How to Draw Hair Step by Step
In this tutorial, I’ll show you a quick method for rendering and sketches that works on four different types of hair: long straight hair, short hair, wavy hair, and afro-textured hair.
Before You Start
The final product will suit both males and females with various hair types.
Draw the direction of the hair flowing down over the shoulders, keeping in mind that you’re only drawing the flow of the hair, not the individual hairs.
Draw them as narrow “Y” shapes (normal and upside down), rather than simple straight lines.
Outline the entire head of hair, following the strands’ rhythm, and don’t be afraid to blow it out a little.
To add detail and depth to the hair, draw long lines along the strands, but don’t press too hard or make the lines too tight.
Draw some volume around the head once more, this time as the outline of the entire haircut.
Draw a straight line from the parting to the fringe.
Draw the hairline next to the ear to finish the general outline.
Create the 3D form of the haircut by drawing the hair direction.
If any stray strands appear in the fringe, draw their edge… and then their shape as it moves toward the parting.
Define the strands on the head’s sides.
Also, add some shadows between the strands in the middle.
Outline the hair gently without drawing too thick lines; all lines should be tapered.
To make it more natural, add some stray hair.
Wavy hair is often quite full and elevated, so draw the volume of the hair around the head.
Make a rough outline of the strokes that surround the face.
Fill the space between the hair and the scalp to make it appear higher.
Without touching the first strand-lines, add gentle waves above them.
Create more waves with the same rhythm, but don’t let them touch each other.
By mirroring each strand’s wave and adding a pointed tip, each strand’s shape is completed.
On the bottom of the haircut, add some more thin tips with a curl that complements the other waves.
Draw the strands’ shape on the top of the head.
Lightly draw the direction of the strands all over the head.
At the tips of each strand, divide it into more strands.
Make the top of the head’s strands more detailed.
Outline the entire head of hair without separating the waves too much.
The strands and spaces between the waves should be shaded.
Give the hair a strong outline while keeping it soft.
Add a few stray strands of hair here and there.
Draw the outline of the hair volume, which will have a lot of volume this time.
Sketch “clouds” of strands all around the head with Afro-textured hair, which has a lot of curly strands and texture.
Create a curly outline for the entire haircut.
The shape of the hair around the face will be the same.
Make a gentle sketch of the hair’s general direction, keeping in mind that perspective is crucial!
Assume that each direction line is a tree branch, and then add the “leaves.”
Add hair strands in the shape of small springs all over the head to create a nice, non-uniform outline.
Within the outline, draw larger curls in the direction you’ve already established.
To show that the hair doesn’t have a flat surface, shade it in a general way.
Shade the entire haircut at this point, drawing curls all over to add texture.
Draw shadows between groups of curls to give the haircut a more defined look.
You can add thicker curls here and there to make the haircut less round (draw a spring, then draw over it again).
If you want to learn more about drawing hair in different techniques, check out these tutorials: Digital PaintingAn Introduction to Painting Realistic Hair in Adobe Photoshop Melody Nieves PortraitHow to Render Short, Detailed Hair in Adobe IllustratorSharon Archer-Thomas TexturesHow to Draw FurMonika Zagrobelna AnimalsHow to Create a Soft Background
Why is drawing hair so hard?
Hair is difficult to draw because what we see differs from what we know; you can’t just draw all the hairs as lines because that’s not what we see when we look at hair; instead, what we see must be simplified to lines and shades, which can be done in a variety of ways.
How do I make a realistic sketch?
How to Make a More Realistic Drawing
- Know and prepare your art supplies.
- Start with a light initial sketch, concentrating on the largest shapes first.
- Remember, there are no visible lines in realism.
- Create gradual, smooth transitions between your different values.