I'm back! It was a fabulous trip to Utah, and I met lots of neat people, saw some great stores, and even had time to visit some family. Before I leave town again, I wanted to post a quick tutorial on coloring straight hair. I will post hair colors, coloring curly hair, and stuff like that in the future. For now, this is the most basic method of coloring hair with Copic Markers.
Coloring Long, Straight Hair
The technique I'm working with today is easiest done with brush nib of Sketch or Ciao markers, though it can be done with the fine point from Copics, it will just take a lot more streaking.
The picture I'm coloring today is of this simple girl that I just drew with a 0.2mm Multiliner SP onto color laser copier paper. In the artwork you can already see where the light is coming from and where the deepest shadows will be. Here are a few things to consider before we finish coloring the picture.
To really get nice looking hair you have to understand a few things about hair:
• Hair is not all one color
• Hair catches light in small clumps, not flat
• Healthy hair is shiny, and shiny things have more contrast
• Hair has layers, a front side, a backside, and it curves around your head
When coloring hair, keep in mind:
• ALWAYS color in the direction the hair grows
• Streaks are OK, and the back of the paper doesn't need to be soaked.
• Try lots of different color combos until you get the look you want
• Pay attention to where you put your shadows.
• As you layer colors, leave bits of the base color peeking through to give your hair dimension.
As you begin coloring hair you should practice on some scratch paper to get the technique down. I've noticed in my classes that a lot of people have trouble with basic feathering using the brush nib.
This technique is useful for feather blending, making grass, and other basic coloring so if you are not comfortable with feathering I urge you to practice, practice, practice!
I feather by holding the brush at a slight angle and lifting up at the end of each stroke. Consistency is the key. I want each stroke to start in the right place and lift up in the same place as well.
I want my hair to look a nice golden blonde color, so I'm going to lay down a base color of YR21. (Other good pale blonde base colors include Y00, Y11, Y21, YR31, though you should experiment on your own). You can see that with one color her hair looks OK, but it's not very exciting.
To make the hair appear shiny I am leaving highlights along the sunny front edge of the hair, and along the top of her head where the hair curves down to hang straight. The hair will be slightly darker on the shadow side of her head and down behind her head along the back of her neck.
Now I can accent her hair and darken it up by adding streaks of Y28. To get thinner streaks I hold the marker more vertical and use only the finest tip of the brush. I deepen the darkest shadow areas by letting the base colors dry then adding another layer of color. Always color in streaks and leave some of the lighter areas show through. This keeps the hair from looking too flat.
Notice how the darker yellow really tones down the hair. Now it looks more believable as a hair color and you can see shape of her head better. I hope this helps you as you color. Have a great day!