Painting the hair
First, I make a new layer folder titled “Hair”. I’ll paint the hair in the same way as the uniform.
■1. I make a new layer above the flat color layer for the hair and set it to [Clip at Layer Below]. Using the [Brush] > [Watercolor] > [Transparent watercolor] or [Dense watercolor] brush, I add shadows where the sunlight hits.
Hair is glossy and reflective, so I thought it would create a nice effect to use the [Eyedropper] tool to add colors from the background.
When using a drawing tool like a watercolor brush or a pen, you can temporarily switch to the [Eyedropper] tool by holding the [Alt] key. You can use this tool to easily change the drawing color to the color that you select on the image. Release the [Alt] key to return to the previous drawing tool.
■2. I create another layer and set the blending mode to [Multiply]. Using the [Watercolor] > [Transparent watercolor] or [Dense watercolor] brush, I add shadows for a three-dimensional effect.
By adding shadows with an awareness of how the hair bundles together, I can create depth and emphasize the movement of the hair.
■3. I make a new layer and use the [Brush] > [Watercolor] > [Transparent watercolor] or [Dense watercolor] brush in a color that is lighter than the base color to make the hair reflect the sunlight.
The highlights draw the eyes, so I make sure to add shine on the hair around the face. Because long hair can sometimes look heavy, I add soft highlights to the tips of the hair to give it a sense of lightness.
However, I take care not to add so much highlight that the overall effect is excessively shiny.
■4. Then I make another layer on top of this and set the [Blending mode] to [Overlay]. On this layer, I use the [Airbrush] tool > [Soft] to make the hair lighter at the tips of the hair and the parts where the light hits brighter.
I was concerned that the tone of the hair didn’t stand out against the background of the classroom, so I made it a bit brighter to stand out more.
■5. I make another new layer and use the [Eyedropper] tool to select colors from the face, then use the [Airbrush] tool > [Soft] to lighten the hair around the face.
Making the area around the face brighter makes her expression look softer. Now I’ve finished painting the hair.
Next I’ll color the background.