How to Draw Hair - Draw Central

How to Draw Hair

Hair can be the bane of any artist’s existence, but with a few good techniques, drawing hair can be easy, fun, and relaxing. So pull up a chair and a 2H pencil and let’s get to work!

What you’ll need:

To begin with, lightly draw the outline of the head, and the basic shape of the hair. Take time now to think about how the hair fill fall on the person’s head, shoulders, clothes, and surroundings. For the sake of simplicity, I have chosen a very generic pose for this exercise. 

Next, plan out where the shadows will be on the hair. Visualize where the light source is, and how it falls on your subject’s hair. Once again, work very lightly in fine lines. This step is just providing the foundation to build highlights and shadows on your figure’s hair.

Tip: Working on one small section of hair at a time will yield more uniform results, especially when doing a large drawing.

Okay! Now that we have our outline, and a place marker for where the shadows are going to be, we can continue to add more detail. First start out lightly until you can get a feel for how you need to move your hand/wrist. 

This is where many people will begin to make mistakes. DO NOT draw EACH strand of hair, doing so will yield very flat looking hair. Instead, we are drawing the shadows of the hair only. Highlights will be produced from the absence of lines.

Use flowing lines, and draw in the shadows a little darker now. Keep in mind that the darker your shadows are, the darker-colored the hair will look. Spread the shadows out as far as you think you need to in order to achieve the desired effect. The more abrupt the transition is from dark to light, the glossier the hair will look. A smooth transition from lowlights to highlights will yield more matte-looking hair.

And that’s it! You’ve done it! And as always, if you didn’t get the results you hoped for the very first time, don’t be discouraged. They say practice makes perfect…