Useful Tips

Draw wavy hair


Each person has his own characteristic features of appearance. It can be bright eyes, full lips or rings of curls. This type of hair, it seems, is not easy to draw, but everything is much simpler. In this lesson you will learn how to draw curly hair step by step!

In this lesson, I will use the usual tools: favorite paper, pencils and an eraser. I will not have a photo source, so I can choose any type of curls that I want.

Step 1: start with the head and neck.

Since hair is the focus of attention today, I will designate the head as an oval and attach a neck to it. I also marked with lines the places where the nose and eyes should be.

Step 2: draw a hair shape.

Now draw the general shape that the hair should take. This is an important stage in the process. Here, determine the length and image of the hairstyle with silhouette lines. You see that I chose a long hairstyle that goes over the shoulders, but you can choose any length as you wish.

Step 3: divide the hair into strands that will become curls.

To set the direction of the curls, you just need to draw wavy lines. Since I chose long hair, the curls will be long and loose, respectively. If you choose a shorter length, most likely your lines will be shorter and look like a zigzag.

Step 4: start to separate the curls.

This is where creativity begins, and you add liveliness to the drawing. Despite the fact that each hair is unique, there are still general rules for their drawing. To learn to draw hair, you need to follow these rules:

imagine that curls are like ribbons. They have a beginning and end at about the same point. Imagine that you wrap a gift box and wrap it with ribbon. Imagine such a picture when you draw hair. The strands are wrapped around themselves, and now we already have two parts: the front and the back. The front is superimposed on the back, which will appear smaller and straighter.

- not every curl is twisted equally. The hair lies in a wave, and the strands on the sides and back are not so curly. Rather, they look like calm waves. Therefore, to make the pile look natural, select a few rings, and loosen the rest of the hair to a wavy texture.

- Alternate the length of the curls. If you or your friends have curly hair, they will tell you that maintaining layering is an important part of their hairstyle, especially if the curls lie in rings. Thus, the hair will not resemble one huge lump. With this in mind, do not forget to alternate the length of the curls. Those strands that grow higher should be shorter than the lower ones.

- Long strands curl hardest at the tips. Hair from the top of the head will be more straightened due to its own weight.

Step 5: Add a shadow to the hair to indicate the borders.

When you finish drawing the contours of the curls, you can begin to distribute the shadows on them. Shadows give the picture a shape and depth. But since we are still working on a sketch, you don’t need to intensely darken it. However, blackout is needed around the hair rings and on the far side of them. You will be pleasantly surprised by the result of such a revival!

Voila! Did you manage to draw curly hair? Post your work in the comments below!

If this article was not enough for you, I advise you to read the article "How to draw hair: the basics."

1. The color palette

Getting the right palette is one of the most important steps in drawing realistic hair. Choosing a color can determine how successful your work is. We select in the same way as for drawing any object - first a midtone, and then highlights and shadows, slightly different in color. But unlike skin painting, now you need to choose two or three midtones and apply them simultaneously to get luxurious looking hair.

2. We create the basis

Although I usually discourage the use of airbrushes (Airbrushes), but here it will be very out of place. The basis for the hair should be uniform and not textured. Therefore, we choose an airbrush (Airbrush) and a dark midtone (midtone) we draw the main shape of the hair, without paying attention to individual strands. Designate only the style of hairstyle and the main area where you will continue to work.

Copyright secret: zoom out

Understanding how to designate details is much more important than knowing how to draw each of them to the smallest detail in the image. Attempts to add a lot of unnecessary details when drawing will most often give you a very artificial effect, far from realistic. To practice displaying apparent detail, draw on a smaller scale in the early stages and as often as you can. Apply colors with a large brush.

3. Suitable brushes

You must draw a hair texture, so choosing the right brushes is best before you start. This is an important point when the right brushes will help to make the best result. I mainly use - Airbrush, Ragged Hard Round, Few Dot and Spaced brush - although I can limit myself to two. In the following steps I will describe how best to use them during each phase of the drawing.

4. Hair structure

Before drawing hair, first you need to determine their structure - each strand should have a logical shape and a clear completion. In addition, the structure should be depicted in three dimensions - we draw the contours not only as separately curled curls, but also interacting with each other. The image shows the contours of the strands (dark lines), their volumetric structure (gray lines) and the most protruding parts that will be illuminated by the selected light source (red lines). This stage will become so understandable and natural that it can be skipped over time. But for beginners, I would advise you to do it in order to practice the design of hairstyles.

5. Sketch of curly hair

After you have decided on the structure of the curls, select the Hard Ragged Round brush with high transparency and a thin layer, apply light midtone, following the construction from the previous step. The base will be very neutral, but sufficient to easily recognize the shape of the hairstyle.

6. Definition of the main form

Now we come to the most important part of drawing: adding basic shading. All subsequent steps will directly depend on the decisions taken now. To keep the main shading of the same density during the whole process, I draw both highlights and shadows very carefully. I work gradually on the entire surface at the same time, painting with a brush with high transparency. This is the safest way when you are not confident in your actions.

Switch constantly between the Airbrush and the Ragged Hard Round to smooth out an already visible texture. We select the colors of midtones and draw large, highly transparent strokes over the most convex (respectively, most glare) areas of the hair. We give additional volume to individual strands, adding shadows in the area of ​​the recesses.

