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How to draw hair: female

Some commenters expressed an interest in a hair tutorial. Today is the day they shall have their way!

I found a few interesting hairstyles here. I strongly recommend you go check it out. The website says these hairstyles go well with an oval face. As I am fashionably challenged I have no idea and I'll take their word for it. Here I drew a few examples I found on that site (as a base I used this face) :



Step 1. Find a hairstyle you like, one that suits the face you are drawing.  I chose this one because the bangs make things interesting:


Step 2. Draw a rough outline, with some guides. Keep your hand relaxed as you draw the smooth curves and lines. Remember there is no right or wrong with hair. Just go with what looks good and what makes sense physically. If you brush your  hair now and make everything perfect, when you check in the mirror in five minutes it will have changed again. The hair you are drawing doesn't have to be perfect, in fact it shouldn't be perfect.


Step 3.  After you've drawn the rough outlines, look for areas that look weird. Does the hair compliment the face? Is the head shaped funny? Does it look too big? Stand back from your work to get an overall feel for it. In my example the face looks fat in the bottom, so I corrected it with some more hair on the left.


Step 4. A frequent mistake I see beginners make is that they try to draw individual strands of hair from the outset. The funny thing about hair is that it behaves in groups (think of curls and locks). Look at anime and manga drawings - remember Dragonball Z hair? Those triangular shapes is the artist's impression of the groups hair make.  Keep this in mind and start adding clusters of hair to your image. (Not individual strands, but groups/clumps of hair.)


Step 5. Now that your basic guides for the clusters of hair is down, the fun part begins! Draw more lines and in so doing add shading. The person has millions of hair on their head so just follow the basic guides you already put down and put in more lines along those guides. All hair in a cluster should be going in the same direction. Here's an animation to demonstrate:




Follow the grain. Hair rarely if ever crisscrosses one another, so don't use that style of shading here. All your strands in one group/cluster should go in one direction.


Step 6.  Darken some areas by adding more lines and pressing a little harder. Try not to press too hard, because it really is a pain in the arse to erase, especially if you are using pencil and paper.



Her bangs still looked a bit flat compared to the rest, so I added some more shading.


Step 7.  Add in some random loose single strands that don't have anything to do with anything else. Remember: imperfection is perfection when it comes to hair. Some imperfect loose strands of hair here and there will add a sense of realism to the piece.




And you're done. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and ask. I will definitely get back to you.

Face tutorial that goes with this. Here's an eye tutorial for those that might be interested.

"Great art is not necessarily perfect art." ~ - unknown


be perfect.

pencildrawing of face with hair

Admin note: I found a cool online course called Pencil Drawing Made Easy that specializes in taking beginners and teaching them how to draw in a realistic style. The course itself is online video, so you can access it from anywhere in the world. I will do a full review of the course soon, but for now I just want you to know that I think it's definitely worth checking out, and you're sure to get better at drawing if you follow the lessons. I'm already learning a lot from it! The course teaches you how to draw ANYTHING realistically in pencil - from onions to hands to hyper realistic portraits. The teacher explains everything really well, so you'll understand exactly what you're doing and why. Click here to check it out!


About The Author:
BarakiEl's favourite things to do include creating digital art, listening to music, playing computer games and spending time with her husband. She works from home as a freelance desktop publisher, colourist and illustrator.
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Posted in: Art by on July 29, 2011 @ 6:02 pm


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