How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (2023)

How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (1)

Struggling with styling your hair? Drawing hair can be a daunting task for someone new to drawing. With the amount of detail and dedication required, many people lose patience and resort to a series of sloppy drawings.

For some of us, hair can be a nightmare. But changing your approach can help you put those fears behind you. In this tutorial I will go through 4 easy steps to draw realistic hair.

modernization:I break down the steps of the video format further (7 steps). Here is a very detailed video tutorial covering 6 different hairstyles:

Includes extra tips, techniques and close-ups so you can see exactly what I'm doing.

Tools I use in this guide:

Guide analysis:

  • 4 steps to a hairstyle
  • Take a closer look at the design of the small strand of hair
  • How to draw curly hair (mini tutorial)
  • How to draw short hair (mini tutorial)Extended seminarAvailable now!Over 2000 words worth of content + detailed pictures!

The following steps can be used to style a variety of hairstyles, from short to long, straight to curly. So, without further ado, let's get straight to class! When drawing realistic hair, keep these 4 points in mind:

Volume, flow, value and texture

1. Volume

It helps to draw a loose outline of the skull before you start drawing the hair. If you don't style your hair with the 3D shape of the human head in mind, it will lack volume and you could end up cutting off part of the skull. The hair clings to the head, but does not stick. For most people with long hair, the "hair height" is at least 2 cm higher than their actual height, and at least 2 cm higher on each side.

Having trouble drawing an avatar? Click here to learn how to extract one fromin frontdraw one herepage.

2. Traffic

To pull your hair out with him, you need to understand the underlying structure. For long, flowing hairstyles, the hair hangs down, hugs the head and wraps around the shoulders. Something like a liquid. You want to start by outlining the basic structure of the hair, and keep the strokes relaxed and simple.

3. Brightness (shadows, midtones, highlights)

A head of hair contains many tones, so before you start styling, take some time to determine where the light source is coming from and how that will affect the tonal values ​​of the hair.
If you are using a reference image with very soft lighting, use a free image editor like gimp to posterize the image or increase the contrast to exaggerate the 3 different shades - making them easier to identify.

Reference image of the post:

How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (5)

After dimming the lights, start drawing boundary lines between the overlapping groups of hair. Decide where you want the light to fall and outline those areas with itEye shadow technique.Masking key points. If you often get lost in the details, this step will help you keep track of the overall lighting to be more confident when coloring individual hairs.

How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (6)

Click here to learn more about light and how to shade.

4. Texture

The average human head contains about 150,000 hairs. The very thought of it can be very depressing. FirstAfter all, you don't need to spend 90% of your time meticulously styling your subject's hair. In fact, this step can be done quickly, and it might even become your favorite step. The key to adding texture is using safe, consistent brush strokes and maintaining a steady flow.

proposal:You can create long, continuous, flowing lines by holding the pencil using the strength of your elbows and shoulders instead of your fingers and wrists.

Go through the hair section by section, following the general direction of the strands. In dark places, don't be afraid to push hard (I used6B do 8Bfor these areas). To highlight highlights, align themfermented gumand drag it in the desired direction. The eraser gets dirty after the first stroke, so bend and straighten it after each stroke.

You can add more or less detail, depending on how realistic you want it to be.

Let's take a closer look at the design for a small strand of hair:

When creating the first layer of pencil, blend itVarious line widths. I use a combination of blunt and pointed pencils, as well as mechanical pencils. As you create each path, remember to press and then lift as you approach the area you want to highlight. Swipe inwards so that they fade in the middle of the strands.

Add a second stroke layer. I usually go for 0.5mm at this stageHepatitis B4BTouch and a very boring 6B to fill in some gaps without looking too busy.

Keep doing this until you get the desired result. If you want to create a great look or replicate strong lighting, try to keep the highlights fairly clean. If necessary, you can use a rubber band.

For the ends, work outwards so that your hair thins nicely without looking too harsh and dull.

useful tips

A haircut is more than a bunch of lines in a boring repeating pattern. Use these 4 tips to make your design more attractive.

If you have trouble drawing long hair because your pencil strokes are too short or choppy, try holding the pencil away from the top. This will allow you a greater range of motion, resulting in longer, smoother movements.

Are you ready to style your hair? Let's apply the above steps and techniques in the 2 mini-tutorials below! Pencils I will use: 4B, 6B, 8B

how to draw curly hair

Painting curly hair is really fun and definitely perfect for building confidence when it comes to adding texture.

1. Practice drawing curls with cylindrical shapes. This will help you achieve realistic, voluminous curls.

2. Sometimes it helps to build associations. So think of the curl as a ribbon. They have many rings, spread closer to the bottom. Use curved lines and avoid straight lines for a more realistic feel and flow. (4B)

3. Focus on the hair strands and keep them strong. For this example, the highlighting is centered. As you can see, the hairs closer to the front have more protruding points than the back. (6B)

4. Add texture with quick brush strokes. Get rid of patterns and boring strands by layering or adding loose strands of hair. Be creative and look for inspiration in reference images or even mirrors. (4B, 8B)

How to draw short hair

Drawing short hair is no different than drawing long hair, except you'll find you cover less area in the same amount of time because the strands are so much shorter.

Click here to go to the extended version of this mini-guide (over 2000 words and lots of detailed pictures)

1. Shape the head and place the ears in the correct position. (4B) Click here to learn howDraw the head/face from the sideAnd where to pull the ears.
2. Using strokes, draw a loose outline of the hair in the actual direction the hair is pointing. (4B)
3. Mask off the dark areas, remember this step helps you see the bigger picture. (6B)
4. Work on one section of hair at a time for added texture. Outlining a group of hair and then adding texture is also a good technique. For thinning hair, use a "v" shape to thin out most of the ends. Keep in mind that thick hair usually doesn't thin at the ends. Instead, most of the hair will stand on its own. (4B, 6B, 8B)

This is my longest tutorial yet! I hope this covers everything. Let me know if you want to see more guides like this. Also, don't forget to share your love using the share buttons below :) Does the thought of drawing hair make you cringe? Let me know in the comments!

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Want to download a free PDF version of this guide for offline viewing or printing? Share this page with your friends by unlocking the PDF using the button below. Thank you! Alternatively, you can purchase all my instructions in PDF format at once.Click hereknow more information.

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How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (12)



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Here is the PDF download link:

Click here to download the PDFversion of this tutorial :)


Other hair guides:

  • braid(exclusive seminar)
  • beard(exclusive seminar)
  • short hair with parting on the side
  • Eyebrow
  • eyelash

How to draw realistic hair: The easiest way! | Rapid Fire Art (14)

Darlene Nguyen

Darlene created RFA in 2013 with the goal of sharing simple yet detailed tutorial designs with other artists on the World Wide Web. She is a self-taught pencil portrait artist and Youtuber.

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