I have not yet decided just how realistic I want to go with the stone carving “The Gymnast.” I know that my style tends towards realism, but I am not necessarily thinking strictly in those terms when I work. And I tend to use hair as a compositional device more than as a depiction of reality.
That said, I still find inspiration in Nature and models. In this case, I have been using my most available model. And I have a lot of hair. I put it up into a ponytail and moved my head about, looking in the mirror and touching my head to see how the hair fell. Often I see better with my fingertips.
Also, there is so much symmetry in this pike pose that I wanted the hair, along with the toes, to be obviously asymmetrical. You may see in the first image that I have redrawn the skull to a more proportionate size. I had left so much stone around the head because I had not yet decided on how I wanted the hair to fall. But it was time to reduce the size of the head so that I could continue to work the rest of the stone sculpture.
If I let something go for too long, my brain will start to make order out of the disproportion and I will no longer see my error as such. At this point, I am working the masses of the hair only from three sides, still allowing myself to change my mind as I go along. The trick is to shape the form as I reduce the mass of marble.