Dean Update

Most of the new work is on his hair and background around his head. I also built up the colors on his ears.


There were a lot of colors and layering involved in getting his hair to this stage. Below is an interim shot when I was still building up the colors. You could still see a lot of the paper and overall his hair color was still too light. I thought about it a while, wondering what to do to get the right look.


I knew I had to darken his hair color in general so I applied a light layer of medium brown over everything on the top of his head. Then I went in and darkened the shadow areas even more trying to cover the paper more completely. Once the darkest darks were in, I put some of the highlights back in on top of them. I repeated this process a few times, putting down medium and dark colors and them coming back to add highlights as needed.

His hair is a dark blonde, but seems to go quite lighter around his temples and face, and that is what I tried to capture.

My initial idea of defining the highlighted areas and then working the mediums and darks around them didn’t work out too well. Fortunately putting highlights in over the darks works on this paper. Adding highlights as pencil strokes over the dark colors made them look more natural, the pencil lines looking more like hair than when I tried to work around light areas.

Here is a close up of the finished hair.


You can also see here how I defined the edges of his head against the soft background a lot more.The secret is that when the background color shifts to a light color, then the edges of your foreground object should shift to dark and vice versa. If you notice the top of his head stands out against the lighter background while the side are light against the dark, with some shifts back and forth in between. Another trick which works in this case is to make the foreground object edges as crisp as possible against the diffused backdrop.

Since I worked on his right ear, you can really tell that the color is pinkier than his cheek area, in other words more what like his finished skin tone should be. The good thing is that now I can get back to work on his face and make that happen!


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