There's Hair Out There...
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Thread: There's Hair Out There...

  1. #1

    Default There's Hair Out There...

    Ok those of you who watched "Play School" on ABC will get the tune the title of this rhymes with...

    Anyway onto the meat and bones of the thread.

    I have been painting minis for a while but there is something I have always, always struggled with.
    That would be Painting Hair!
    I am going to guess that is has something do do with my decided bent towards infantry wearing powered armour (my Sisters are still in their blister packs).

    Yeah ok so slapping some paint on a mini's head and a few basic highlights works for most situations. If they are gaming minis it is likely that the hair will become chipped anyway. But if we are say, painting mini's for the sake of the painting (i.e. display) I for one would want my hair to look more real.

    At this point you might say, "Subby you realise you are painting models right?"

    But I wanted to put it out there, has anyone found a reasonable way of painting realistic (natural as you would see in hair that real people have) high lighting on hair of various colours. Hopefully this might become a resource everyone can use to help them paint any human hair they might need to do. Plus I am interested to see how my first real post on here goes.

    SO can anyone think of good quick ways of getting natural looking highlighting on hair?
    For say the following colours:

    Blonde - Natural Honey Blonde
    Blonde - Bleached Blonde

    Red - Dark, Ginger (classic redhead) and Light Red/Strawberry Blonde

    Brown - Dark, Chestnut and Light "Mousey" Brown

    Raven - Although this probable could be done well using payne's grey.

    White - Platinum White (like the streaks in Lady Deaths hair from the comics)
    Gray - Whitened from age

    Blue - Dark Dyed and Light Dyed Streaks
    Red - As Above
    Pink - As Above
    Purple - As Above
    Green - As Above

    The Photos below aren't super great but for examples of some testing I have done using washes (which didn't turn out too bad for just gaming, but not really what I am aiming for with this topic/thread).

    GW Dark Elf Death Hag:
    http://subsunderground.com/images/DE2.jpg

    Reaper Candy -Anime Heroine:
    http://subsunderground.com/images/Candy2r.jpg

    When I can I will get some shots of my WIP (nearly done) GW Gamesday Female Commissar up for the Honey Blonde Colour done using Reaper Master Series. It seemed to work out reasonably well for what I was aiming for.
    To see more insanity with miniatures visit my Blog:
    http://dsmpontifications.blogspot.com

    For Commissions:
    http://dasub.deviantart.com/journal/33254723/

    Templates and Tutorials:
    http://subsunderground.com/products/downloads.htm

    "Got a few ideas after rummaging through a friends bitz." - Chrome tells us about life in his Stormblade Project log...
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...ght=stormblade

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Sub
    But I wanted to put it out there, has anyone found a reasonable way of painting realistic (natural as you would see in hair that real people have) high lighting on hair of various colours. Hopefully this might become a resource everyone can use to help them paint any human hair they might need to do. Plus I am interested to see how my first real post on here goes.
    This is a great idea in principle but there's no one way to paint hair, in the technical sense, more than one type of end result, i.e. different styles (even when 'realistic' is desired), and no one set of colours to do any one of these. In short, it's much like anything else.

    Let's look at a few of the goals and methods:

    1. realistic as in believable
    2. realistic as in almost photographic

    A. paint illusory highlights (sort of like a form of NMM)
    B. rely on real sheen
    C. a bit of both

    i. start from lightest colour and work down
    ii. start from a midtone and work in both directions
    iii. start from darkest and work up

    a. use washes and drybrushiing
    b. use no washes or drybrushing at all
    c. use washes sparingly, no drybrushing

    So, for any one hair colour done by two painters, both looking for results 1 and A, but using methods ia and iiib respectively, they'll end up with things that look quite different despite having the same goal in their minds to begin with.

    And this is just the start of course, there are many more permutations than this if you really look at it closely.

    Einion

  3. #3

    Default

    I know exactly what you are saying Einion, and maybe I could have worded my post a little better. :-S
    I was mostly interested in the different approaches people take to get he looks they want, I added the list of hair colours as examples of the range of colours you might normally see on minis (and sci-fi ones in particular).

    I have noticed that hair in particular is often done as an afterthought unless is is a primary component of the total area on a miniature.
    Yeah it may seem a bit odd but considering about 75% of all the minis I have ever painted were either SM or CSM then being able to paint something other than armour can be interesting.
    Really liking the Incursion range of minis atm, a nice mix of textures and surfaces to paint.
    To see more insanity with miniatures visit my Blog:
    http://dsmpontifications.blogspot.com

    For Commissions:
    http://dasub.deviantart.com/journal/33254723/

    Templates and Tutorials:
    http://subsunderground.com/products/downloads.htm

    "Got a few ideas after rummaging through a friends bitz." - Chrome tells us about life in his Stormblade Project log...
    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...ght=stormblade

  4. #4

    Default

    I make no claims to being the best painter, but I've been told I paint hair pretty well. Another painter who's handling of hair I admire is Paintminion, she has a CMON gallery too. One thing I would say that we both share in common is that painting hair is very much not an afterthought for either of us, but an area of painting we very much enjoy and spend some time on (with nicely sculpted hair, at any rate).

    In my experience, colour choices are not particularly significant to making hair look like hair. They're important to the composition of the piece, and important if you're trying to simulate a particular natural colour of hair, but in theory you should be able to take any colour and use the same techniques to make it look like hair in terms of texture. (As Einion mentions, not everyone will use the same technique. When I last talked to her about it, Paintminion was starting from the shadow colour and working up, and doing a lot of glazes to smooth transitions and tone colour. I start mid tone and work up and down, and generally only use glazes if I want to tweak the colour.)

    So what makes it look like hair... contrast is pretty important, kind of like NMM. Shiny bright highlights on curls facing upwards closely juxtaposed to shadowing on curls that fold under curls. Taking the bright highlights and deep shadows more extreme and in tighter areas than with a more matte surface like cloth or leather. If you paint the layers on vertically with loose brushstrokes, it helps simulate the stranded feeling of hair. However, for the most part NOT thinking about strands or locks during the bulk of painting and when considering where to put highlights and shadows, but rather looking at the hair as a single surface (or a small number of surfaces if it's very broken up by wind or something), and then going in and detailing strands at the end. Curly hair is much more of a pain in the butt for that, and in general.

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