Learn How to Create Facial Hair in Photoshop

I'm cursed with having thin facial hair. I'll never have the lush, full beard of a lumberjack. My face must brave the brutal Cleveland winter bare and exposed to the biting cold. Luckily, Phlearn is here with a tutorial to remedy that.

Facial hair is a really intricate thing. It grows in different sizes, densities, directions, curvature, color, etc., and thus, replicating it convincingly requires some finesse. In this video, Aaron Nace from Phlearn walks us through the entire process, which begins with creating a custom brush and adjusting many of its parameters to accurately mimic the manner in which facial hair grows, followed by adjusting the colors and blending modes to increase its realism, and finally to adjusting highlights to add definition. Though the process of creating the brush is delicate, it's highly informative, and actually painting in the facial hair is quite quick and easy.

You can download the custom facial hair brush here, though I definitely recommend following Nace's process of creating it from scratch, as there's a ton to learn about how brushes work and their vast options. Though this won't actually keep my face warm in the winter, at least I'll look like I'm warm. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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