How to Paint Blonde Hair With Watercolors

Watercolor paints are available in pans or tubes.
Watercolor paints are available in pans or tubes. (Image: Paints: in a workshop of the artist image by vin5 from Fotolia.com)

When painting blonde hair, you will want to use similar colors to what you have used on the flesh of the face to provide continuity and prevent the hair from looking fake. Evaluating the colors you have used in the background of the painting will help you to shade appropriately and bring out the right colors in the hair; for example, a blue background may make blonde hair appear almost gray and a gray raw umber mix may be right. Use colors from the background sparingly when painting the hair. Make sure the edges of the hair are not so smooth as to give a cardboard cut-out impression.

Things You'll Need

  • Watercolor paints
  • Paint brush
  • Paint-mixing palette
  • Watercolor paper
  • Water jar
  • Sharp knife
  • Putty eraser
  • Pencil
  • Masking fluid

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Reserve the outline of the hair with masking fluid when drawing a pencil outline of the painting. Generally, watercolor artists will then paint the face first, leaving the hair until afterward.

Wash the hair with a color wash of Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Yellow Pale, with small amounts of Raw Sienna to suggest shading. Leave it to dry.

Paint the hair with the same colors used in the face, namely Burnt Sienna and Alizaron Crimson, using quick light brushstrokes to suggest darker strands of hair showing through. Blend them well so they do not look harsh.

Add white and a touch of Yellow Ochre for highlighting lighter areas.

Use a shade of Windsor violet to add shading underneath the hair where the shadows touch the skin.

Scratch a few lines down the hair, to make it look really textured, using a sharp knife.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a putty eraser instead of a conventional eraser will help protect the watercolor paper.

References

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