Hair in Photoshop

    ●   Learn to Connect - the - Dots Using the Pen Tool.

Learn About:

Brush Tool Stroke a Line Pen Tool

  •   This tutorial is the 4th in a series designed to help complete the Photoshop Portrait Project:

1 - Line Art   2 - Face Color   3 - Face Shading   4 - Hair   5 - Highlights   6 - Eyes  

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples inspired by this tutorial.

      highlights           hair                            

More Examples


Step #1: Open your Project in PhotoShop ~

Open your sketch from this tutorial


… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

… create a new layer between your sketch layer and your face color layer and name it hair color.

Step #2: Pen Tool ~

Click the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …

pen tool

… connect-the-dots around your hair.

When you get back to where you began, close the shape.

Step #3: Add Anchor Points ~

Cmd(⌘)+Click the line to activate it.

Now you can add Anchor Points …

Step #4: Adjust the Line ~

Hold Cmd (⌘) and drag the anchor points to make curves.

Adjust the Bezier by holding the Cmd(⌘) key down, too.

Step #5: Set the Brush ~

Click the Brush Tool or hit the keybord shortcut letter (B) …

… click to open the Brush Preset picker …

… pick a Soft Round Brush

… and set your color to default by hitting the letter (D).

Step #6: Pen Tool ~

Get the Pen Tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut letter (p).

Step #7: Stroke the Path ~

Switch to the Paths palette …

Adobe Photoshop Text Effects: The Paths palette




… (If you can't see the Paths palette, go to: Window > Paths) …

… click on the path layer and hit "Stroke Path With Brush".

There are many variations to this technique. Do whatever works best …

stroke hair

Step #8: Load Path as a Selection ~

Next, in the Paths palette, click "Load path as a selection" …

… which selects the area.

Step #9: Color your Hair ~

Color your hair with the Brush Tool

… or, you can use the Paint Bucket to fill in your hair with the color of your choice.

Step #10: Highlights ~

Make another New Layer and put it above the hair color layer …

… highlight your hair with a lighter color.

Step #11: Smudge Tool ~

Get the Smudge Tool

… and try smudging your hair to make it look better.

Try different colors and effects!


Step #12: Shading your Hair ~

Create a new layer above the hair color layer and call it hair shade .

Now shade the hair.The color used here is #53402b but use any color that looks good to you.

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Clean up the shading with an eraser.

More Shade! Make another new layer BELOW the hair shade layer:


Use a lighter shade color then the first shade layer and repeat:

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Use the eraser if necessary - Do a Good Job!


Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save your file as a .psd


  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.