How to Create Realistic Hair on Illustrator

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Creating hair is one thing - creating realistic hair is something else entirely. Create realistic hair on Illustrator with help from a well-versed web, graphic and illustrative designer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Using Adobe Illustrator
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Alex Cecilio; I'm a Graphic Artist, and I'm going to show you how to make realistic hair in Illustrator. So, what I've done here is I've already drawn my person that has hair because I'm going to basically show you what makes hair look more realistic than say, it looks right now. So, the first thing you're going to want to do is just make a fake light source just to remind yourself so you can go and use the line tool if you want, just draw like the line that will indicate where your light is. And actually make sure most of these on a separate layer; the highlights I'm going to add a whole different layer simply because it will just make this a little bit easier to mess around with. So, I'm going to use this tool right here which is the eyedropper tool and it's going to select the color that I've picked and I'm just going to pick a highlight color based on this color. So, I'll use that. And I've, I'm going to use the paintbrush tool and the reason we're using the paintbrush tool is because there's a little bit more flexibility to make, you know, your, your light, lighted hair. So, then, I'm going to go over to the brush tool an I'm going to select a different brush; actually, I'm going to go to artistic ink and this gives me several options but down here it's got the tapered stroke which will just kind of give more of a, a natural look to this highlights. So, what I'm going to do now is just make sure the color, okay. So, fake light source, alright. So, what I'm going to first start doing is just drawing some basic lines because hair is stringy and you're going to want that stringy look for realistic hair. And the cool thing about this particular method in Photoshop is later on if you decide you don't really like how the strokes are, you can go back select the them and decide to change them if you want. So, I'm just going to keep drawing these strokes and this is really what you're going to want to do, just like continue doing it over and over and over until you know, it both fit, it looks realistic enough for you. So, and what I'm actually doing is, if you can see down here, there are points that I've made that will just indicate where the hair is separating. So, I'm just going to try and connect that point. I haven't done it on everyone because some of them you don't really need, you don't really need the stroke there. And so, wherever the little light source is, you're going to want to make less of the light color on the opposite side of where it is. And I'm just doing like a little line right there and as you can see, it's a, it can be a little tricky to, to connect the line on this, the, the stroke and the, and the little crevice that I'm trying to connect it to. Alright. So, now, now that we've got that, this is your, your light and then you're going to want your dark. So, I'm going to use the selection tool and just select the screen so that non of my strokes are selected and then, you can use the eyedropper tool again and select your hair color. And all we need is a dark color now just to indicate where the shadows go and just switch this. And then, just something that you're going to want to take note of is that this can, the color palette can get a little effy, so you're just going to want to make sure that your fill is empty and your stroke is, what has the color and not the other way around because it will turn out to be a blobby mess and just don't, it's no fun. So, I'm going to go in here and just where your little light is, we're going to just, we're going to do some strokes on the opposite side. And just try if you can to connect them to this little crevices and that can get a little bit tricky. And so actually, what I'm going to do is I'm going to draw this on the edge and just do another line and then you just add a stroke there. And see, this, this can be a problem too is your line might be too thick,so you can always go up to the stroke and select the thinner lines; so, I'm going to select, I'm actually going to make it smaller. Yeah, it's a lot thinner. And then, you're going to just continue doing that and you can, you can make a couple inside of where your strokes are already, like your light strokes and if you want to get some depths in there and what I've actually done here is I've made a little bit of a squiggly line or a jagged line just to portray where the hair would be, kind of pinching together. So, I'm actually going to do that on this side to. Now, it's starting to look slightly more realistic. So, you can just keep doing that and there you have your realistic hair. I'm just going to draw this one last little, alright. And there you have it. My name is Alex Cecilio and this is how you draw realistic hair in Illustrator. Thank you.

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