How to Draw Realistic Hair in Photoshop

Written by kahlea pendleton
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How to Draw Realistic Hair in Photoshop
Photoshop users can depict realistic hair. (mouse image by Edvin selimovic from

Human hair is straight, wavy or curly in texture and can be coarse, medium or fine. A Photoshop user can draw any length hair and create hairstyles from ponytails to spiky hair. As an artist, you will need to have a keen eye and good hand technique for detail to create a realistic look when you draw human hair.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Photoshop

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  1. 1

    Choose the hair colour you want to use and set your opacity to the percentage you desire that fits your picture. Use realistic hair colours for a more realistic look. Use a soft brush to draw an outline of the hairstyle that you desire before you paint the shape of the hair style.

  2. 2

    Create strands of hair around the head of the object with a smudge tool in Photoshop. Adjust the strength to make hair strands longer or shorter in length. After you add a couple of more layers of strands around the object's head, add some light to the hair.

  3. 3

    Draw another layer of lines if necessary for hair strands. Once you draw in hair strands, use a smudge tool to soften them.

  4. 4

    Paint light areas around the head of the image. Use a round soft brush and white colour. This gives hair more detail to the lines that are created within the hair. Light areas depend on how long or short the hair is around the object of the picture. Use a smaller smudge tool to smooth out light areas. The size of your picture depends on the width of the pixels and will also determine the strength to use on your image.

  5. 5

    Paint an additional small amount of white colour to your object's hair with a small soft brush. Once you have used your small soft brush to apply light, blend in those light areas with a smudge tool.

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