How to Paint Hair on Canvas

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To paint an image of hair on canvas, start by laying down the darkest shadow color, paint in strokes of a medium color tone, and add in the highlights where the light source hits the strands of hair. Paint a picture of human hair with helpful advice and a demonstration from a self-taught artist in this free video on painting on canvas.

Part of the Video Series: Painting on Canvas
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Angeline-Marie from and today we are learning about canvas painting. In this clip I'm going to show you how to paint hair on canvas. Now when I think of drawing or painting human hair I think of three different tones. I think of the darkest. I think of a medium and I think of the absolute lightest that I can make that medium color. In this case I am going to be a very interesting human hair of a bronze color. Now the reason why there is three is because you have to remember your hair is in layers. Paint in the darkest layer first and it really doesn't matter that that is all covered because now you're going to put the other two tones on it. Just make sure that your brush is going in the direction that you want because that will make a difference. Now depending on what side the light is hitting is where you're going to put in your lightest tones so for this purpose I'm going to make sure the light is coming from here and just put in your middle tone mixing nicely with the black but notice now you have the medium and you have the dark so it looks like your hair is 3-D. Again remembering you don't want to completely cover up that black and notice my brush strokes are making some kind of hair texture there. The last color you want to put in is the lightest tone that you can get of your medium tone. Now remember we said the light was going to come from here. I'm going to change my mind because you know what, I really like the way the black shows through here and it is kind of lighter on this side so I'm going to change that. Now I'm not putting in gray hair I'm just very simply putting in some highlights because that is the direction from where the light hits and your hair is always lighter on that side and just go ahead and keep painting. If I want to add some more highlights in the middle I can. If you don't like that white because it's just way too white and looks like gray hair, no big deal, mix in some more of that mid tone in it and remember since we are working with a color paint if you don't like something you have two choices, fix the mistake into something cool or you can just paint over it when it is dry and actually looks like human hair, paint in some layers and put some darks in more if you want especially down here and this is Angeline. Thank you for joining us.


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