go to Object > Expand Appearance, and use Path Finder > Unite. I've given these shapes an off-black, dark brown fill, and set it to 40% opacity. I've then added some additional strokes to around the edges of the bangs. This is so you can clearly see them from the skull. [BLANK_AUDIO] Then let's add highlights to the shine of the hair. These areas of detailing should be dense, but there shouldn't be large masses of them. Try to have maybe one or two areas of shine per section of hair. Focus on the curves of the hair. This is specifically where the highlights and the shines will be. Once you're done, go to Object > Expand Appearance, and Path Finder > Unite. Offset these specific shapes to Blending Mode Screen, opacity 80%. And that's your hair done. [BLANK_AUDIO] Next time on Vector Portraits for Beginners, we're gonna be looking at adding detailing via makeup. This is a lot of fun and this is where you can really get creative. Thanks for listening.

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