Hair is a fascinating and prominent feature of our bodies. It defines our individuality and sets us apart from one another. It is a form of self-expression that has been used in cultures worldwide. Our hairstyles can convey social status, gender, ethnicity, and personal preferences, making hair a crucial aspect of human culture.
For artists, drawing hair can be challenging, especially for beginners. However, fear not! In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn an easy way to draw and shade hair.
What You Will Learn:
- The head and hairline
- How to draw curly hair
- How to draw straight hair
- A piece of paper
- A 0.5mm 2B mechanical pencil
- A 4B graphite pencil
- Powdered Graphite
- A 2.3mm Tombow Mono Zero eraser
- A blending stump
- An eraser or a kneaded eraser
Section 1: The Head and Hairline
When drawing hair, it’s important to consider not only the strands but also the shape of the head and the position of the hairline. The neck and shoulders also play a role in shaping many hairstyles.
Hairlines are not perfectly straight or curved lines. They often have distinct shapes or “steps” on the sides, although the perspective and angle may make them appear narrower. Gravity affects hair, causing the hair on the sides to fall while the hair on top of the head goes slightly up and then down or to the sides.
Types of Hairlines
Most hairlines fall into one of four categories: round, rectangular, widow’s peak, and receding. These hairlines still exhibit the “steps” shape on the sides, with only the top part being different.
Types of Hair
Hair comes in various types, characterized by different colors, textures, and shapes. Let’s explore some common types:
- Straight hair: This type follows the shape of the head and lacks volume. However, some strands may appear slightly wavy due to bouncing on the shoulders.
- Curly hair: Curly hair behaves differently than straight or wavy hair. It has more texture and can defy gravity, resulting in voluminous curls.
- Wavy hair: Wavy hair has more volume than straight hair, with strands bouncing against each other. The waves can range from soft to strong.
Each hair type requires its own drawing technique, as they vary greatly from one another. It’s impossible to use the same approach for every type of hair. In the following sections, we will explore two shading techniques for curly and straight hair.
Section 2: How to Draw Curly Hair
In this section, we will focus on drawing curly hair using a 4B pencil, powdered graphite, a brush, a blending stump, and a kneaded eraser.
Step 1: Draw the Hairline
Using a head base as a reference, lightly sketch the hairline with “steps” and a round shape.
Step 2: Define the Hair Shape
Utilize powdered graphite and a brush to tap around the head, defining the size and shape of the curly hair. Apply circular movements to create a soft and cloudy effect.
Step 3: Draw the Curls
Curly hair, especially in this particular hairstyle, can be messy and challenging to draw. Focus on the overall shape rather than intricate details. Use your 4B pencil to create continuous circular shapes throughout the hair, ensuring some curls extend beyond the hair shape.
Step 4: Blend
Take a blending stump and blend some of the hairs within the primary shape. Curly hair thrives on the contrast between details and lack thereof, so don’t hesitate to blend!
Step 5: Add More Hairs
Darken the areas closer to the head with your 4B pencil and add extra hairs on top of the blended areas. This enhances depth and adds texture to the hair.
Section 3: How to Draw Straight Hair
In this section, we will focus on drawing straight hair using a 4B pencil, Tombow Mono Zero Eraser, a mechanical pencil, and a blending stump.
Step 1: Draw the Hairline
Once again, softly mark the position of the hairline using a mechanical pencil or a 4B pencil.
Step 2: Draw the Sides
Add small, soft lines to indicate the beginning of the hair on the sides of the hairline. Refer to the diagram provided for guidance.
Step 3: Follow the Shape of the Head and Draw the Top
Refer to the diagram from Section 1 and draw the top of the hair, following the direction of the hair when pulled back. Use loose “C” shapes, varying in size, to create a fluid and dynamic look.
Step 4: Draw the Sides
On the sides of the head, create short, curved strands to represent the falling hair. Add volume while keeping the strands close to the head.
Step 5: Draw the Bottom
Draw long, loose strands with volume near the shoulders. Maintain consistent flow and add a few loose, short hairs for a realistic touch.
Step 6: Set the Darkest Values
To achieve realistic shading, start with the darkest values. Use your 4B pencil to darken areas where light doesn’t directly hit or where hair overlaps.
Step 7: Repeat for the Left
Apply the same shading technique to the left side of the hair, ensuring asymmetry for a natural appearance.
Step 8: Repeat for the Right
Repeat the previous steps on the right side of the hair, maintaining variations and imperfections for a realistic portrayal.
Step 9: Fill the Locks
With a mechanical pencil, fill the locks with small, soft traces that follow the flow and movement of the hair. Apply more pressure and layers near the neck and under the ear for added depth.
It’s important to note that while drawing and shading hair from imagination is possible, this tutorial is a great exercise for practicing with real models or reference pictures. The key to mastering different types of hair is consistent practice.
Congratulations! You have completed this hair drawing tutorial. I hope you enjoyed learning and gained valuable insights into the art of drawing and shading hair. Remember, practice is the key to improvement.
Until next time!