7. Interaction with a light source

After identifying the main forms, it's time to note the interaction of hair with lighting. You can add strong shadows and highlights. Select the strongest colors from the palette and add them to the most prominent and in-depth areas. While this may seem tempting, try to avoid using the Dodge Tool and Burn Tool (Dodge and Dimmer / O), otherwise your hair will look frighteningly metallic. As a result, you should get a well-formed shape that looks rather complicated. If you feel that the colors look too boring, try playing with the Color Balance settings (Image - Correction - Color balance / Ctrl + B shortcut), especially the Shadow and Highlight sliders. There are some combinations that seem to work best with certain hair colors - for example, try adding a little blue in the shade of brown hair, and a little blue in combination with red, saturating the red and blue highlights of blond hair. Experiment with colors so you find the best combinations. Shadows (Shadows) and Highlights (Light) for your image.

8. Shaping and casting shadows

During the stage of applying the texture, you will determine the shape of future curls, and most likely add more shadows and highlights to new strands of hair. But you should also remember that determining the type of shadow is very important for creating realistic hair. There are two types to consider. The first are shape-forming shadows (orange arrows), created on a lit volumetric object, on the other hand from the light source. The second - cast shadows (blue arrows) are created by casting a shadow from one object to another. To quickly add, create a new layer and set the blending mode to Multiply. Add shadows gradually with a highly transparent airbrush (Airbrush). This will give the hair a sense of volume.

9. The logic of applying textures

It's time to add details to the main drawing. The basic logic of texturing hair when choosing the size and color of the brush is very simple: start with the largest brush size and gradually move on to the smallest one. The smaller the brush, the greater its Opacity and lighter color. We start by drawing the largest dark strands of hair and finish with the smallest - a light brush. You can also try adding some dark strands to emphasize the variety of colors on your hair.

Secret: Limiting the Number of Layers

One of the best features of professional drawing programs is the ability to add layers, but by drawing each element on a separate layer you only slow down your computer. It may also interfere with the interaction of colors between different parts of the image. If you are not sure about your actions, draw on a separate layer, but merge it with the previous one as soon as you can. As practice shows, it is best to use from 5 before 10 layers for one image.

10. Basic texturing

Using the technique described in the previous step, add texture to the main strands using a hard ragged brush (Hard Ragged). Draw with short strokes, always parallel to the main shape of each curl. Do not forget that the shades of highlights and shadows of different parts of the hair have different illumination (yellow and blue lines), for example, the darkest color of the elevated area will be much lighter than in the region of the depressions. High transparency of the brush allows each new stroke to partially cover each other, thus we create the main texture in our work from the very beginning.

11. Additional textures

Reduce the size of the brush by 20-30 percent and continue to draw individual strands of hair with the same quick strokes. We slightly vary the choice of colors, in terms of shades and brightness. But to make the final result look whole, it’s worth it to apply the changes gradually. Now hair should look more flexible and picturesque.

12. Multipoint brush

Now is the time to add a real texture, so create a new layer and select the Few Dot brush. This brush creates a wonderful effect, but you need to be very careful in use - too many well-visible strands of hair create the effect of randomness, artificiality. In principle, drawing hair involves high detail, but not to the extent of drawing the smallest elements. It is best to use a multi-point brush with high opacity (Opacity) (10-20 percent) and the color is slightly lighter than in the previous step. With the same brush settings, we draw and shadow areas - one or two passes. And we focus on drawing lighted areas, changing the color and size of the brush.

13. Add sloppiness

The hair already looks pretty interesting and all that remains to be done is to add some completeness to the textures to achieve a truly realistic look. Use a hard round brush (Hard Round) and go through the darkened and illuminated parts of the hair in light color with 50% transparency. Do not try to make all thin lines parallel! For credibility, you need to draw overlapping strands of hair to create a light mess.

14. Interval brush

Create a new layer and select the Wide Spaced Pixel. The biggest advantage of this tool is the ability to give the image a pixelity, which adds granularity to the picture and, accordingly, photographic quality. Choose a light color and draw with a brush over the hair. Do not follow the outlines of the hair too carefully, add individual knock-out strands beyond the borders of the hairstyle and on top of existing curls (blue marks). After the first pass, apply Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur (Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur). Repeat the process on a new layer, but now make the blur a little smaller.

15. Do the flip trick

Now is the time for a little trick to make your work easier and faster. Select the least blurry layer from the previous step and duplicate it. Change the blending mode to Soft Light, Lighten or Screen (whichever is more suitable for your hair color), display it horizontally (flip it horizontally) and make it transparent, barely noticeable. This simple action creates a very subtle, natural effect of messy hair.

16. The tool "Dodge Tool" (Tool "Clarifier")

As previously mentioned, I advised you to avoid using the Dodge Tool (Dodge Tool / O Key) to draw hair, because this way you can give the curls an undesirable metallic effect. Но однако, существует и исключение из правил — осветление может создать эффект волос, освещенных источником света за спиной, создавая очаровательный эффект сияния. Пользуемся осветлением очень осторожно, инструментом аэрограф (airbrush) рисуем по границам бликующих областей волос. Розовые стрелки на изображении, показывают где лучше всего применять осветление.

17. Финальное изображение

Последний взгляд на работу. Если вы чувствуете, что волосы выглядят слишком монохромными, воспользуйтесь настройками цвета (Color Balans (Цветовой баланс)). If the hair color is too different from the skin, we create the effect of the reflected color - using the Eyedropper Tool (Eyedropper / I), select the average shade of the hair and apply it to the skin with an airbrush (Airbrush) of high transparency. Finally, display the entire image horizontally to check for any anatomical errors or perspective distortion. When you are happy with the result, you can practice with other color palettes and hairstyles to improve and perfect your technique.

Final result