In art class you may have learned about value in art. If you change how hard you press the pencil down, you’ll get different shades.
Pay attention to the general direction of the hair and how it flows around the head and the face. The hair sits on top of the head, almost as a hat. Remember this when drawing a head — the general division of the facial features in half (where the eyes are in the middle of the face) doesn’t account for the hair’s volume, which varies from person to person. The thicker and the wavier the hair is, the more volume the person has on his or her head.
[Related: Conquering the Coiffure: Keys to Drawing Realistic Hair]
Don’t draw thick lines unless you want the hair to look clumped together, draw thin lines, but don’t try to draw every strand of hair. You won’t succeed.
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Make sure to relax and take your time so you don’t mess up. You don’t want to use a dull pencil, or a super sharp one. Don’t scribble! Take your time. Do one section at a time, making fine and dull lines, but make sure to leave a space between your hair lines to give it that hair shine.
Don’t make the hair identical on both sides as it will look too staged. Instead, make it slightly uneven. It should only be barely noticeable, not tilted! Use high-quality erasers to prevent smudges. Put a clean piece of paper under your hand so you don’t mess up the drawing Always sharpen your pencil before drawing for fine and accurate lines.
If you want to see if the face lines up, turn it upside down. Once you look at the picture don’t look back, let your creativity flow.
You just might be wondering “I’ve mastered realistic bodies, but gosh! How do I do hair?” These simple steps with help you make your creations have realistic hair!
It depends on what you are drawing with. Pencils are usually the easiest to start out with, as they are easily erasable, and you can blend and shade smoothly and neatly. Pencils come in a variety of types.
A regular writing pencil is most likely HB, or #2. There are also B and H types. B pencils are soft, and the marks appear darker, however the pencil dulls quickly. B pencils range from B to 9B, 9B being the softest.
H pencils are hard and stay sharp longer, but the marks are lighter. They range from H to 9H, and 9H is the hardest. There are also F pencils, which are right in the middle. To make the illusion of different colors, make them varying shades.
Kneaded erasers help a lot.
You can use anything you’d like to draw hair, including pencils, pens, colored pencils, and charcoal. Pencils are great for those who are just learning, because they are the easiest to erase.
Notice that I started by shading the darkest areas only, leaving the highlights free of any shading. This technique creates instant volume drawing any hairstyle.
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After you draw a simple head and shoulders think about what type of hair style you want your creation to have then think about the texture and thickness of the person’s hair. You may want a curly style, which requires its own detail.
Thick hair normally comes in long, firm strands that do not frizz. Thin hair often is weaker and curls more easily. To draw thick hair, use a rather unsharpened 2B pencil in long, broad lines. Use a 2H pencil, well-sharpened, to make curly lines for thin hair.
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[Related: Easy Step-By-Step Instructions for Drawing Curly Hair]
The drawing below demonstrates the concept behind the structure and the shading of strands of hair.For straight hair
In the final image, you’ll see a lock of curly hair that is fully shaded. It essentially repeats the same shading formula for the straight hair strand shown on the left, with the darkest dark present on both sides and the highlight left in the middle of each curve.
In this demonstration, I used the same basic steps I’ve outlined before: First, I determine the overall flow and volume of the hair placed on top of her head. The arrows show the direction of shading, massing out the darkest parts.
It’s a combination of talent, training and practice. But it’s more practice and training than anything else. With training and plenty of practice, you will eventually get you used to drawing complex shapes and styles, along with shading and highlights.
No tutorial can replace the amount of practice needed to draw well. Accept that it takes a lot of effort and time to learn and you won’t get frustrated so easily.
On the right image, I drew a lock of curly hair. First, I determined the overall curvature and flow of the hair with one line. Then, I added the second line that curves in and out in logical progression, where it appears on one side and disappears on the other. The arrows show you the general direction they take.
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Draw loose, don’t stiffen up, the hair will look stiff, let your hand flow.
No. Drawing every strand will take a very long time and it is not worth it. It could also make your drawing look messy. Instead, try drawing the complete body of hair, and then add a strands to make it look realistic.
This illustration above shows the same steps applied to drawing the basic male hairstyle. I made the outline, shade the darkest areas that are usually on the temples, at the part and the back of the head, and then lifted out the highlights.
In real life, these strands of hair overlap each other, which makes it more confusing to draw for the beginner. However, if you break them down to big strands and fill in each one of them, you’ll be able to draw the more detailed, smaller hair strands found inside each big section.
Are you confused by drawing hair? Does it seem too difficult to shade it because you have no idea where to begin? It can be even more challenging when you consider all the different hairstyles that exist out there. There a few key factors to look at learning how to draw hairstyles realistically.
Touch up stray lines as you would with your own hair. Darken the hair and add highlights for a realistic touch.
Art Blog The Artist’s Formula for Drawing Any Kind of Hairstyle
For the most part, yes, as it will help you sketch out loose hair more easily. Even tied hair has a very slight part sometimes.
In the second image, I shaded the hair in broad strokes and soft pencil to make the directional strokes that create volume.
In the third picture, I worked on fine transitions between the tones and mark the highlights with the kneaded eraser. Here, I made sure the value transitions remained soft and didn’t divide the head into stripes.
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Start with where the hair separates (often called the part) in the hair if you are drawing a person with loose hair, the hairline if the person has their hair pulled or sleeked back.
The sketches above illustrate different hairstyles, and the the arrows point the direction that the hair grows and how the hair flows around the person’s face.
On the left, you’ll see a lock of hair marked with just two lines to begin with. Then, I drew the deepest shadows, using a directional stroke and a soft 4B graphite pencil. Study the direction the hair takes. Don’t shade with flat, straight lines around the face — it instantly flattens out the form.
Use a kneaded eraser to pull out the highlight in the middle of the strand. In the end, I created the intermediary tones between the black and the white with a harder B pencil.
Now that you know the basic principles of drawing hair, you can apply those techniques to drawing any hairstyle. To get you started, we’ll walk you through five common hairstyles.
While drawing the hair’s shape, direction and volume is important, don’t forget that hair is made up of individual strands
This boho or Gothic hairstyle consists of two parts. The first one is the “hat” that sits on top of the head and has its own rotation and movement of the hair. The second part is the curvy hair with the gravity pulling them down in waves.
This image builds up on your understanding of the previous section. On the left, you can see how I sketched out big shapes, ignoring the details and small elements to get the overall feel of the hairstyle — its flow, volume and curvature. In the second image, I added details with harder pencil.
Drawing bangs is easy as long as you put the individual hairs into a massed-out shape that curves around the forehead like a dome. The lights are always in the middle of the domed structure.
Shading the hair makes the hair strands stand out more, helping them to look more realistic. Realistic hair also has many layers and hair without shading will not make these layers stand out.
Add the highlights based on whatever angle you think the light is a shining from. For example, if the light is on the right, draw all the highlights on the right side of the hair.
Experimentation really helps. You can’t get it perfect every time, but you will one day. Keep trying and learning from the mistakes you make.
How do I do the shading? How do I get the lighting right, etc.?
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Italiano: Disegnare dei Capelli Realistici, Español: dibujar cabello realista, Deutsch: Realistische Haare zeichnen, Português: Desenhar Cabelos Realistas, Français: dessiner des cheveux réalistes, Русский: рисовать реалистичные волосы, Bahasa Indonesia: Menggambar Rambut yang Realistis, Nederlands: Realistisch haar tekenen, العربية: رسم شعر واقعي, ไทย: วาดทรงผมแบบสมจริง, Tiếng Việt: Vẽ tóc thật hơn, 中文: 画出栩栩如生的头发
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