Tutorial - Using human hair

by Roman aka jar

posted by roman, jarhead, kong

"Wooouuueeyyybbbaaaa!!!! Using human hair?"
... you all might think now, but it ain't that bad :)


I've seen the use of human hair in Miniature Painting already, so i am not exploring something new. I'll just try to share my view on the topic mixed with my own experience.

When it comes to bigger scales likes masks for movies using real or synthethic hair is a daily normal thing. Why now use hair on smaller miniatures? - i have no idea why, but i wanted to try this on my own to gain my personal level of experience and that is what i did on the Hombre Torro by Spherewars, followed by other examples. 

I am in fact not really blessed with hair on my head. I need to wait a while until my hair did grow and did not get much out of it at all. As i needed tiny hairs it was good to have them in the right seize after the "haircut". For sure there might be other places on your body where hair is growing - but i am not really a big fan of the idea to use curly hair ;) - after my head was shaved i did collect my hair in a little can. You can see the great amount i have achieved at the photo above - i don't know how often i can do this again in my life, haha. If you got the same problem maybe you can cut your brothers or mothers hair if you ask gracefully - don't do stupid things, for example cutting your sisters hair while she sleeps - you will get big problems, please remember that.

There was no real order when i decided to put the hair to the model. I already did start the painting and the skin was about at 40% progress when i decided to try this. I can't tell you why exactly i did this at this point, but as i still was in sketching mode and planned to paint the fur afterwards it wasn't that important. As i choose to make the bull's fur a little darker than the skin i had to work a solid underground. I did prepare some photos on what i did but failed to find them anymore. Looks like they are missing in the action of the last weeks - sorry for that, but i'll try to explain:

I did use a glaze of some brown (choose whatever you like here - i can remember i went from brighter ot darker) and did mainly put it at the place where i wanted the fur to be later on. I intensed the underground by using several glazes of every step and finally went to darker glazes of brown until i reached brown with a tiny blob of black for the darkest areas. I also tried to paint thin hair on it with the use of an old brush whose tip was dead and i had this typicall 4 tip brush - makes it easier to go as you can do 4 thin lines at once. Those thin lines you may find explained in the article about painting leather. I found only one photo of this step and it is not the best, so again sorry for that - you will see it later on in detail, click to enlarge like always...

The Action was pretty simple. Taking my can of hair, putting some matte varnish to it, using an old brush and throwing it at the bulls back at the prepared area. I did do the first layer by concentrating on bringing the mass up to the middle - in fact i just try to tell you that i tried to push my brush to the middle somehow to gain a similiar fur line, but that did not work perfectly. I've waited about an hour until the stuff was dry and did hit the back of Toro with a second load to get achieve more volume. Some impressions:


After it was dried it looked somehow interesting and i executed my plan of do some further painting on it by bringing in darker glazes, doing some drybrushing to get the details, using glazes again, etc. - to make it look more realistic and get a better transition to the underground (that is why i did prepare the undergound, if you don't do that you have to work harder at this point). Make sure to know that your hair might have another colour than my "hair" - i so choose well what you want to achieve, work with the material you got and paint it the way you want it to be in the end.I did use brown glazes, bleached bone for drybrushing, brown/black glazes and stuff - you see the exactly used colour is not that important as if your hair has another colour than mine - you have to take this into your own hands and decided with your bravery to learn. The finished fur looked this way - there will be better and final photos of the Hombre Toro soon and i link them up in here - i really like how the texture worked out in the end - click to enlarge:

Hairy Experiences__________________________________________________

For sure you can use hair for other ideas. 
Never let your imagination stop you from exploring, be brave and be prepared for failure as from there comes experience. Here comes a little sum up of ideas that could inspire you. Instead of using a tiny string for doing an archer's bow lash you could use a thin fine hair, that makes it look way more realistic. Do work with a tiny amount of superglue and a toothpick to glue it with utmost precision. You can also do this with matte varnish but it will be harder to attach and to be spanned, but you know if the archer did just take the shot in the moment you catch him on his base the lash could be moved like ttthhhrrrriinnngggg!! This can look like this - example, one of Raffa's earlier miniatures but still a very beautiful one by Hasslefree:

You can also use single hair for tiny drops of blood, for example blood drops from a bloody weapon. Just take a hair, cut it in length and fix it with matte varnish to your already painted weapon. After this carefully bring blood to it and redo the step after drying to get more volume to your drop.

In fact there are many more things out there you can do with hair. If you don't like to work with your hair just don't do it, but more options bring more fun :)

The jungle recommands doing such fine things mostly when a miniature is mostly done, so there won't be an accident during your work in progress.

I hope this article was fun to read and i just can say - give it a try! :)
Keep on happy painting!
Best Regards


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