How to Draw Hair
We’ll first look at an easy to follow method that is broken down into four distinct processes in this week’s Drawing Hair. I’ll share with you a simple step by step approach of observation and media application.
Drawing Hair – The Four-Step Approach
Before we start drawing the hair, we need to make sure the head structure is drawn in place. I’m calling this a four-step process, but it’s more like a three-step approach because the third and fourth steps are combined and completed at the same time.
Step One – Define the Outer Contour of the Hair
The medium you use will influence how you approach drawing the hair; for example, if you are drawing hair with pastels, you may choose to fill in the shape of the hair with solid color and skip drawing the contours.
Step Two – Draw Shapes For The “Clumps” of Hair
We’ll draw smaller shapes for clumps of hair as we draw the contours, because hair strands naturally collect and form a form (what I’m referring to as a “clump”).
Step Three – Developing the Volume Through Value
A full range of value should be present within a head of hair in most cases; locations that recede or are blocked from receiving light should be darker in value; blonds have darker toned areas in their hair, and black people have areas that are almost white (highlights).
Drawing a Strand of Hair
Begin by defining the shape with light, loose lines and developing the texture and value with different strokes on a single strand of hair using the four steps below.
Drawing Straight Hair
We’ve seen how to draw wavy hair, but not everyone has wavy hair, so how does this process differ if the hair is straight? It’s not that different. We’ll still need to start with the overall shape of the hair, but the collections will be smaller and more compact with curly hair. Because the hair is curly, the directional strokes we make for each “clump” should also curve just like the h.
Every head of hair is different, and as with many aspects of figure drawing, changing your viewpoint can dramatically affect the approach you take. Light reflects off of hair in different ways, and textures vary, so careful observation is essential to your success.
Another Example – Step by Step
Take your time and be patient when drawing hair; instead of thinking about hair, think about shapes, values, and lines. When adding directional lines to the hair, make sure they flow in the opposite direction of where the hair grows.
Which pencil is used for sketching hair?
I’d suggest shading the darkest areas of your sketch where the least amount of light reaches the hair with a softer pencil grade, such as B or 2B.
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.