I've been painting hair! It has not been as painstaking or difficult as I thought it would be. I'm not finished yet, there are a few highlights I still want to put in the hair, but I'm happy with how it is coming along. Below are some progression images of the painting at various stages, It has changed a fair bit throughout the painting process, as most of my painting do.
'Too often painters get lost in detail,
trying to paint every last strand or curl
instead of concentrating on a unified,
overall effect'. 1
Capturing an overall effect and not painting everything little detail is something that I learnt while painting my first MPC painting of a plant in a Glass Jar called 'Plant Cutting from Mum'. To begin with I was painting every little root in the glass and as a result it looked like a jumbled mess of lines instead of what is actually was, roots in a jar. To resolve the painting I had to be more selective as to which roots I choose to depict and had to give a more generalised indication of the subject matter. This knowledge can be (and was) transferred over to painting hair. As a matter of fact, the whole idea of capturing an overall effect when ones paints is something that I will keep in mind when painting in general.
Below is some really, really helpful advise from Nicole Pellegrini over on ehow. Nicole says 'Whether you are striving for classical realism or a more modern, impressionistic portrait, a few specific techniques will improve your oil painting results for painting hair'. 1 She List them as followed:
Here is my pre-mixed palette, following the above suggested colour mixes. I thought to myself "really orange highlights? Her hair is going to look orange and so, so wrong." but I turns out my doubts were unjustified.
And now for the most helpful video I found on painting hair. This guy (lancenporter) uses acrylic and a very limited palette, he is also painting a red head, but his principles for painting hair can be transferred to painting in oil. If you get a chance, head on over Youtube and have a look at Lance's channel, he has fantastic instructional videos.
How to Paint Hair Part Two.wmv
And now for some inspirational artwork I've been looking at for examples of how other artist tackle hair.
John Howard Sanden
E Phillips Fox
Further Link of interest that I have looked at recently: