How to

How to Draw Braids Easy Step by Step

Learning to draw braids can be a fun and rewarding experience. By following this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to create realistic braids in your portrait drawings. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this guide will teach you how to achieve different plait styles with ease.

Drawing Braids: The Basics

While drawing braided hair may seem simple, creating realistic-looking braids requires skill and the right techniques. It’s important to understand how to create patterns, blend the hair, and shade different sections to give your drawing depth and contrast.

To get started, gather the following tools:

  • Plain paper or a drawing book
  • HB pencils
  • 2H pencils
  • 2B pencils
  • A working surface

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of drawing braids in different basic shapes. For this tutorial, we’ll focus on drawing a French braid. Refer to the provided image for reference.

Step 1: Outline the Braid

Begin by drawing an outline for your braid. Use 2H pencils to create two vertical lines that serve as boundaries for the structure of the braid. The outline of a French braid consists of two vertical lines at the edges and a straight line in the middle.

Ensure that the space between the boundary lines is wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. This will create the illusion of a braid that gradually tapers towards the end. Use light strokes with the 2H pencil for the outline, as it will become invisible once you start shading your drawing.

Step 2: Create the Braid Patterns

Next, draw zigzag lines within the spaces of your outline. These lines will help you create the two sides of the braid. Use an HB pencil to create smooth, wavy curves that touch the corners of the zigzag guideline. Start with the left side, following the flow of the hair.

To avoid overcrowding your drawing, erase the middle line once you have the pattern on one side. The curved ends of each pattern should touch the external guidelines, creating the appearance of interlocking hair waves.

Repeat the process on the other half, ensuring that the patterns alternate at the corners. This will give your braid a more realistic and textured look. Remove the external guidelines with an eraser, leaving only the braid pattern.

Step 3: Blend and Add Detail

Now, it’s time to add depth and detail to your braid. Start by shading the hair using darker and lighter pencil shades. Use a 2B pencil to draw root hairs at the top, ensuring they are darker than the rest of the strands. Add loose, hanging strands to create a natural look, keeping in mind that real hair strands vary in height and thickness.

Use a combination of 2B and 2H pencils to achieve darker and lighter shades, creating contrast in your drawing.

Step 4: Refine the Edges

To make the edges of your braid look more realistic, vary the thickness of the strands at different sections. Hair strands are typically thicker at the base and thinner at the tips. Avoid drawing continuous patterns throughout the braid to maintain varying thickness. Lift your pencil after every wavy pattern to achieve this effect.

Step 5: Add Color and Contrast

Consider the color of the hair you are drawing, whether it’s silver, gray, or dark-colored. Use different pencil shades to add color intensity to your braid. For silver hair, an HB pencil is ideal. Avoid using darker shades or creating thick strands. If drawing dark-colored hair, an HB pencil works well. Adjust the color intensity based on the direction of light, ensuring one side appears darker for a more realistic look.

The interlocked sections of the braid should be slightly darker than the contours, as they receive less light. Blending 2H and HB pencil shades is a great way to draw gray hair, with the lighter 2H pencil used for contours and the darker HB pencil for the interlocks.

Step 6: Add Shadows and Depth

Shadows play a crucial role in giving your drawing a three-dimensional look. Pay attention to the direction of light and add shadows along the edges of the braid. This will create the illusion of depth and make your drawing more realistic.

Step 7: Draw the Tail and Highlights

Complete your braid drawing by adding the section of hair that forms the tail. Draw a hair tie at the end of the plait and extend the tail using an HB pencil. Create a curved tail with curly hair for a more natural appearance. Differentiate the tail by using a slightly different shade than the rest of the braid.

To add highlights, use a sharp blade to create lighter tones on the curved areas. This will give the appearance of fading and make the tail stand out.

Step 8: Final Touches and Details

In the final step, use a lighter pencil to add loose hairs throughout your drawing. Focus on increasing their presence near the hair tie to create a more natural finish.

Time to Draw Realistic Braids

Congratulations on completing this comprehensive tutorial on drawing braids! Armed with these eight simple steps, you now have the knowledge and skills to create realistic braids in your drawings. Share your newfound expertise with others and explore different braid styles, such as the Dutch braid.

Remember, practice makes perfect. So grab your pencils and drawing paper, and embark on your journey to create beautiful and lifelike braids. Happy drawing!

My Favorite Drawing Supplies for Creating Braids

If you’re looking to stock up on quality drawing supplies, here are some of my personal recommendations:

  • Sketching Pencils: A set of high-quality pencils for smooth and precise lines.
  • Kneaded Rubber Eraser: Perfect for smudging and erasing with precision.
  • Sketch Pad: A reliable pad for all your drawing needs.
  • Erasable Colored Pencils: Add vibrant colors to your drawings without the fear of making permanent mistakes.
  • Fine Markers: Ideal for adding intricate details and outlines.
  • Sketch and Drawing Art Pencil Set: A comprehensive set for both beginners and experienced artists.
  • Artist Drawing Set: A great gift option for aspiring artists looking to explore their creativity.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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