Jayleen Weaver of GuruKitty Studios is back again, offering tips on coloring facial hair. Check it out!
In this tutorial I’m going to show how I create characters that have facial hair. I think that facial hair is under used in illustrations. It seems like people only use it when they’re drawing wizards, dwarves or villains, but facial hair can say a lot about the personality of a character. In the world of comics and illustration, judging by appearances is ok!
Facial hair isn’t limited to beards and moustaches, or even men. Small things like eyelashes and eyebrows are often overlooked.
Eyelashes can be pretty straight forward. One of the things I like to do is colour the eyelashes the same colour as the hair. Same goes for eyebrows. You just have to keep an eye on the direction of the hair growth, the length of the hairs, and the density of hair.
In this example I’ve used Copic Multiliners to draw in my character Sarah’s eyelashes and eyebrows. it can take away the harshness of some of these features. A girl like this – a warrior type, living in medieval times wouldn’t be fussing with making her eyelashes black. she also has a warm sun beaming on her so making her eyelashes brighter blue gives them a more highlighted look as well.
On to the Beards! There are so many types of beards, it’s not possible for me to go over them all, but we will get enough variety with my examples.
Shortest: Stubble is probably the easiest to do. It’s a fairly simple technique of using the coloured Multiliner SPs to stipple some hairs in. The key is to not over do it. It works especially well if you find a colour close to their hair colour. Pay special attention to where you place it. Some men can have it all the way down their neck and up onto their cheeks, but in the case of stubble drawing, less is more.
I’ve also used a fine point wine coloured Multiliner to draw in his eyebrows to give them a more real texture as well. See how I made the hairs in the inside of the eyebrow almost pointing up, then the hairs gradually lay down as they go to the outside edge? I kind of like it Jack also has a little goatee, see how the moustache part is a little stubbly but his chin is a full on beard? I wanted to show the difference of the two types. I’ll go into drawing that part later.
Medium: Malcolm, my blacksmith character has a slightly longer stubble. He might even be trying to grow in a moustache and a soul patch (I’ll put a swift end to that, but it was kind of him to grow it for my tutorial). I used the same technique as I did on Jack but in this case I’ve done lines instead of dots for the stubble. This gives the illusion that it’s just a sparse covering instead of a full on fluffy ‘stache.
I’ve done a similar technique with my tanner character, Gino. He’s one of those people who has a dirty job, and spends his days doing hard labor skinning and tanning hides. He is maybe a little careless when he shaves so he’s missed a spot or two….for a day or two.
So, there you go. Three different uses of the coloured Multiliner stippling technique.
Full: For full beards, I thinks it works best to think of facial hair in the same way you’d think of any other hair. There is direction of growth, sheen, and length to consider. Most facial hair grows in a downward direction. While it’s shorter, it can seem to grow straight out but, eventually gravity will bring it down. A person would have to train hair to go in a certain direction. Beard hair is also usually coarser, and more wiry than real hair.
Revisiting my character, Jack, you can see his goatee has fairly straight hair, except where it curls under a bit at the bottom.
Now if we look at my character Seth, he has a full handle bar mutton chops action going on. His hair is a little wavy so if he grew his facial hair longer it would probably be a little curly, but at this length it would be fairly straight. Note how all his hair just goes in a downward direction except his moustache is slightly parted. That would be from his own actions. Probably wiping his face, or stroking it to the side. He also has some giant caterpillar eyebrows, too.
In many cases the facial hair can be curly when the other hair is not (and vice versa). My leather worker character Andre has both curly hair and curly facial hair. I used a technique here similar to the stipple of the stubble, but this time more random curly cues and wiggly line. I also let the beard be a little fluffy on the side of his cheek. The curly hair will give a sense of volume faster than smooth hair.
Copics used: E00, E13, E02, E11, Y11, Y15, Y17, YR23, Y26, E35
Copic Multiliner SP – Black 01, Sepia 01
Side note: He doesn’t normally have freckles, but you might see there are three blue dots on him – two on his neck, and one on his cheek. This is because I opened a marker over top of my image and it splattered onto it. A cautionary tale…
Last but not least, the moustache. Of course the variety can be endless, but I’m just going to show you one. Again, the hair actually goes straight down, but Victor would comb it to the sides. In order to have the curly ends he would have to grow it fairly long, particularly on the ends. In order to get the curls, he’d have to spend some time training it into the curly shape, and possibly waxing it. A character that doesn’t give much thought to his appearance probably wouldn’t have a moustache like this. I treated his moustache the same way I treat hair. Colour goes on in the direction of hair growth, use feathery strokes.
Long: Last but not least we have the biblical old man style beard. He also has long eyebrows, and hair growing out of his ears. I’ll go through this step by step:
The last step is adding some little white hairs to him to make them stand out a little. If you’re using opaque white, use a very fine watercolour brush, and don’t overload it. I generally use the lid as a little palette. I dip the brush in water first then into the paint and mix it up in the lid. Test the consistency and opacity on a scrap paper first and make some adjustments. Use gentle, quick strokes to get the right thin line.
Practice on scraps. Everything needs practice. So that’s about it.
The characters I’ve used for this tutorial are from a comic I’ve been working on called Conflagration. It’s a long way off being done, but you can see work in progress artwork and our other projects on gurukitty.com.
Web site: http://gurukitty.com