Anima McKertcher

The Dreaming Garden

Painting Tips for Realistic Hair and Shadow Colors


In the last week I've read a couple really exceptional posts with painting tips that I'm going to start using myself.

Painting the Colors in Shadows

Jerry Lebo of Sixty Minute Artist offers an excellent exercise on exploring shadow colors.

The first message I want to get across is: shadows are colors! Let me say it again another way: the color you are putting in the shadow is just as important as the color you are putting on the highlight. If either one is wrong--the painting will suffer. Okay, so how do you find the right shadow color? Well, first, you need to be able to see the shadow color. So let me give you a little exercise that I have learned that will help developed your mind and eyes to better see shadow colors.

The Secret of Visualizing Hair as Ribbons

Ever struggled to paint hair simply but realistically? For many years, I've had varying degrees of success with painting hair. After reading James Gurney's article on the Ribbon Secret, I now have words for what I've been trying to do all along.

Earlier this week we looked at how to solve the “string mop” problem by using big brushes, keeping the masses simple, and softening edges. It also helps to visualize masses of hair as ribbons. In a real ribbon, the highlight goes across, not along, the curving shapes.

What are your useful painting tips and techniques?