Braids have long been admired as a stylish and versatile hairstyle choice, transcending cultural boundaries. Whether you’re looking to express your individuality or simply love the aesthetic appeal of braids, learning how to draw them can be a rewarding experience. In this comprehensive tutorial, we will explore various types of braids and focus on mastering the art of drawing French braids.
Materials You’ll Need:
To get started, gather the following materials:
- A sheet of paper
- A 0.5mm 2B mechanical pencil
- A 4B graphite pencil
- A 2.3mm Tombow Mono Zero eraser
- A blending stump
- An eraser or kneaded eraser
- A ruler
Section 1: Mastering the Basics – The Head and Back
Before diving into the intricacies of braids, it’s essential to establish a solid foundation by understanding the anatomy of the head and back. Follow these steps to create a base for your braids:
Step 1: Draw Two Guide Lines
Begin by dividing your canvas into four equal parts using two horizontal and two vertical guide lines.
Step 2: Sketch an Oval Shape
On the topmost horizontal line, draw an oval shape. This will serve as the head.
Step 3: Add a Rectangle
Using the guide lines as references, draw a rectangle in the middle, representing the back.
Step 4: Outline Two Triangles
Next, sketch two smaller triangles on either side of the rectangle, symbolizing the shoulders.
Step 5: Create a Wide Trapezium
Draw a large trapezium beneath the rectangle, forming the back of the base.
Step 6: Incorporate Two Circles
Add two circles on the sides of the trapezium, indicating the arms.
Step 7: Outline Two Rectangles
Sketch two rectangles to complete the arms of the base.
Step 8: Refine the Shape
Erase the guide lines and refine the shape of the head and back using smooth, organic curves.
Congratulations! You now have a foundation to build upon when drawing braids. This structure will provide support and realism to your braid illustrations.
Section 2: Drawing Beautiful Braids
Now that you have a solid base, let’s dive into the intricate world of braids. Follow these steps to create stunning braids that capture movement and detail:
Step 1: Understand Hair Direction
Hair, especially straight hair, is influenced by gravity. When braiding hair, the strands naturally flow downwards, creating a distinct look. Keep in mind that some strands may appear loose or flowing, adding a touch of realism to your drawings.
Step 2: Create a Zigzag Pattern
To establish the structure and shape of your braids, begin by sketching a zigzag pattern as a base. This will serve as a guide to ensure uniformity and ease in the braiding process.
Step 3: Mark the Strands
Use short lines to mark where each strand of hair disappears into the braid along the zigzag pattern. This will help you visualize the braiding process and maintain consistency.
Step 4: Refine the Braid
Starting from the zigzag lines, draw small curved lines on each side to represent the braided strands. Gradually connect these lines to create a cohesive braid.
Step 5: Add Depth with Shadows
Use your 2B mechanical pencil to add small lines to each strand, creating the appearance of individual hairs. Employ your 4B pencil to shade the areas where strands overlap or go under others, emphasizing depth and dimension.
Step 6: Enhance Realism with Loose Strands
Introduce short, loose strands around the braid using both your mechanical pencil and 4B pencil. This technique adds texture and variability to your braid illustration.
Step 7: Create Flowing Hair
Complete your drawing by adding the flowing hair on the head. Refer to the direction shown in step 1 and use small lines with your mechanical pencil and thicker lines with your 4B pencil to achieve a natural, textured look.
Section 3: Mastering the French Braid
French braids are renowned for their elegant and intricate design. Follow these steps to capture the essence of a French braid in your artwork:
Step 1: Establish the Zigzag Pattern
Begin by drawing a zigzag pattern following a straight line to represent the starting point of the French braid.
Step 2: Segment the Hair
Visualize the sections of hair that are pulled towards the center in a French braid. Use curved lines for the top part and looser lines for the base of the head to mark these segments.
Step 3: Define the Center of the Braid
Leave a small space under each strand to indicate where the hair is pulled from the head. This space will help create a realistic effect when drawing the braid.
Step 4: Define the Sides of the Braid
To better visualize the strands pulled from the sides of the head, draw solid shapes along the zigzag pattern.
Step 5: Illustrate the Braid
Erase your initial sketch and start drawing the French braid using your 0.5mm mechanical pencil. Employ short and long lines to add movement and fluidity to the hair.
Step 6: Add Shadows
Use your 4B pencil to add graphite along the braid, focusing on the areas where strands overlap or go under others. This shading will enhance the three-dimensional quality of the braid.
Step 7: Create Highlights
Using a Tombow Mono Zero eraser, carefully remove fine lines of graphite on the sides of the head, following the direction of each strand. This technique will add highlights and a subtle sense of shine to your braid drawing.
Step 8: Add Finishing Touches
For added realism and fluidity, incorporate small, loose hairs around the head and braid using your mechanical pencil.
And there you have it! You’ve successfully learned how to draw and shade beautiful braids, including the intricate French braid. By following these step-by-step instructions and practicing regularly, you’ll continue to improve your skills and create stunning drawings.
Thank you for joining us on this artistic journey. Keep exploring your creativity, and until next time!