The new "Hair" series

Photo of Beth artwork by Jim W Coleman

All of my professional life, I have struggled with drawing hair. To be sure, I've gotten better at it as time has passed and my experience has increased but it's still been a struggle. I work a lot with models (for both figure and facial) and with photographs as well,  and I've found that I tend to shun those with difficult or challenging hair.

So now, well into my career, I'm tackling the dragon head-on. To challenge myself, I am beginning a new art series called "Hair." Subjects haven't been decided but I'm looking at possibly including a portrait of my own mother, the actor Thomas Jane (from the SciFy show 'The Expanse') and some others. Dominique Tipper?

To start the series, I'm drawing Beth L., a friend I've known since the second-grade. She posted a photo of herself to Facebook five or six years ago and when I saw it, I knew I wanted to draw it. But it had some complex hair in it, and so I just kicked the idea around in my head and never did anything about it.

Now, the time has come to make it happen, and I'm well into it now. I'm excited about the new series, but still apprehensive, as well. Of course, I'm not only taking on the practice of drawing hair, but also coming up with ideas to do it artistically so it is an essential piece of the work, not just a covering on someone's head.... that, I'm finding out, is almost as challenging as just drawing the hair.

And yes, I'm still going to get around to doing Dana Dearmond. But to start, here I am, drawing Beth. More than anything, I hope I don't mess up her hair ...